Indian reservation

Omaha Indian Reservation Celebrates Beginning of Hospital Restoration | Story


The restoration of this historic Walthill Hospital is in the second phase of a three-phase project and will create a community center for the village of Walthill and the Omaha reserve.

Courtesy photo

Lincoln Journal Star

The Omaha Indian Reservation Hospital built by America’s first Indigenous physician celebrated the start of its restoration in Walthill on Saturday.

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Dr Susan LaFlesche Picotte was the daughter of Omaha Chief Joseph LaFlesche (Iron Eye) and Mary Gale (One Woman) and became the United States’ first Indigenous physician after graduating from Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889.

Picotte returned to the Omaha reservation after graduating and spent her time providing medical care to tribal members. In 1913, Picotte raised $ 8,000 for his lifelong dream of building a hospital to serve the Omaha tribe.

The hospital served patients until the 1940s and has since been a historical museum. It is one of the 22 national historic monuments of Nebraska.

The restoration is in its second phase of a three-phase project that will create a community center for the village of Walthill and the Omaha reserve. The restoration project is funded by a grant from the Shakopee Foundation in Minnesota and a rural development grant from the USDA.

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The final stage of the project will begin in 2022 and will restore the interior of the center to include a wellness / medical clinic, museum and space for indigenous arts and culture. A community garden will be set up for medicinal plants and outdoor activities.