Program 108: Native Relationships

Audio and Transcripts

Vi Hilbert. Photo by Jim Lott, the Seattle Times

Vi Hilbert. Photo by Jim Lott, the Seattle Times

Elder Wisdom: Nationally prominent storyteller, Vi Hilbert tells of the bonds of friendship between Samish people from the San Juan Islands with their neighbors. She shares stories in both English and her traditional language regarding relationships within their villages. She also speaks of the relationship her people shared with the rivers, their natural transportation highways, and of the cedar trees which were artfully carved into their river canoes.

Health and Healing: Judy Bluehorse Skelton speaks of the relationships between the young and their grandparents, and how the young people hold a sacred place in the Indian community. She shares how traditionally, the elders would help the new ones come into this world to see what their gifts would be to their family and their community.

Tribal Rhythms: Nico Wind talks about the Forty Niner songs. These are social dances, usually taking place after the powwow is over, sometimes until the rays of the morning sun are just peeking over the horizon. Their central themes are usually romance, heartbreak and promised love.

Taheebvu Chadi: Judy Trejo tells of the Paiutes’ gathering to conduct the Circle Dance and how her people maintained extended family relationships in this way. Her people traveled into the four directions in small, family groups each year and then they would return at an appointed place in the springtime to dance in this ceremonial circle.

Turtle Island Storytellers: Johnny Moses, from a small village on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, speaks in English and his own Tulalip language to tell the story of the lonely Grandmother Cedar. He tells how she became joyful when Creator felt her sorrow and brought her a little cedar tree to live with her in her rugged environment. The story tells the of relationship she developed with the young cedar tree which she called “Grandson” and how he grew up to take care of her.

Arlie Neskahi, our Program Host, discusses how everything and everyone in our world are connected and related. “… plants, people, even the stones and the waters that break over them. This is not new knowledge. We have been taught to observe and respect these connections. The teachings are as old as memory.”