Geralynne Berg to help kick off 2018 NEA Big Read initiative

By UW-Barron County

As a kickoff to Wisconsin Reads “The Round House,” a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) initiative that will take place in communities throughout the state in 2018, Geralynne Berg will present “Healing Historical Trauma” at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County on November 16, noon to 1 p.m., in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (R234). Her presentation is part of the university’s Thursdays @ the U Performance and Lecture Series. “The Round House” is a novel by Native American author Louise Erdrich. 

Berg is the academic dean at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Hayward, Wis. She specializes in the effects of historical trauma on Native American populations, which can extend over generations of people and is caused by experiences that lead to emotional and psychological wounds.

Berg will focus on integrated practices for servicing tribal communities and families. “Community healing along with the individual and family healing are necessary to thoroughly address historical unresolved grief and its fallout. It does not happen overnight, and it is not easy,” she said. “Unless we are committed to healing the past, we will not be able to address present day social pathologies. Healing will enable us to provide positive and healthy community activism needed to prevent suicide, homicide, domestic violence, child abuse and alcoholism, which are prevalent today in American Indian communities and in our global society.”

“The Round House” is a story of a young Ojibwe boy who witnesses the after-effects of sexual assault on his mother. It explores historical trauma in relation to Native Americans and the judicial system, especially the challenges of prosecuting sexual assaults when tribal laws conflict with federal laws.

For further information about Wisconsin Reads “The Round House,” visit or write Lee Friederich in the UW-Barron County English department at:

Thursdays @ the U series is free and open to the public. UW-Barron County is located at 1800 College Dr., Rice Lake. For more information, call 715-234-8176.


Brian Becker