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Sunday, February 10, 2008
Dovie Thomason: Lakota/Kiowa-Apache Storyteller
I spent much of yesterday with Dovie Thomason. She was at UIUC's Spurlock Museum for it's annual storytelling event.
I'd be willing to bet that most people---when they think of Native stories---think of stories about animals. That isn't a bad thing, but it isn't the only kind of story Native people tell.
Recently, Dovie is telling a very different story.
You can get her Lessons from the Animal People, or her Fireside Tales: More Lessons from the Animal People, or Wopila, a Giveaway: Lakota Stories from Oyate.
You can invite her to your school, or your college, or city, or performing arts center, to tell the stories of the Animal People.
But, consider inviting her to tell the story she told here yesterday: The Spirit Survives: The Boarding School Experience, Then and Now.
As she started, she said "There are some stories you don't want to tell your children. And, there are some you have to."
The story she's telling is among the too-many dark episodes in U.S. history about the ways this country has treated American Indians... It is among the stories that are completely left out of textbooks used in elementary or high school.
It is about Carlisle Indian Industrial School, established in 1879. The school was designed to "Kill the Indian, Save the Man." In her story, she talks about being at Carlisle a few years ago, with her daughter, standing in the cemetery, reading the headstones there. Headstones of children who were at that school.
To get in touch with Dovie, write to her at this address:
P.O. Box 6351
Harrisburg, PA 17112