BEATRICE, NEB. - A southeast Nebraska museum and historical society has a new exhibit for the summer of 2024. 

The Gage County Historical Society is debuting a new Native American exhibit called "Big Blue Reservation: The Struggles and Hopes of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe."

Museum Director Cassandra Dean says the idea for the exhibit began about two years ago, during discussions on a current exhibit. 

"We reached out to the tribe about two years ago to work on updating the exhibit on the Big Blue Reservation," Dean said. "We talked about how to make it so their voices were speaking as well... They asked if we could do something bigger, I said yes, and this is now our summer exhibit."

The exhibit includes several artifacts including a traditional dress on loan from the tribe. Dean says the goal of the exhibit is show Native American culture in a proper light, as books and movies often misinterpret Native American culture.

In addition, she says understanding the culture of Gage County's Native American tribes can be a gateway to better understanding all ethnicities in the area. 

"It's essential to understand their culture," Dean said. "And then of course, if you can understand their culture, you can better understand the other cultures that came to settle in Gage County like the Czech's, Welsh, Russians. Gage County is a melting pot, there are so many cultures that have come and settled here and should be talked about. That's what we're trying to do in the next few years."