Native American Playwright Presents Eckler Lecture at Mount Union College

May 10, 2010

William S. Yellow Robe Jr., a playwright and member of the Assiniboine Tribe of Fort Peck Indian Agency in Poplar, MT presented the 28th Eckler Lecture in Presser Recital Hall on November 1.

Yellow Robe, the author of many plays, short stories and poems including Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers, The Independence of Eddie Rose, Sneaky and The Star Quilter, writes his words to heal readers of the poison in society.

'I don't write to point fingers,' said Yellow Robe. 'I try to fight the poison.'

Yellow Robe began his career as a playwright to pay honor and respect to his late wife, Diane.

'Diane taught me to be a man,' said Yellow Robe. 'Hopefully these words will touch the lives of the reader.'

Yellow Robe serves as a faculty affiliate in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of Montana and a founding artistic director of the No Borders Indigenous Inter-Tribal Company in Rhode Island and Montana.

Yellow Robe is a member of several advisory boards including the Department of Race and Ethnicity Studies at Brown University, Missoula Writer's Collaborative and the Red Eagle Soaring Theatre in Seattle, WA as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Counting Coup Arts Gallery in Montana.

Yellow Robe received awards including the Special Award for Excellence in Theatre from New England Theatre Conference Inc. in Mass, the First Book Award for Drama from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas in Oklahoma and the Princess Grace Fellowship in theatre and playwriting from the Princess Grace Foundation in New York.

The Assinboine tribe includes approximately 10,000 members in Canada and 8,000 members in Montana.

Mount Union College established the Mary W. and Eric A. Eckler Endowment in Literature and Drama in 1981 through a trust given by the late Mr. and Mrs. John A. Cummins. Both Dr. and Mrs. Eckler were long-time faculty members in Mount Union's Department of English.

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