Turtle Island Storyteller Carlos Calica

Our Songs Have Meaning

Hello, my name is Carlos Calica. I come from the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs. I was asked to come here to share today on the Tribal Rhythms program on Native American drumming and the history of the drumming and singing of the Warm Springs tribes. I am very fortunate to be asked to do this and very honored for my family and my community and people here in Warm Springs as well as people across the United States who share their wisdom and what they’ve been taught as far as the singing and traditional and cultural values that they have and share with one another.

Turtle Island Storyteller Esther Stutzman

Esther Stutzman

Esther Stutzman

The Beginnings of the Kalapuya People

My name is Esther Stutzman and I am Kalapuya and Coos. I would like to talk about the beginnings of the Kalapuya people. One of the stories that I heard from my relatives was about the beginning and how it all came to be.

You see, the world was made of stone. There were stone mountains and stone valleys. At the very top of the stone mountain something came to life, and that life became known as Le-lu, First Woman, who walked down from that stone mountain with two babies clutched to her breast. As she walked, with every step she took the grass began to grow. And as she sat and as she touched the ground, the rivers began to flow.

Turtle Island Storyteller Agnes Baker-Pilgrim

Agnes Baker-Pilgrim

Agnes Baker-Pilgrim


I’m Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, a registered elder of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and a granddaughter of Chief George Harney, the first elected chief of the Siletz Nation. I live in Grants Pass, Oregon. I came from a family of nine children. I was the third from the last child, born September 11, 1924 near headwaters of the Siletz River at Logsden, Oregon. All of my siblings and parents are all gone and it’s just leaves me now of my family.

I’m alumni of Southern Oregon University and a lifetime member of Amacron Delta Kappa. I have a bachelors degree in psychology and a minor in Native American Studies, a culture instructor to my tribe, my other, Mother Earth, being a voice for the voices trying to prevent spiritual blindness.

On May 27, 2000 I was chosen by my tribe as a living legend and was honored along with other elders throughout the Northwest. I’m an elder mentor of Konaway Nika Tillicum at the Academy for Native American Youth, who live on campus at Southern Oregon University each year at the end of July.

Turtle Island Storyteller Eddie Ehret

Eddie Ehret

Eddi Ehret

The Eclectic Array of Paths

Today my name holds no relevance because I am just a man, but I will tell you that I am a Siletz Indian, and that the Siletz Indians are a confederated tribe made up of twenty-seven different bands of tribes. I myself am part Kalapuya, Chetko, Tillamook and Talowa, to name a few. However, in the native community there are more than five hundred different nations, and more than five hundred different ways to do the same thing, such as pray.

Turtle Island Storyteller Elaine LaBonte

Elaine LaBonte

Elaine LaBonte

The History of the Confederated Tribes

Hello, my name is Elaine LaBonte. I’m from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, which is in northwestern Oregon. I’m going to talk about the history of the Confederated Tribes, which we originally had over thirteen and a half million acres of homeland from the Oregon-California border up to the south bank of the Columbia River, between the two large mountain ranges—the Coastal and the Cascade Mountain Ranges.

Turtle Island Storyteller Trevino Brings Plenty

Trevino Brings Plenty

Trevino Brings Plenty

Two Poems

Hi, my name is Trevino Brings Plenty. I am member of the Minneconjou Lakota. I was born on the Cheyenne River/Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Eagle Butte, South Dakota. I now live in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been here for about twelve years. I’m a poet and a musician. I’ve been doing both for about twelve years.