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Storyteller to Speak at Juniata, Focusing on Native American Lore

(Posted February 7, 2011)

Dovie Thomason, storyteller

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Dovie Thomason, an award-winning storyteller and recording artist specializing in tales relating to her Native American heritage, will regale Juniata College with stories from the Kiowa, Apache and Sioux tribes and other members of the First Nations at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Thomason's career as a storyteller and entertainer grew out of her work as a teacher at a Cleveland, Ohio high school. She sees her work and stories as blueprints listeners can follow to establish a personal values system.

Her stories use the oral tradition of Native American culture to gently debunk the stereotyped images of North America's indigenous people that have emerged in popular culture and other avenues.

As an author and recording artist, Thomason has been recognized by a variety of groups. She received the Parent's Choice Gold Award, the Storytellers World Honors Award and the American Library Association/Booklist Editors Choice Award for "Woplia: A Giveaway" and "Lessons from the Animal People," both recordings of traditional Native American stories.

Her most recent recording is "Fireside Tales: More Lessons from the Animal People," which received an ALA Notable Recording Award and a Pegasus Award. She also has written the children's book "The Animals' Wishes" and has contributed stories and essays to several anthologies of Native American literature.

Over a 20-year career, Thomason has spoken or performed at pow-wows, festivals and at the Globe Theatre in London, England. She has been featured on NPR's "Living on Earth," the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., the Kennedy Center and at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poetry Festival.

She is recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Master Traditional Teaching Artist and offers workshops on "Finding Your Own Voice" and "Through Indian Eyes."

Thomason is a member of the National Storytelling Network and received the 2007 Oracle Award-Circle of Excellence from the organization.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.