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Faculty member receives Lakota Star Quilt for outreach project

Alan Zuk, associate professor of plant sciences, was presented a Lakota Star Quilt by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in recognition of an outreach effort to the St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, St. Francis, South Dakota, in January.

Zuk arranged to haul a load of dry beans donated from research to the mission. Mission chief operating officer Rodney Bordeaux and mission president Rev. James Kubicki surprised Zuk with the presentation of the quilt after the beans were unloaded. Bordeaux is a past president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is a branch of the Lakota Sioux Indian nation, which is well-known for creating and giving Star Quilts. The Morning Star pattern is an important symbol to the Lakota, symbolizing new beginnings or a new dawn. Star Quilts are one of the most important gifts a Lakota member can give and are given to demonstrate honor and respect for the recipient.

The Star Quilt presented to Zuk was handmade by women from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who pieced together and sewed the quilt tops.

Zuk accepted the quilt on behalf of all the individuals who were involved in the project – Juan Osorno, NDSU dry bean breeder, who grew and harvested the beans with his team; Tom Walk, NDSU staff member, who helped load the beans onto the truck; and James Steinberger, 2012 graduate of the NDSU crop and weed sciences program, who was Zuk’s connection to the mission and helped unload the beans.

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North Dakota State University
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