Does your drama class need a shake up?
Let stir the imaginations
In Hamlet, the grave diggers’ spoke with a barrister’s skull.
I have used skulls of bear, buffalo, and horse to loosen the tongues of
students. The stories I tell lend themselves to on the spot role playing
and student interviews of each other, giving voices to the persons and
even the animals we have just talked about in one or all of the four stories
I describe below.
I focus on the opportunities these four stories listed below. I use Eyes
on the Maps, Hands on the Artifacts and Sculptures to introduce Story
Telling. For example the 4th Grade’s curriculum covers Wisconsin’s
Peoples, especially Native America. The 5th Grade’s curriculum covers
the Western Expansion. The other grades all consider Environmental Science.
Paintings such as those of Charles Russell, photographs such as those
of Edward Curtis, and maps are always part of my work. Maps of Wisconsin
are an important in the story of Black Hawk’s Run from Abe Lincoln
and the Illinois Volunteers.
I tell first person accounts of my moments with the Lakota Buffalo Hunters,
the Ojibwe Fishers, Hunters and Trappers; and the Makah Whale Hunters.
My sculptures focus attention and are connections which snare the less
inattentive and stir student questions. See attached images of my finished
Buffalo Runner, Spawning Salmon.
|Black Hawk’s Run
from Abe Lincoln and the Illinois VolunteersThis discussion traces the unsuccessful escape route thru southwest
Wisconsin from Milton/Ft Atkinson west to disaster at the Bad Ax
River South of La Crosse. His remnant peoples now reside on small
reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas.
|Treaty Rights of the Chippewa:
Fishing with Traps and Spears This discussion covers the recent federal cases US Constitution,
the four mid 1800’s cessions of these tribes which nevertheless
are still entitled under federal law to hunt and fish on ceded lands
in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The Chippewa lands are located
in all three states and Canada. This discussion covers dams and
restoration of wild rice habitats.
|The Last Lakota Ceremonial
Buffalo Hunt This is the story of the hunt conducted in 1882 while Sitting Bull
was in jail. I grew up finding the arrow heads and skulls of that
hunt in which 3000 Lakota killed 5000 buffalo. I lived and breathed
that story on and off for 55 years. I grew up tagging along with
my father who hunted in the middle of the hunt site. This is the
story is behind my sculpture and the race horse event which nearly
killed me. See the attached image of my completed sculpture. The
Lakota were my law office clients.
|The Makah Whalers Resumption
of Traditional Hunting This discussion covers the 1990’s treaty rights cases involving
the Makah and Greenpeace on one side (yes, as allies) and the Shepards
of the Seas on the other. After 78 years of voluntary cessation,
the Mahah who first perceived the danger of extinction of the Grey
whales, agreed with the scientists.Because the grey whale populations have recovered, 100 now died
every year from old age and ship propeller’s strikes, the
Makah agreed to resume Treaty Rights Whaling. The resumption was
widely covered by media, the International Whaling Commission, and
the US Fish and Wild Life. My personal connection is that I was
invited to catch the five species of wild Pacific Salmon with one
of the Makah High School boys who paddled the traditional canoe
when the Makah killed a 30 ton whale.
The Makah’s tribal story teller his grandmother, welcomed
So my dear teachers and my betters, I have decided to reactive my law
license, tell stories and engage the youth in discovery and preservation
of Aboriginal Cultures and the environment.
I strongly prefer to base my presentations on your students’ background
knowledge and align my work with your lessons, WI-DPI Standards and MPS
My rate is negotiable, based upon number of presentations, set up time
Brother Finney D