Storyteller shares
Abernaki culture

Students and faculty revive behavioral sciences club

On the Calendar

Posted October 7, 2005

Joseph Bruchac, renowned Native American storyteller, author and educator spoke at the University of La Verne’s 2005 edition of its Fasnacht Lecture series, held Sept. 29 in Founders Auditorium.

Professor of Religion Jonathan Reed opened the show with a brief description of Bruchac, introducing him to the audience, a mixture of students, faculty and children.

Bruchac began the show by playing a tribal greeting song and said, “The time for storytelling is when the days are shorter than the nights.”

Bruchac explained his Abenaki heritage by telling tales for audiences throughout the United States and Europe.

Bruchac spread his wisdom of the Adirondack Mountains and the native peoples of the northeastern woodlands so that he can preserve the Abenaki language, traditions and culture, he said.

“I came to watch mainly for my Religion class but I found the show to be interesting,” senior movement and sports science major Philip Craig said.

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Emma Obradovich
This semester’s Fasnacht lecture featured Joseph Bruchac, a Native American storyteller, author and educator. Bruchac presented, “The Continuing Path of Native American History as Seen in Story and Song,” on Sept. 29 to a packed house.
“Storytelling has two purposes; one is to entertain and the other to teach good lessons,” Bruchac said.

He had the crowd interacting by having them say “Hey” after he said “Ho;” it kept them very involved.

As Reed began the show he announced Bruchac’s many achievements.

On top of having a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s in literature and creative writing from Syracuse University and a doctorate in comparative literature from Ohio’s Union Institute, Bruchac also has his work in more than 500 publications.

In addition to 70 books for adults and children that he has authored and co-authored, he has also edited numerous anthologies of contemporary poetry and fiction.

“Joseph has such a way of bringing a Native American perspective to people but he does it so that it’s fun,” said Dan Campana, chair of religion and philosophy.

Besides his many publications and degrees, Bruchac also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas in 1999.

“I wanted to see this show because it was something I was interested in, I love different cultures and being exposed to it,” junior liberal studies major Nicole Sullivan said. “I thought Bruchac was pretty interesting and I liked the story he was telling about the ugly face who saw its reflection, that was funny.”

The annual Fasnacht Lecture series, named in honor of former ULV president Harold Fasnacht, was made possible by the Fasnacht Chair of Religion Endowment Fund.

The series is meant to enhance the understanding on religious issues and the influence that it has on society.

“Today’s show was the work of Jonathan, he made this happen,” Campana said.

The lectures were free and open to the public. Many families were in attendance as well as ULV students and faculty.

Amira Seyoum can be reached at
Storyteller shares Abernaki culture