Montana State University

Mann to speak at "Mother Earth" ceremony Saturday in Washington

July 5, 2007

MSU's Henrietta Mann will help kick off the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian's "Mother Earth" ceremony on July 7. Photo by Stephen Hunts for Montana State University's Mountains and Minds magazine.   High-Res Available

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Henrietta Mann, a Cheyenne tribal elder and administrator at Montana State University, will be the opening speaker for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian's "Mother Earth" ceremony set for Saturday, July 7.

Mann's speech at 10:30 a.m. Saturday will help kick off the Washington D.C.-based event of speakers and music, which is being held in collaboration with Al Gore's "Live Earth" concert to be held that day. Both events will be accessed on television, radio and the Internet. For more information, go to

Gore's Live Earth, set July 7 and headquartered in Giants Stadium in New York, is a 24-hour, seven-continent concert. Organizers say the event will bring together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis.

National Museum of the American Indian officials say that they have planned Mother Earth in the spirit of the Live Earth message to bring to the museum musical and cultural talent and speakers from the scientific and American Indian cultural communities.

"We want to honor the fact that American Indians have always been aware of their environment and what is going on around them," said Mann, who is a former member of the national museum's board. "We have been talking about these issues for forever, but no one heard us. Now we will give voice to those teachings."

The Smithsonian event will begin at 5:30 a.m. with a dawn song from White Oak, a drum group from North Dakota. The event resumes with Mann's speech at 10:30 a.m. Mann, who is a professor emeritus at MSU as well as serving as a special assistant to MSU President Geoff Gamble, will appear with Katsi Cook, a member of the Mohawk Nation who is a traditional midwife, activist on women's issues, and founding director of the First Environment Project, a social-justice program with field operations in New York State and Washington, D.C. Mann and Cook will speak additional times during the day, interspersed between other musical groups. For more information and a complete schedule, go to the museum's website:

"I'm very honored that the American Museum of the American Indian asked me to participate," Mann said. "One of my lifelong commitments is that the beautiful earth continues to exist so my grandchildren and their grandchildren can experience this place of miracles to which our parents have brought us."

Henrietta Mann (406) 994-7431,