Series One

Program 101: The Sacred Earth

Audio and Transcripts

Kiowa tribal elders in ceremonial dress  Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society

Kiowa tribal elders in ceremonial dress Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts features Pulitzer Prize winning author and poet, N. Scott Momaday who shares narrative, storytelling and poetry. The program features the landscape of Momaday’s childhood in Oklahoma which helped him develop a deep affinity for Kiowa sacred ground. The program includes mention of the Kiowa Gourd Dance society and a reading of the Navajo Night Chant.

Artist’s Spotlight:
Wisdom of the Elders’ theme song, Wisdom of the Elders, is introduced, written and performed by WISDOM’s Music Director, Nico Wind.

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton discusses indigenous way of developing a relationship with the plant world and native herbalists’ lifetime commitment to herbal medicine.

Tribal Rhythms:
Nico Wind shares the origin and relevant music segues from the Kiowa Goard Dance Society including the story of a warrior’s encounter with a red wolf. She tells the story of how the warrior was taught songs and dance and instructed to use them to honor Kiowa warriors for bravery and deeds in battle.

Taheebvu Chadi:
Song carrier Judy Trejo shares stories of her lineage as a Northern Paiute and Pitt River Indian, her ability as a child to heal wild pets, and her relationship with her great grandmother who was a healer.

Program 102: The Circle

Monacan Village. Photo by Rose High Bear

Monacan Village. Photo by Rose High Bear

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts shares the historical background of the Monacan nation, a state-recognized tribe in Virginia. Stories from the tribe’s chief, historian and two elders include the 1608 encounter with Captain John Smith as well as their recent recovery of spiritual and cultural identity and a “sense of story.”*

Artist’s Spotlight: Oneida singer and composer, Joanne Shenandoah presents a Haudenosaunee round dance composition called “Unity” with Lawrence Laughing from Silver Wave Records.

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton teaches that living life following the four seasons is one of the first steps to creating good health and well-being. She offers a recipe for a “spring detox” and other information on the blessings of the springtime season.

Program 103: Cry of the Earth/Prophesy

Audio and Transcripts

Onondaga Clan Mother Audrey ShenandoahElder Wisdom:

Barbara Roberts reveals Iroquois and Mi-kmak prophesy told at the UN by the late Onondaga Chief Leon Shenandoah with Onondaga Clan Mother Audrey Shenandoah translating. Telling of difficulties befalling the Iroquois nation, the focus is upon recovery of the earth and development of unity between nations. Concluding words from the Mi-kmak Delegation at the United Nations is translated  “…You heal the self. You help to heal the family. The family helps to heal the community. The community helps to heal the nation. The nations help to heal the world. All the prophesies from other nations now coincide and complement each other. It is time for us all to stop blaming one another, heal from our wounds and move forward, for the survival of the world as we know it lies in our hands…”

Artist’s Spotlight:
Sherman Alexie and Jim Boyd collaborate together on a recording that blends Alexie’s words with Songwriter Boyd’s music, titled Prophecy, produced by Thunderwolf Productions.

Program 104: Honoring Native Women

Zona Loans Arrow

Zona Loans Arrow

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts features Zona Loans Arrow telling the story of the courage and bravery shown by her Nakotah great grandmother who was captured by the Blackfeet in the late 19th century. She tells the story as her great grandmother shared with her about her escape from captivity by the enemy band. She walked through danger from west of the Canadian Rockies back to her home in North Dakota and tells of her reunion with her family.

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton acknowledges healing as a traditional role for native women.  “Knowing anywhere from fifty to a hundred or more plants, so plant knowledge was just part of daily life. A native healer brought in another dimension beyond just the herbs being used. That’s where the songs, the prayers and the other therapies or practices would be brought in and still are today.”

Tribal Rhythms:
Nico Wind spotlights a number of Women’s Honor Songs from Standing Rock Indian Reservation, offering stories that explain the background and the importance of honoring women of all ages within native culture, including babies, girls, and young women, as well as adults and elders.

Program 105: The Horse in Native Culture

Rusty Houtz, working for the "Flying V" on Old Red.

Rusty Houtz, working for the “Flying V” on Old Red.

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts features Shoshone elder Rusty Houtz who tells about the traditional travels of the Shoshone and the early coming of the horse which made hunting, gathering and traveling easier for the people. He relates childhood stories from the 20′s and 30′s about survival out in the country hunting rabbits and squirrels and gathering other wild foods.

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton tells how tribes are healing by working with the animal kingdom as well as the plant world. She shares the role the Appaloosa horse is playing in the recovery and healing of Nez Perce culture and about tribal programs connecting disabled children and at risk youth with the Appaloosas. She discusses the importance of the Nez Perce wolf recovery program.

Program 106: The Harvest

Monacan Pow Wow Dancers 2003

Monacan Pow Wow Dancers 2003

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts features segment two of the Monacan nation, including the 18th Century Monacan village being reconstructed at The Natural Bridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Chief Branham and two elders discuss how they still gather from the abundance of wild foods their ancestors relied upon as well as from their apple orchards at home on Bear Mountain.

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton tells how she follows the plants through the seasons, focusing upon the summer season. She discusses gathering St. John’s Wort, “a beautiful little yellow flower which blooms in June. You gather the fresh flowers before they’re pollinated which means you’ve got to beat the bees to it.”

Program 107: Tribute to Native Artists

Moonlight Stick Indian Raku. Lillian Pitt.

Moonlight Stick Indian Raku. Lillian Pitt.

Elder Wisdom:
Barbara Roberts features world-renowned Wasco mask maker and artist, Lillian Pitt. She shares how her art reflects her cultural heritage as a Wasco, offers additional background on the inspiration behind some of her masks, especially from the famous Columbia River petroglyph, “She Who Watches.”

Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton shares that the healing arts take many forms and can be found in abundance throughout the natural world. Today she reveal the art of making and using essential oils and shares how the beauty and aroma of flowers and trees offer healing of our physical as well as our emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Tribal Rhythms:
This feature spotlights several contemporary musicians, describing and playing their music as a diverse expression of art. Nico Wind introduces us to several contemporary native artists who are pushing the boundaries of music with infusions of jazz, blues, country, rap and classical expression.

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.