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Indigenous art and storytelling

Passamaquoddy Tribe member Dwayne Tomah in buckskins performing with a drum

Storytelling has long played a central role in preserving and sharing Indigenous history and culture. We examine how today's Wabanaki artists convey an understanding of tribal values through music, poetry, dance, visual arts, and other means. We'll also learn how some are introducing Wabanaki studies into Maine classrooms through storytelling.


Mali Obamsawin, award-winning musician; community activist with Sunlight Media Collective and Bomazeen Land Trust; she a member of the Abenaki First Nation

Summer Hart, interdisciplinary artist; her new poetry collection is Boomhouse; she is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation

Dwayne Tomah, educator, language keeper, storyteller; he is a Passamaquoddy Tribemember

VIP Callers:

John Bear Mitchell, coordinator, Wabanaki Center Outreach and Student Development and Lecturer of Wabanaki Studies and Multicultural Studies, University of Maine in Orono; he has extensive background raising awareness of Wabanaki storytelling; citizen of the Penobscot Nation

Fiona Hopper, social studies teacher; leader & coordinator, Wabanaki Studies, Portland Public Schools


PBS series Native America; episode on "Language is Life" on Nov 14 features Dwayne Tomah and Donald Soctomah

Wabanaki Storytelling Through Art & Traditions — exhibit opening, Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine: Oct 9, 2023

Exploding Native Inevitable — exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art, Bates College: Oct 27, 2023 - Mar 4, 2024

Native authors share their culture through stories about Indigenous people in Maine (pressherald.com)

Portland Schools to integrate Wabanaki studies and Black history into curriculum | WGME

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Jonathan was born in Monsey, New York. A field trip to Washington, DC when he was in 7th grade started him on his circuitous path to a career in public radio. The trip inspired a love of politics and led to his desire to one day call DC home. After graduating from Grinnell College, he worked on a couple of campaigns in Iowa (presidential and congressional) and moved to Washington, DC.