Turtle Island Storyteller Deborah “Dee” White Eye

Ogitchedaw

Deborah “Dee” White Eye

Ogitchedaw, Ogitchedaw
We sing this song to you
Strong and brave and loyal- a warrior through and through
You lay your life down on the line
You know what you must do
Ogichedaw, Ogitchedaw
We send our prayers to you.

Ogitchedaw (Ojibwe for Warrior or one who stands up for the people) CD single is a Warrior Song created for Dee’s son, Jacob, who served in Iraq. It was recorded March/April 2003 at KCMO radio station 90.1, Native American Music Program with Debra Peeples as host. To obtain this CD or “In Honour of the Grandmothers” CD by Dee “Singing Bird” White Eye, please see her bio below for contact information


Singing Bird

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Deborah Dee White Eye is from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe located on Isabella Reservation in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Originally the tribe was located around the Great Lakes where they relied heavily on the water’s plentiful bounties, but later relocated to the middle of the state of Michigan. Her family are descendants of Chief Pontiac. Emma Wabinaw is her great grandmother. Elizabeth Hindman Denman (Wawgahtonoquay), her grandmother, named her Nagumoodbinayshe, or Singing Bird, because she was always singing songs to bring joy to others.

Since 1978, Dee has been a Native American singer, storyteller, and consultant. Dee enjoys oral storytelling, and also uses puppets and books to relate her stories to children. As a singer/songwriter, she has performed concerts and educational programs to help teach others about Native Americans. She produced a CD titled In Honour of the Grandmothers to pass on our songs and stories to future generations. She has an additional song, Ogitachedaw – A Warrior Song, for her son who served in Iraq. Dee has a special way of entertaining audiences and teaching them valuable information at the same time. In addition, Dee does beadwork, finger-weaving, makes her own regalia, leather work, and some quillwork. She is a traditional dancer and often will include dancing in her presentations. With a MSW from University of Kansas (1998) and licensed in the state of Kansas, she is well trained and experienced in her profession. Lectures and workshops also include topics related to wellness and mental health issues.

A highlight for Dee was when she was chosen to be a Native American Cultural Ambassador to Italy in 1992 for the “Christopher Columbus 500 Year Celebration.” She was able to sing and share the Native American side of the story to various groups throughout Sicily. Dee is author of three magazine articles related to growing up Native American in two cultures, and understanding Native American diversity as it relates to chronic grief and loss and most recently, using Native American traditional methods for healing grief and loss. Dee has served on the First Nations Community Council for the Community of Christ Church, Independence, Missouri for many years assisting in their understandings of Native issues.

As a consultant, she was Unit Coordinator of the Native American Cultural Appreciation Team from 6/78 to 8/83. This team traveled to reservations encouraging renewal of original teachings and art among Native youth. She has sponsored Native American Youth camps across the USA/CANADA, organized and directed the Fox River Culture Camp for urban Chicago Native American Youth for two years, and taught Indian Education and art classes. She has developed presentations and lectures for schools, libraries, and community programs as well as staff training and weekend workshops for community organizations. Recently, she was employed with the Horton, Kansas’s school district as their Native American school counselor, as well as the Hiawatha school district, helping Native Students be successful. Dee also worked part time with the Kanza Mental Health Clinic as a clinical psychotherapist helping school children with more serious emotional problems. Dee is now working in the Kansas City, MO area, but goes home on weekends.

Dee White Eye
[email protected]