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Native American Storyteller to Visit Oct. 25

Native American Storyteller to Visit Oct. 25


The important tradition of storytelling in the Native American culture will be shared by Mohawk Nation educator and storyteller Kay Olan when she visits SUNY Cortland on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Olan, who taught elementary school in New York state for more than 33 years and now shares the culture and stories of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), will present at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Corey Union’s Fireplace Lounge. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a time for questions and answers.

As a teacher, Olan was often asked to tell the stories that were passed down through the oral tradition of her people and to give cultural presentations about the Haudenosaunee to various community, school and college groups. Upon retiring from teaching, she moved to Kanatsiohareke, a traditional Mohawk community located about 100 miles east of Cortland, N.Y.

Olan authored articles about the Haudenosaunee for various publications including Indian Time and Indian Country Today. She recorded two CDs — “Mohawk Stories” and “…And That’s How That Story Goes: Stories from the Haudenosaunee.” She appeared in the Global Spirit documentary called “Stories to Remember” and in the documentary “Harvest.”

Olan will provide an overview of why the storytelling tradition is important, the various types of stories and the storytelling protocol. She will share samples of various kinds of stories, including historical, funny, thought provoking, old and new.

For more information, contact Dawn VanHall, technology support specialist emerita.

The talk is sponsored by a Campus Artists and Lecture Series grant, Native American Studies, the Education Club, the Seven Valley Reading Council and the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies.