Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash
New Hampshire's annual Native American storytelling festival
Saturday, November 5, 2022, 10 AM-5 PM
in the TYCO Visitors Center Lecture Hall at Strawbery Banke Museum
About the festival:
Dawnland StoryFest is hosted by Strawbery Banke in connection with the Museum’s permanent “People of the Dawnland” exhibit. This daylong event at the museum features storytelling “concerts” or performances by five experienced Indigenous storytellers as well as a keynote address. The 2022 Keynote Speaker is Gayle Ross (Cherokee). Her storytelling concert and keynote will also be broadcast on Zoom for virtual attendees. Additionally, attendees are invited to attend a “Swapping Grounds” story-sharing session to share a prepared traditional Native American lesson story—or just to listen.
For more information about Dawnland StoryFest, please contact Alix Martin, Museum Archaeologist via amartin[at]sbmuseum.org.
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 with a suggested donation of $10. Space is limited and advance registration is strongly recommended. More information coming soon!
About the 2022 Dawnland StoryFest Traditional Storytellers:
Gayle Ross is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and a direct descendant of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee during the infamous “Trail of Tears.” Her grandmother told stories and it is from this rich Native American heritage that Gayle’s storytelling springs. During the past twenty-five years, Gayle has become one of the best-loved and most respected storytellers to emerge from the current surge of interest in this timeless art form.
Gayle has appeared at almost every major storytelling and folk festival in the United States and Canada, as well as theaters and performance arts halls throughout the U.S. and Europe, often appearing with some of today’s finest Native American musicians and dancers. Whether she is provoking laughter with a Trickster tale or moving her listeners to tears with a haunting myth, Gayle is truly a master of the age-old craft of storytelling. The prestigious National Council of Traditional Arts has included Gayle in two of its touring shows. She was also featured in the ground-breaking American Experience series “We Shall Remain” in the “The Trail of Tears” episode. Her stories have been heard on National Public Radio on such programs as “Living on the Earth” and “Mountain Stages.” From the kindergarten classroom to the college campus to the Kennedy Center, Gayle's stories have enthralled audiences of all ages.
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.
Listen to a recent virtual presentation done by Anne Jennison on the "People of the Dawnland" exhibit at Strawbery Banke Museum by clicking the link below.
Darlene Kascak (Schaghticoke Tribal Nation) is the Education Director at The Institute for American Indian Studies and is active in the Schaghticoke Women’s Traditional Council. Along with her role as an educator, she is also a Traditional Native American Storyteller preserving oral traditions by word of mouth as a means of passing down cultural knowledge and values. Her mission is to connect the stories passed down from generation to generation to archaeological discoveries, giving voice to the objects.
These oral traditions can be used as a tool to validate or challenge academic knowledge and give shared authority to historically marginalized communities. Darlene’s style of teaching from a Native American’s point of view allows children and adults the opportunity to broaden their perspectives for a new understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ lives, both in the past and in the present. Her work brings awareness to the impact that stereotypes and myths have on the perception of other cultures as well as the legacies of native contact with other groups.
Nootauau Kaukontuoh (aka "She Hears the Crow") Hears Crow, is a woman of the Eastern Woodlands who lives her life in the tradition of the Nanhigganêuck, the people known today as the Narragansett. For over thirty years, she has been a Storyteller primarily of Longhouse Tales and other indigenous cultures. Hears Crow is also an educator, published poet, and workshop leader. “Stories are bridges that can link diverse cultures, transform our spirits, and open our hearts to one another. When our cultures, spirits, and hearts are open, the Earth Mother will be healed.”
She is on the faculty of the Transformation Storytelling School, the Vermont State Liason to the National Storytelling Network, and a Youth Mentor through the Youth Storytellers Standing Together.
For more information, email storyteller@eenantowash.
Louise Profeit-LeBlanc is a member of the Nacho N’yak Dun First Nation of Mayo, in Northeastern Yukon. She is a mother, grandmother, and a Story-Keeper. She presently lives in Wakefield, Quebec with her husband Bob. Louise comes from a long line of traditional storytellers and her repertoire consists of her own personal stories and more specifically ancient stories relative to her homeland, the Yukon. These stories depict how the land was made, and how her people lived and survived for thousands of years. Many of these stories refer to how everything in nature exists in balance but more importantly depict morals and teachings on how we all can learn to live harmoniously with each other while caring for the land, the water, and all living things. She is grateful for the privilege of having had these stories passed down to her by her Elders and honored to be able to share them with all generations and people of all backgrounds, for over forty-five years.
Hear "The Boy on the Moon" Part 1 told by Louise Profeit-Leblanc by clicking the link below.
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.