The Native American Studies Program at West Virginia University is inviting the Morgantown community to a free, public lecture presented by its 2011 Elder-in-Residence, Gerard Baker, entitled “Yellow Wolf: Journey from Log house to Rushmore.”

The lecture is set for Tuesday (April 12) at 5 p.m. in Room G15 of the Life Sciences Building on the downtown campus. A reception in his honor begins at 4:30 p.m.

Baker is a full-blood Mandan-Hidatsa of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Mandaree, North Dakota. He is known for his appearance in a number of documentaries, including Ken Burns’ award-winning 2010 PBS series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” and “Lewis and Clark: the Journey of the Corps of Discovery.”

Baker worked for the National Park Service for 31 of his 34 years with the federal government and spent a three-year stint with the U.S. Forest Service, during which time he served as an assistant district ranger. With the National Park Service, he worked as superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail from 2000 to 2004. In that position, he managed the trails across 19 states and the traveling exhibit “Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future.”

Shortly after that, Baker became the superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where he served from 2004 until his retirement in 2010. There, he managed more than 1,200 acres of land that attract almost 3 million visitors, annually. For three months, from April to July 2010, he also served as the assistant director for American Indian Relations of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

Now retired, he lives in the Black Hills of North Dakota with his wife, Mary Kay. He enjoys researching Northern Plains trade and American Indian history and studying the oral history of the Northern Plains and traditional crafts such as brain tanning.

For more information, contact Bonnie M. Brown, coordinator of the Native American Studies Program, at (304) 293-4626 or



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