Dan Nanamkin, activist, mentor, story teller, musician from the Chief Joseph of the Wallowa, Nez Perce, and Colville Confederated Tribes visited four SD8 schools on the 17th and 18th of October. Along with his dogs, puppets, and many animal characters, Dan delighted students at Hume Elementary, Redfish Elementary, Rosemont Elementary, and South Nelson Elementary with traditional stories, language, songs, and inspiration. Dan shared traditional stories about Coyote from the Sn̓ʕaýckstx People, songs with his flute (made from Red Cedar) and his drum. His dogs, Ch'Ch'Oops and Skookum joined him at the schools and in the teachings for all students.
See the album of photos from Dan's visit.
Quotes about Dan's presentations in schools:
Dr. Gail Higginbottom, District Principal for Aboriginal Education, shares: Dan Nanamkin is a gifted knowledge keeper. His kind ways permeate his presentation as he fully captivates the audience. When he was playing his flute, the full gymnasium of students was silent. This takes masterful presentation skills - of which, Dan graciously exhibits. Engaging students with story, props, and language, Dan offers all of us an opportunity to learn "from the heart".
Jesse Halton, District Indigenization Coordinator, shares: Dan is a joy! His message of inclusion, support, respect for all and respect for the Land resounds in his words, his drum beats, his voice, his flute, and his stories. The characters of the stories come alive with the puppets and the voices he gives them. Students were captivated, engaged, and heart-full with the stories, the teachings, and the good heart!
Sacha Kalabis, Principal of Hume Elementary: On October 17th, Hume Elementary School had the great pleasure of hosting Dan Nanamkin, an indigenous speaker, from the Colville Confederated Tribes of Washington State. Dan, came to Hume along with his two dogs, Ch’ch’oops and Skucum. Dan, along with his two dogs, held the staff and student audience with a great authenticity and sense of calm. As a traditional Sinixt knowledge keeper, he engaged us with his incredible story telling, flute playing, drumming, and oral narrative. Rather than just a presentation, Dan left us with an experience that will ripple through our memories moving forward. What a gift to have a chance for our youth to connect with an indigenous person who has made so many positive contributions to his own and other communities. Thank you, Dan!