The Betty Strong Encounter Center will dedicate the 2010 "Children of St. Augustine Indian Mission" portraits by award-winning photographer Fr. Don Doll, S.J. on Sunday Nov. 8, following the 2 p.m. presentation of the one-act "A Fountain of Life." Admission will be free.
The 17 children's portraits will be dedicated in memory of Betty Strong who was president of Missouri River Historical Development, Inc. from 1989 until her death in 2004. MRHD built and sustains the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and the adjoining Betty Strong Encounter Center.
"Nothing would please my mother more for the Encounter Center than to dedicate Fr. Doll's beautiful images of Siouxland children in her memory," says Jackie Smith, Betty Strong's daughter. "We honor her belief that every child is precious and unique; that every child should be respected and supported; and that every child has something beautiful to give to the world."
Smith will be joined by Fr. Doll; Mark Monson, president of MRHD; and Fr. Dave Korth, director of St. Augustine, for the dedication program.
The event marks the 100th anniversary of St. Augustine Indian Mission, located 22 miles south of Sioux City on the Winnebago reservation. The private, non-profit school enrolls 120 kindergarten-through-eighth grade students of diverse faiths and heritages. They study traditional language and culture along with a solid core of academics.
"Photographs reveal cultures and help other people see those cultures," says Fr. Doll. "When you make these pictures larger than life, it says, 'These people are special. We treasure them.'"
Fr. Doll is Professor of Photojournalism at Creighton University, Omaha, where he holds the Charles and Mary Heider Endowed Jesuit Chair. He has received the Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism in recognition of his work with Native people. He also has received the Nikon "World Understanding through Photography" award. He was named Nebraska Artist of the Year by the Nebraska Arts Council in 2006.
His work has been featured in National Geographic magazine, and a number of Day in the Life books, including America, California, Italy, Ireland, Passage to Vietnam, Christmas in America and America at Home. His photographs also have been published in Crying for a Vision (Morgan & Morgan Publishers) and Vision Quest: Men, Women and Sacred Sites of the Sioux Nation (Crown Publishers). He appears in Don Doll's Vision Quest, an award-winning documentary produced by Nebraska Public TV.
Fr. Doll has photographed Jesuits assisting Tsunami victims in India and Sri Lanka, and for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Uganda, Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania, Congo, Rwanda and Chad.
The Betty Strong Encounter Center and adjoining Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center are located off exit 149, I-29. For more information call (712) 224-5242 or visit www.siouxcitylcic.com.