Have you ever seen a child's eyes light up when he discovers something down by the river and it takes him to another place in time on that very land he stands on? This happens often with children who follow Art and Barb Straub down to the Minnesota River and its tributaries near Le Sueur and Henderson, Minnesota. In this case, Sam discovered a bison bone and listened with great intent while Art told him the story of how the bison used to be run over the cliffs, instead of being hunted with bow and arrow, during earlier times in the Native American history on that very land. Sam has a deep appreciation of the cultural heritage on his land and is proud of the natural history he discovers with each trip and discovery by the banks of the Rush and Minnesota Rivers. He is an active participant in Nature Neighbors, a program through Feathers, in Henderson.
And Art and Barb Straub have so much to teach us all. They are the recipients of the 2011 WEM Outstanding Educator Award for Ethics in Education from the The WEM Foundation and the Center for Academic Excellence.
The project has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
It is also supported by matched donations made to Clean Up the River Environment (CURE).
The director of this oral history project, Voices of the River, is Anne Queenan, writer of accompanying blog stories and videographer/producer of the clips featured at cureriver.org/voices.