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Author encourages story telling at ‘Elders’ event

“As elders, we have the duty to pass on knowledge to the younger generations.”

That’s what Dr. Walter Echo-Hawk said to encourage the crowd during the Evening with the Elders July 30 at Wind Creek Casino and Hotel’s ballroom.

Echo-Hawk, of Oklahoma and the Pawnee Indian Tribe, is a lawyer.

He commended the Tribal Council for making and developing a nation.

Echo-Hawk has been a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund for 36 years, and even helped PCI gain its federal sovereignty.

Echo-Hawk’s message about story telling was a big topic during his speech, which was the book-end of an evening filled with dancing and dinner.

He said there are several ways to pass on knowledge to others, including story telling.

“Most of what I know about my culture and family come from my family,” he said. “Interviews are another avenue for the transmitting of information.”

Echo-Hawk said everybody has powerful stories to tell about the life and times of ancestors.

“We owe them a debt of gratitude,” he said about our ancestors.

Storytelling is so important to Echo-Hawk, he wrote about it in his new book, “The Sea of Grass.”

He said he chose to tell the history of his family through the book. In his book, he wrote of his family traditions, tracing 10 generations of Echo-Hawk, all the way back to the 1700s.

“I hope this book inspires you to research your family history and ancestors,” he said.

Echo-Hawk read the prologue from his book.

Dr. Deidra Suwanee Dees read from her book, “Poor Indian Boy: Examining the Development of a Native American Adolescent.”