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Coeur d'Alene
Expedition Culture Geography People Maps Nature
  Setting the Stage: Acknowledgements and Review Process
Setting the Stage: Cultural Property Rights Agreement
Approaching this Module: Pedagogy
Approaching this Module: Principles of Sovereignty
Will of the People: Governance and Contemporay Programs
Gaming: Coeur d'Alene Tribal Casino
Natural and Cultural Resources: Focus on the Lake
Cultural Preservation: Language Center
Cultural Preservation: GIS Names-Place Project
Health Care: Benewah Medical and Wellness Center

  Native American
  Approaching the Oral Traditions: Preparations
Story: Coyote's Identity
Story: Coyote and the Rock Monster
Story: Coyote and the Green Field
Story: Coyote and the White Man
Story: Coyote and the Falls
Story: Chipmunk
Story: Four Smokes
Reflections on the Stories: Laugh, Learn and Perpetuate
Songs: Introduction
Songs: from the Animal People
Songs: of the Powwow
Songs: of the July-amsh Powwow
Songs: of the Sweat House
Heart Knowledge: Listening to the Ancestors
Heart Knowledge: Clean Hands

  Horses, Bugs and Furs: Early Contact
Manifest Destiny: War and a Reservation
Manifest Destiny: Allotment
Wilderness Kingdom: Jesuit Mission
Wounded: Facing the Continuing Challenges

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Listen as Richard Mullen tells the important oral tradition of Chipmunk. As you listen to the story of Chipmunk, ask yourself what lessons does this oral tradition offer, lessons relating to proper behavior, to the geography of the land, and to . . . . what else?

Part 1 (shared before the students and faculty of the Coeur d'Alene Tribal School on 1 February 2002; recorded by Rodney Frey)

Falling Asleep to the Stories.
While there are some stories specifically meant for children, the storyteller’s intended audience are all members of the community; the children, their parents and their grandparents. Young and old would gather around the storyteller well into the night. The children might come and go, the babies would certainly fall asleep in the arms of their mothers, and the elders would laugh a laugh as if they had never heard the story, though they heard it countless times before. As each oral tradition is deeply embedded with multiple layers of meaning, each time a listener engages the story, with his or her own experience levels having changed since last the story had been encountered, something new would await discovery. At the conclusion of a story there are typically no specific, Aesop-like, moral lessons expounded upon by the storyteller. To profess a single moral truth would only limit the varied significances the story held for the idiosyncratic members of an audience. Each traveler within the story was allowed to discover for himself or herself those lessons appropriate for his or her own maturation level. The teachings are to be actively sought out by the story’s travelers, and not passively handed to them by the storyteller. In so doing, the young are educated and guided while the mature are rejuvenated and reiterated in the identities, skills and teachings ingrained within the oral traditions.

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Listen as Richard Mullen continues telling the important oral tradition of Chipmunk.

Part 2

© Coeur d'Alene Tribe 2002

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