SWCC Dean Selected for Fellowship

Feb 15th, 2001 | By | Category: 12-3: How to Build a Dream, Tribal College News

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) selected Sisseton Wahpeton Community College Academic Dean Harvey DuMarce last summer for a six week fellowship on the founding of the Jamestown settlement, “Text of the Imagination.” DuMarce and the other fellows conducted research at the Folger Shakespeare Library, visited Jamestown, and stayed at George Washington University. “It was a real learning experience for me and for my classmates,” he said. DuMarce is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribe, and so his classmates met a real, modern Indian, many of them for the first time. “We made lasting friendships,” he said.

DuMarce read Captain John Smith’s original journals and a John Rolfe’s letter, discovering that the Pocahontas story is much more complex than that portrayed in the popular media and history books. While John Rolfe loved her, he had doubts about marrying a “barbarian” and about her “heathen ways” since she was not a Christian. DuMarce is using his research for the American and Native American literature courses he teaches at the tribal college in northeast South Dakota. On his days off, he went to the Library of Congress and conducted research on the letters of Dr. Charles A. Eastman on microfilm.”

The fellowship competition was based on a three-page personal statement and resume. The other 16 fellows were all professors at larger universities. An enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, DuMarce has worked at the tribal college since August 1996. He received his MA from the University of Iowa in May of that year, and he was selected as a NEH fellow for the Native American Literature seminar at the Newberry Library in June 1996.

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