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17 Sep

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Native American Studies Program and the Program for Religious Studies at West Virginia University are co-sponsoring an Oct. 9 talk on Black Elk, the highly-regarded Oglala Lakota spiritual leader.

Michael F. Steltenkamp, S.J., a Jesuit priest and professor of anthropology at Wheeling Jesuit University, will present “Black Elk: Medicine man, Missionary, Mystic.” The 6 p.m. presentation is free and open to the public and begins with a light reception at 5:30 p.m.

Immediately following his presentation, Steltenkamp will sign copies of his books, including “Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, and Mystic,” as well as “Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala.”

“This author has spent a lot of time in Native American communities, learning from Native people and researching the history of Black Elk,” said Bonnie Brown, coordinator for the Native American Studies Program.

“Rather than only reading about someone’s experiences and perspectives, WVU students will be interacting with this accomplished author and researcher. I’m very grateful to the Program for Religious Studies for making this presentation possible.

Steltenkamp holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Michigan State University. During his WVU visit, he will speak to students in Assistant Professor Alex Snow’s Introduction to World Religions classes.

“Dr. Steltenkamp’s work on both Lakota Sioux and Catholic spirituality does much to bare out the complex reciprocal conflicts and syntheses found within not only inter-religious comparison, but also interdisciplinary collaboration,” Snow said.

“Such dedication and perspective is thus an invaluable example of academic rigor, but also a great source of pedagogical inspiration.”

The presentation is part of the Sycamore Circle Series at WVU, an informal lecture series designed to highlight and encourage the sharing of research on a wide-range of Native American topics.

For more information, contact Bonnie Brown, at 304-293-4626 or



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