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October 12, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Online event
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Storyteller Dovie Thomason
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Storyteller Dovie Thomason: The Spirit Survives

Monday, October 12, 2020

Celebrated storyteller Dovie Thomason explores a tragic chapter in our nation’s history: the First Nations of North America boarding school experience.

Visiting us virtually from her home in Pennsylvania, respected storyteller Dovie Thomason performs her original 90-minute story, "The Spirit Survives: The Boarding School Experience Then and Now."

Intended for listeners from age 12 to adult, "The Spirit Survives" explores a tragic chapter in our nation’s history. For decades, the First Nations of North America suffered the loss of their children to government boarding schools, where they were forcibly “re-educated” to assimilation and “civilization,” at the cost of culture and identity. 

Thomason introduces her listeners to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania and its profound and broad-reaching impact on Indian and non-Indian people since its inception in 1879 and far beyond its closing in 1918. She shades this history with personal memoir, biography of indigenous activists and culture keepers of the 19th and 20th centuries and the impact of the boarding schools on Indian people. Her story explores the inner resources that enabled the spirit and identity of Native peoples to survive and raises provocative questions for all contemporary Americans:  Why does this matter to Americans in the 21st century? Can we learn from this? What must be done so that we can move on? 

With honor, compassion and imagination, Thomason helps her audience become “comfortable with discomfort,” in a journey of respect and reconciliation.

About Dovie Thomason
As a narrative voice and teller of traditional stories from her Lakota and Kiowa Apache relations, Dovie has been featured in documentaries about Native People and storytelling for the BBC, NPR and PBS. When she adds stories from her own life and her people's experience, the result is a contemporary vision of the rich cultures of the First Nations of North America told with elegance, wit and passion. She is a favorite voice at major storytelling festivals throughout North America and abroad. As a member of the National Storytelling Network, she is an honoree in NSN s Circle of Excellence, receiving their prestigious Oracle Award in 2007.

This free event received partial funding support from the Friends of the Menlo Park Library.