New Hampshire's annual Indigenous storytelling festival
Saturday, November 13, 2021, from 10 AM to 6 PM
An online festival via Zoom hosted by Strawbery Banke Museum
Free to attend. Suggested donation $10. Preregistration required.
About the festival:
Dawnland StoryFest 2021, New Hampshire’s annual Indigenous storytelling festival, is hosted virtually via Zoom by Strawbery Banke in connection with the Museum’s permanent “People of the Dawnland” exhibit. The 2021 Dawnland StoryFest is dedicated to the memory of the life and work of Wolf Song, a well-respected and much loved Vermont Abenaki traditional storyteller.
Participants attending this virtual event listen to a keynote address by Louise Profeit-LeBlanc, co-founder of the Yukon International Storytelling Festival, and hear traditional Indigenous storytellers from New England and Canada. Additionally, participants are invited to engage in breakout room conversations, Q&A with the storytellers, and a Swapping Grounds story-sharing session facilitated by Jonathan Cummings.
This project was made possible with support from New Hampshire Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at nhhumanities.org.
Free to attend. Suggested donation of $10. Preregistration Required. Click here to register or use the button above. A Zoom link will be emailed to the email address provided during registration closer to the event date.
About the 2021 Dawnland StoryFest Traditional Storytellers:
Louise Profeit-LeBlanc is a Traditional Storyteller from the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation of the Yukon Territory in Northern Canada. Her 30-year commitment to the cultural and artistic heritage of her people includes being co-founder of two seminal organizations of the Yukon: the Yukon International Storytelling Festival and the Society of Yukon Artists of Native Ancestry. Both of these organizations helped to inspire an artistic revival and recognition of Indigenous art in the territory. Louise worked for several years as the Yukon Native Heritage advisor for the Yukon Government, recording traditional stories relative to Yukon geographical place names. She pays tribute to the many Elders she was privileged to work with for over a decade, ensuring these precious stories were captured for future generations. Louise worked for over eleven years to help advance Aboriginal art in Canada through her position at Canada Council for the Arts, where she served as coordinator for the Aboriginal Arts Office in Strategic Initiatives. In addition to her work with the Canada Council for the Arts, Louise continues to respond to requests from regional and local Aboriginal gatherings, festivals and inner-city school programs, sharing traditional stories and providing a framework of curriculum for teachers to use in their classes. She has also been a featured guest storyteller at international storytelling festivals, including venues in Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Greenland, Scotland, the USA, Belize, and Hawaii as well as at many national Indigenous artistic gatherings within her home nation of Canada.
Anne Jennison is a dyed-in-the-wool New Englander with both European and Abenaki heritage who comes from a family with a strong oral tradition. Anne also has rigorous training in her art form, with Master's degrees in both Storytelling and History. Anne brings a wealth of knowledge, polished by 30 years of experience as a performing storyteller, to her retelling of timeless Native American stories. Among her favorite stories to share are those that spring from the Wabanaki peoples of the Northeast, so expect to hear stories of Indigenous New Hampshire, along with a few surprises.
Darlene Kascak is the Education and Visit Services Coordinator for the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut. As a member of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, Darlene has a passion for storytelling and sharing the rich history of the American Indian peoples. She especially loves sparking the imagination of young people as they discover how Native Americans lived and evolved over the centuries. She believes her storytelling helps young people to become more open and empathetic to different cultures.
Nootauau Kaukontuoh (aka "She Hears the Crow") is a woman of the Eastern Woodlands. She lives her life in the tradition of the Nanhigganêuck, the people known today as the Narragansett. She is a Storyteller of Longhouse Tales, told in many different ways including Native Sign Language, call and response, as well as other traditional styles. She has twice been awarded publishing contracts for her book of poetry and is currently completing a Native children's novel. She brings to life the oral tradition at schools, community centers, Indigenous gatherings, and wherever the stories lead her. As a kuhkootomwehteaen (one who shares knowledge), 35+ plus years of storytelling in different, styles, she brings forth the culture of the Longhouse People, through stories.
Deborah Spears Moorehead (aka "Talking Water" – KutooSeepoo) is an internationally known Native American, Wampanoag Storyteller, and a visual and performing artist, an author, a cultural bearer, an educational consultant, and a songwriter. She co-founded Nettukkusqk Singers, an all Native American women’s hand-drum learning, teaching, and performing group. For over 30 years Deborah has educated audiences on Native American subject matters through art, literature, lectures, and musical performances. She holds a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from Swain School of Design and a Master’s in Arts in Cultural Sustainability from Goucher College. She is Seaconke Pokanoket Wampanoag, and descends from Chief Sachem Massasoit, who befriended the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, and saved their lives through their first winter in North America. Deborah authored the book Finding Balance: The Genealogy of Massasoit’s People and Oral and Written History of the Seaconke Pokanoket Wampanoag Tribal Nation, published by Blue Hand books and available through Amazon. This book dispels many negative biases and stereotypes regarding Native American culture and history and offers a Wampanoag perspective on America’s history.
Jonathan Cummings grew up fascinated by trickster tales, indigenous stories, and the power of myth. To Jonathan, as stated by Brandon Sanderson, “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
Jonathan gets his audience thinking in two ways. His adventure - and more often misadventure - tales explore nature, survival, and human interactions from his wanderings to out of the way places in New England and beyond, while his retelling of Native American stories often ask audiences to explore a different way of imaging, experiencing, and interacting with the world. These stories often draw on Jonathan’s experience listening to WolfSong, the late Abenaki storyteller.