Series 1, Program 8: Native Relationships*
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Elder Wisdom Feature: Vi Hilbert
Nationally prominent storyteller Vi Hilbert tells of the bonds of friendship between Samish people from the San Juan Islands and their neighbors. She shares stories in English and Samish about relationships within Samish 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 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.
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.
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.
* Segment transcripts and participant biographies can be found on the Wisdom of the Elders Web site.