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Native American culture inspires UNO professor


Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2014 14:01

inspired by native american culture

Photo Courtesy of University of Nebraska at Omaha

His shelves are lined with books about Native Americans and the environment. His fingers and wrists are lined with turquoise, silver and gold. Dr. Bruce Johansen is a professor in the School of Communication. He is often seen riding his bike to campus or taking an early morning swim at HPER.

 Johansen said he is currently working on a handful of books: “Up from the Ashes: Revival at Muckleshoot,”  “Martin Luther King’s Living Laboratory: Seattle’s El Centro de la Raza,” “Canoes to Pow Wows: Encyclopedia of Native American Cultures,” “Resource Exploitation in Native North America: A Plague Upon the Peoples,” “Eco-Hustle! Global Warming, Greenwashing, and Sustainability,” and “History in a Hurry Sometimes Stumbles: Thirty Years of Media Gaffes.”

 His publications are deeply rooted in his passions of environmental issues and Native American studies, stemming from his upbringing in Washington.

 As a request of the Muckleshoot people, Johansen is writing the “Up from the Ashes” book. Johansen said the book describes the rise of the Muckleshoot tribe in the northwest.

“They were down to their very last half acre,” Johansen said. “Very, very poor people.”

 Johansen said after several years and court battles, the Muckleshoot people were able to gain their fishing rights back from the state. Since then, they have grown to fish processing, casinos, hotels, and have used their profits to build schools and hospitals for their community.

 “Eco-Hustle!,” another book in the early writing stages, Johansen said, covers the advancements in the solutions to global warming.

 “History in a Hurry Sometimes Stumbles” is a collection of “journalistic goofs and errors,” Johansen said. It is a collection he shares with his students, held together in a gently used black binder. He said the binder is full of newspaper clippings and erroneous articles.

 “I enjoy the exploration stage of authorship.”

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