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Sacred Breath: Indigenous Writing and Storytelling Series

  • Sacred Breath May 2021 artists Christine Day and Elaine Grinnell
    Sacred Breath May 2021 artists Christine Day and Elaine Grinnell
  • Sacred Breath Nov 2020 artists Traci Sorell, Michelle Jacob, and Fern Renville
    Sacred Breath Nov 2020 artists Traci Sorell, Michelle Jacob, and Fern Renville
  • Sacred Breath May 2020 artists Sara Marie Ortiz and Gene Tagaban
    Sacred Breath May 2020 artists Sara Marie Ortiz and Gene Tagaban
  • Sacred Breath November 2019 artists Tommy Pico and Lummi Island Blackhawk Singers
    Sacred Breath Nov 2019 artists Tommy Pico and Lummi Island Blackhawk Singers
  • Sacred Breath May 2019 artists Elissa Washuta and Sondra Segundo
    Sacred Breath May 2019 artists Elissa Washuta and Sondra Segundo
  • Sacred Breath February 2017 artists Raven Heavy Runner, Ernestine Hayes, and Elissa Washuta
    Sacred Breath Feb 2017 artists Raven Heavy Runner, Ernestine Hayes, and Elissa Washuta
  • Sacred Breath November 2016 artists Roger Fernandes, Payton Bordley, Sasha LaPointe
    Sacred Breath Nov 2016 artists Roger Fernandes, Payton Bordley, Sasha LaPointe
  • Sacred Breath audience
Sacred Breath: Indigenous Writing and Storytelling Series

The Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington hosts an annual literary and storytelling series. Sacred Breath features Indigenous writers and storytellers sharing their craft and their expertise. Storytelling offers a spiritual connection, a sharing of sacred breath. Literature, similarly, preserves human experience and ideals. Both forms are durable and transmit power that teaches us how to live. Both storytelling and reading aloud can impact audiences through the power of presence, allowing for the experience of the transfer of sacred breath as audiences are immersed in the experience of being inside stories and works of literature.

Register Here for our next event

Join us May 17th, 6:00-7:15pm via Zoom for a virtual family-friendly Sacred Breath

Event is free, but RSVP is required. Please register for the event and you will be sent a Zoom link the day of the performance. This event will feature Christine Day (Upper Skagit) and Elaine Grinnell (Jamestown Klallam).

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains, and the pages of her favorite books. Her debut novel, I Can Make This Promise, was a best book of the year from Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library, as well as a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. Her second novel, The Sea in Winter, arrived on shelves on January 5, 2021. She also wrote the forthcoming She Persisted: Maria Tallchief, an early reader biography in a new series inspired by Chelsea Clinton’s bestselling picture book. Christine lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.

Elaine Grinnell is an elder in the Jamestown Klallam tribe and lives in Sequim, Washington. She is fluent in the S’Klallam language and was recipient of the Washington State Heritage Award in 2007 and was selected to participate in the Smithsonian Museum exhibit for Native American Arts in Washington, D.C. Elaine is a historian, storyteller and cook. She does traditional cooking at different functions for her own tribe as well as other tribes. In addition, she teaches classes in Native American drum making, basketry and Native American cooking. In her storytelling she includes legends, creation, animal and lots of fish stories. “It is my desire for each person to become a ‘storyteller’ and record your life for those coming behind you. It is my desire to spread the word of the Klallam people, their culture, legends, food, survival, coping devises, dress and social structure within the community and families. Sharing with all peoples is the way of my people."

Missed our last event? Watch the Recording

Watch the full event recording of Sacred Breath from November 23rd, 2020. (https://youtu.be/0TgD12a_aJcThis event featured authors Traci Sorell (Cherokee), Michelle M. Jacob (Yakama), and storyteller Fern Renville (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate).

Loved the event and want to see more? Donate to our Friends of American Indian Studies fund to help us support indigenous authors and storytellers and bring you more amazing works.

Read about Sacred Breath in the A&S Perspectives newsletter.

These events are free and open to the public, but registration is required, as space is limited. wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House is located at 4249 Whitman Court, Seattle, WA.

Sacred Breath is sponsored by the Department of American Indian Studies, the Intellectual House Academic Programming Committee, the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, the UW Diversity Seed Grant, the Banks Center for Educational Justice, and the Squaxin Island Tribe.

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