ANADARKO, OK — Delaware Nation Cultural Preservation hosted Tribal Elders Storytelling classes held Thursdays from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Beginning October 21 (canceled), 28, 2021 through November 4, 10 (rescheduled), 18. Classes were at the Delaware Nation Cultural Preservation Office, 103 W. Broadway, Anadarko, OK 73005. Elders were scheduled for certain days and were spread out in the meeting area, to ensure social distancing guidelines. Classes were only for local elders that signed up. Cultural Preservation staff served traditional lunches to the elder participants.

Tribal elders 60 years and over shared their tribal and family teachings, as well as stories that are related to Delaware heritage. A similar event occurred before the COVID-19 Pandemic started and received good feedback. The elders enjoyed talking and visiting with each other! Classes planned for the past two years, but the COVID-19 Pandemic put plans to a halt, much like everything else. Native American people use this season to gather and share oral history, teachings, and stories. The Office thought this would go along with starting the Fiscal Year 2022 Cultural Preservation Events/Classes. Some of the elders don’t even see each other anymore so this class gathered the limited elders to visit and share their memories, teachings, and any stories they may want to share.

Cultural Preservation’s effort is to give this opportunity for elders to gather for a joyful and good time and to keep them involved, active, and contribute to efforts in preserving Delaware culture. The classes leave something behind for our present members, youth, and future Lenape/Delaware generations to reflect upon. It’s an acknowledgment of who they are, where they come from, and what their ancestors experienced. There may be elders that don’t have anyone their age to understand and relate to their family, tribal experiences and teachings, memories of growing up in forever changing times throughout the decades. At the very least, to have a laugh or two while telling their stories and experiences.
The classes give the opportunity for interaction and help keep the elders active. The elders are supposed to be our teachers, and there is a lot to learn from them, their tribal teachings, spirituality, and culture. It’s what made Delaware people so strong and to be able to survive throughout history.

Many thanks to the elder citizens that participated in this historical storytelling class! Wanìshi!

By Wesley Boone Public Relations 11/15/2021 | Photo by Wesley Boone