Essay on Dr. Herb Grandbois: Pioneering Native American Studies at Creighton University

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  940 Words
Date:  2023-05-03

Upon the arrival of Europeans on the shores of North America, there was insufficient knowledge unto them concerning the continent's great interior. It was at this time that Jesuit missions had started and exacerbated before the Society of Jesus was suppressed. The missions aimed at saving the souls of the Native Americans. Dr. Herb Grandbois was one of the Native Americans at Creighton University who worked tirelessly to create Native American studies programs at the facility. The program was to be the only one in the already established 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States. He also participated in the creation of the Creighton's Native American Retreat alongside other professionals. The program and retreats were meant to influence the performance of native grade school students.

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Grandbois was motivated to develop the program by the first arrival of Jesuits in California in 1967. Jesuits were invited to work with the American natives, such as Grandbois. Grandbois was a follower of the actions of the government upon its people, especially in encouraging collaboration between them and the Jesuits. Jesuits established themselves in distinct areas, including Florissant Missouri and Saint Louis, Missouri. They were also evident in the west. The Jesuits and Grandbois shared various qualities as both were people of their time. Additionally, they both could exhibit mistaken views of the invading societies. During the interaction, they could stand for the rights of the Indigenous people. The Jesuits could become sensitive to the Native customs and could learn the native language, culture, systems, and social aspects from Grandbois. He could even commit his life to them as they spread their message to the people.

Grandbois could not comprehend that the Jesuits were right in most of their actions. Therefore, he could ensure that he committed to learning whatever was best for them by working together with them and sharing his resources upon request. He knew that they were a service to the native people. For instance, they could be assisted in the creation of learning centers at the request of chiefs. Besides, they were involved in the creation of native language as well as culture programs to be taught to them by Grandbois and other natives. Grandbois was a part of the Creighton University and as well a participant at the Wisconsin Province of the Jesuits. The primary collaborative efforts were evidenced between Grandbois and the exiled German Jesuits. Grandbois met them at the Rosebud and the Pine Ridge Reservations a couple of times. Besides, he could be involved in the serving of relocations and emigrant native populations. He could involve himself in the areas where they were evidenced, such as Rapid City, South Dakota at St. Issac Jogues.

Creighton University encouraged the increase of students to have a good interaction with the Jesuits around Pine Ridge and Rosebud. Grandbois could work tirelessly along with Ms. Tami Buffalohead-McGill to ensure that good relationships were being enhanced between the American students and the Jesuits. In doing so, their message could well be passed and understood. The Native faculty was consistently increased to ensure that collaboration was effected between the members of the staff and the Jesuits. Various Jesuits participated on campus and continued to serve native populations at a specific point in their careers. Grandbois's relationship with the Jesuits is the most notable. Creighton University also monitors and mentors students Pine Ridge in various applications, including Gates applications. Grandbois could teach the Jesuits the lives of the people there, and the Jesuits could participate more and sometimes even be involved in campus yearly as freshmen.

Grandbois and the general Creighton fraternity have consistently ensured that Jesuits are part of the institution. Through their collaboration, there has been an intensified focus on the retention of the Jesuits. As Native Americans, people such as Grandbois have participated in ensuring that they understand the rich culture, structure, beliefs, and values, and as well associate well with the natives. Besides, he was still a learner and also a teacher for the Jesuits. He could acknowledge the honor and effort shown by the Jesuits who interacted well with them. The connection they have had with the Jesuits enforces an ongoing commitment that could grow stronger with more learning of the native systems. The Jesuits and Grandbois, alongside Ignatius of Loyola, worked to ensure that they found God in all things and operations.

Dr. Herb Grandbois has been among the Native American heroes who made good relations with the Jesuits, especially from Germany. He could work alongside Creighton University and other Native Americans, such as Ignatius of Loyola, to both learn and teach each other. While the Jesuits could learn new values, beliefs, cultures, and social aspects and practices of the natives, the natives could again create programs such as the Native American studies system that could assist the Jesuits. The experience between Native Americans and the Jesuits has been smooth as the relationship has been maintained to date. The teachers participating in the program continue to mentor the people. Creighton University has been led to become a Jesuit Catholic tradition through the influence of Dr. Herb Grandbois.


Currie, S. J., and L. Charles. "Pursuing Jesuit, Catholic Identity and Mission at U.S. Jesuit Colleges and Universities." Journal of Catholic Education 14, no. 3, (2011). doi:10.15365/joce.1403072013.

Dimond, E. Grey. "A Century of Teaching and Healing 1892-1992: First 100 Years of the Creighton University School of Medicine." JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association 268, no. 17 (1992), 2440. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490170112043.

Kirby, Erika L., M. Chad McBride, Sherianne Shuler, Marty J. Birkholt, Mary Ann Danielson, and Donna R. Pawlowski. "The Jesuit Difference (?): Narratives of Negotiating Spiritual Values and Secular Practices." Communication Studies 57, no. 1 (2006), 87-105. doi:10.1080/10510970500481771.

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Essay on Dr. Herb Grandbois: Pioneering Native American Studies at Creighton University. (2023, May 03). Retrieved from

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