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Opinion
Jodi Rave: Passing on the stories of the people


"Storytelling is an art. And two men who have mastered this genre recently arrived in Montana - a Mohawk elder from New York and young Yup'ik from Alaska.

Although they've never met, they shared the same message with two different groups. By chance, I was fortunate enough to hear both.

Tom Porter was invited to speak to youths at a cultural camp on the Flathead Reservation last week. I met a friend for coffee Saturday and then we drove to the tipi encampment on a mountain near South Valley Creek.

It had rained before we arrived. But the sun was shining. A morning chill hung in the air - as did the smoke from a burning fire. The air smelled clean. Porter would tell us later the Thunder Beings give us fresh air. They clean it with flaming arrows.

My only plan was to enjoy a green mountain morning. I also looked forward to being around others feeling good about being indigenous - a culture camp can do that to you. It's a setting that can strengthen relationships, spirituality and build a sense of community.

Most of the tipi-dwellers had been camped for nearly a week. On this final day, no one seemed in a hurry to leave. The group was waiting to hear the Mohawk elder."

Get the Story:
Stories teach how to treat the earth (The Missoulian 6/25)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave Lee - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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