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Drex Brooks

Sweet Medicine: Council Grounds of the Great Treaty at Horse Creek, Nebraska
1987, printed 1989
toned gelatin silver print
20 x 22 7/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Consolidated Natural Gas Company Foundation

In this apparently straightforward Midwestern landscape, the strong central tree trunk and the aligned corn stalks behind it could stand for historical memory. On this site in 1851, thousands of Native Americans gathered to ratify a treaty that established peace among the tribes while guaranteeing the U.S. government the right to travel through Indian lands. History has long forgotten the treaty just as time has inexorably altered the tree itself.