Bead work and water will be the focus of two programs at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument this weekend.
Jina Red Nest will be at the visitor’s center all day Friday through Sunday as a cultural demonstrator, while Dave Wolf from the North Platte Natural Resources District will present “Water: A Western Perspective,” Sunday at 2 p.m.
Red Nest is from the Oglala Lakota, Oneida and Northern Cheyenne tribes. She and her husband Edison Red Nest, Jr. have lived and worked in Scottsbluff, Nebraska since 1997 and have participated in organizing the Circle the Bluffs Powwow near the Scotts Bluff National Monument since 2006.
Red Nest’s maternal grandmother did a lot of crafting, sewing and beadwork, and Jina learned many skills from her. Her mother encouraged her to “watch” and remember things from the time she was young girl. She was encouraged to participate in dancing at powwows as a little girl. Her children danced when they were little and her grandchildren are keeping up the tradition. W
hen Red Nest sews an outfit, she makes it one of a kind, unique to the person for whom she is sewing it. She has sewn outfits for many youth, including her grandchildren, sewing the traditional dresses and shawls and grass dance outfits for them to participate in powwows. She thinks that going to powwows gives her energy and helps link children to their heritage.
Red Nest was always interested in beading, making earrings and rosettes and helping repair beadwork for other people. She learned how to make moccasins and decorate them with beadwork.
The Cheyenne moccasins are northern plains style moccasins: There is really very little difference in moccasins except for the plains style designs of the Cheyenne, Lakota or Dakota. Jina prefers traditional beadwork designs, though she has tried more modern custom designs, too.
Wolf is the information & education coordinator for the North Platte NRD. Prior to working in natural resources for the last six years, Wolf worked with Senator Ben Nelson’s 2006 reelection campaign, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, and party politics. He graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Nebraska. Wolf is married with three kids. He enjoys sports, hiking, and watching movies.
Wolf will discuss how much water is available in the world, and how much we can actually use for day to day activities. He will then talk about the water in this area and the connection between surface water and groundwater.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located just 22 miles south of Harrison, or 34 miles north of Mitchell, Nebraska, on State Highway 29, then east on River Road for three miles to the visitor center. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park’s two trails are open from dawn to dusk. Admission to Agate Fossil Beds is free. For more information, call 308-668-2211 or 308-436-9760, go to www.nps.gov/agfo or visit Agate Fossil Beds on Facebook and Twitter.