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Press Release - The People of the Upper Missouri: The Mandans Wins 2013 AASLH Award of Merit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2013
Contact: Fern Swenson, State Historical Society of North Dakota
701.328.3575

Bethany Hawkins, AASLH
hawkins@aaslh.org
615.320.3203

The People of the Upper Missouri: The Mandans Wins 2013 AASLH Award of Merit

NASHVILLE, TN—September 2013—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the State Historical Society of North Dakota is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the documentary The People of the Upper Missouri: The Mandans. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Focusing on the history, traditions, and material culture of the Mandan people, the documentary integrates historical imagery contemporary interviews with residents of Fort Berthold, interviews with historians and research specialists, and ethnographic and archaeological data that trace 800 years of Mandan resilience, adaptability, and continuity in the Upper Missouri River Valley. It begins with a contemporary portrait of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people and travels back through space and time, recounting the unspeakable tragedy and loss incurred by the construction of the Garrison Dam; the peak of Mandan population, power, and prosperity as agriculturalists and traders on the Heart River during the 16th century; and the origins of a cultural identity that is bound in memories of ancestors and inextricably tied to the Missouri River landscape.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer eighty-eight national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2013 AASLH Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday, Sept. 20. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also brings public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society.

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