Ndakinna has had the honor to work with numerous amazing professionals that are masters of their craft in a variety of different fields. Listed below are some presenters that have worked with Ndakinna in the past.
Dr. James Halfpenny – A scientist and educator Jim’s background is mammalogy and ecology including polar, alpine, long-term specialties. Jim has been tracking since 1957 and teaching tracking since 1969. Jim is author of many books, articles, and videos. He has conducted research and led expeditions to the four corners of the world including both polar regions, the deserts and mountains of China and Africa, and the forests of the tropics. Learn more about Jim here.
Gary Marchuk – Noted Adirondack Guide and Director of Bear Cub Adventure Tours, Gary adds his expertise during various Ndakinna Adirondack Adventures. One of nine guides featured in the Adirondack Life Magazine article The Guiding Life, Gary has dedicated his life to sharing his knowledge of the Adirondacks with others.
Clark Hayward – Director of Adirondack Wilderness Medicine, Mr. Hayward has over 40 years of outdoor recreation and guiding experience. Currently he is a practicing paramedic with Saratoga Emergency Medical Services and the Lower Adirondack Wilderness Medical Rescue Team as well as an instructor and instructor trainer for the National Ski Patrol Outdoor Emergency Care Program, a New York State Licensed Outdoor Guide and a member of the Wilderness Medical Society.
Nanatasis Bluto-Delvental – Nanatasis Bluto-Delvental is of the Turtle Clan of the Western Abenaki people. Originally from northwestern Vermont, she spent most of her life on Lake Champlain living in Burlington and Grand Isle.Trained by her clan mother and numerous elders, Nanatasis lives traditionally and shares her teachings with those who come to learn a life of harmony and balance. Nanatasis is also an herbalist working with wild plant medicines as well as those organically cultivated.
Tatjana Donovan – Tatjana is of the Turtle Clan of the Western Abenaki Nation. Trained by her clan mother, she helps people learn about their heritage and cultural traditions. Until October 2005, she served as Executive Director of Ndakinna Incorporated, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the quality of life for Abenaki and other Native Americans in the Northeast. Her hand-made gourd bowls and rawhide rattle are on permanent display at the Fairbanks Museum.
Peter Jemison – A Heron Clan member of the Seneca Nation of Indians Peter is the Historic Site Manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site, the site of a 17th century Seneca Indian town located in Victor, New York. Along with his vast knowledge of Iroquois history and tradition Peter is a professional artist, who in 1998 was honored for Excellence in Iroquois Arts by the Governor of New York State.
Andree Newton – Following the example set by her father Maurice P. Dennis, Andree (Abenaki) not only shares, but has helped keep alive the unique Abenaki folk art of woodcarving. Her carvings in her own words “represent a rememberance of what was and what is today: The people of the dawn have become few yet their spirit is very much alive.”
Roger Perkins – A Bear Clan Mohawk, Roger Perkins is a well known Iroquois potter, traditional singer and educator. Along with his highly acclaimed clay pottery Roger Perkins’ educational programs have gained much popularity across the East. Through a combination of drum songs social dances and historical dialog Mr. Perkins brings to life the past and present histories and traditions of the Iroquois.
Jason Reitter – Jason is a Wolf Clan member of The Seneca Nation as well as a student and practitioner of primitive skills, wilderness survival and animal tracking. Working as an interpreter for Ganondagan Seneca Historical Site Jay educates all ages about past and contemporary Seneca culture. Having worked as an Assistant Wilderness Instructor at Ndakinna for over three years Jay adds his expertise in many areas of wilderness skills including wigwam construction and Seneca culture. Presently Jay is student at Paul Smith’s College.
Ronnie Reitter – A Cattaraugus Seneca from the Wolf Clan Ronnie specializes in making traditional regalia such as ribbon shirts, women’s outfits, shawls and soft No Face Dolls in complete Iroquois attire. Ronnie also creates cornhusk dolls and beaded birds. Along with bringing in the use of storytelling in her presentations Ronnie is also A singer with the Iroquois Women Singers. Presently, Ronnie works as an administrative assistant and interpreter in the Bark Longhouse and trails at Ganondagan State Historic Site.
Powhatan Swift Eagle – Of Pueblo Apache ancestry, Powhatan Swift Eagle is an extremely gifted storyteller, musician, silver smith and flute maker. Besides Having shared his tales at numerous Ndakinna events, as a professional storyteller, Pow has performed across the United States and abroad.
Michael Albert Tarbell (Wahrare) – Mohawk Nation Turtle Clan, Mike has dedicated his life to the study of the material culture of pre-contact Iroquois people, designed around careful replication of everyday tools such as bows, arrows, knives, warclubs, spears, and atlatls. In replicating these tools, Mr. Tarbell also engages in speculative consideration about the thoughts of the makers of the original tools. He draws on oral and written sources for this, as well as his own experience in making a specific item. Since 1996 he has been working at the Iroquois Indian Museum as Educator.
Tina Chrisjohn-Wyant – Oneida, Wolf Clan, Tina Chrisjohn-Wyant was born and raised in the Hudson Valley of New York by Oneida parents Richard G. (Dick) and Florence Chrisjohn. Tina was raised with a background rich in Iroquois culture. Her parents and her culture influenced much of her art work. Making crafts for her mother and observing her father carve at an early age taught her the patience used in creating her art.
Chief Jake Swamp (Tekaronianeken) – (October 18, 1941 – October 15 2010) – Jake (Wolf Clan, Mohawk Nation) worked with the Men for Change Program in Akwesasne. For over thirty years, Jake was a Mohawk Sub-Chief and representative on the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. He directed the Tree of Peace Society.
Tom Porter (Mohawk) – Tom Porter is the Spokesman and Spiritual Leader of the Mohawk Community of Kanatsiohareke in Fonda, New York. A member of the Bear Clan, Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne, Mr. Porter has served in numerous positions with the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs.
Al Cleveland (Mohawk) – Owner of Turtle Island Flutes, Al is known for his artistry as both a flute maker and performer. For over 25 years, he has shared his love of Native flute music through music cds, performances, and selling at PowWows.
Kontiwennahawi (Carriers of the Words) (Mohawk) – The Akwesasne Women Singers share songs that honor our Mother the Earth, our Grandmother the Moon, Grandparents from every generation, and the Great Law of Peace for our life’s foundation.
Nettukkusq/Women Singers (Nipmuc) – a large and ever changing group of southern New England women, the Nettukkusq singers perform traditional Eastern Woodland songs, helping to keep their culture alive and educate the next generation. The Nettukkusq Singers have performed at numerous universities and powwows, from Georgetown to the social Nuweetoun School.
Tom Obomsawin (Abenaki) – Tom is an Odanak Abenaki singer and multi-instrumentalist who has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is known for his efforts to address environmental threats that endanger the traditional Abenaki homeland.
Jesse Bruchac (Abenaki) – Jesse has long been a student of Abenaki language. He has recorded several albums of traditional and original flute music and has performed with his family as a member of the Dawn Land Singers.
Marge Bruchac (Abenaki) – Marge specializes in interpreting northeastern Native colonial history, oral traditions, material culture, and cultural exchange. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and has a number of scholarly articles in print. Dr. Bruchac is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, and Coordinator of the Native Studies Program at the Avery Point campus. She performs traditional Algonkian Indian songs, stories and dances with her husband Justin Kennick as “Hand in Hand”, and with her brother Joe and nephews Jim and Jesse Bruchac as part of the “Dawnland Singers. She also serves as a Trustee of Plimoth Plantation, an advisor to that museum’s Wampanoag Indigenous Program, and a consultant for many other New England museums.
David Kanietakeron Fadden (Mohawk) – Dave is a member of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. He shares in the operation of the Six Nations Indian Museum in the Northeastern Adirondack Mountains in Onchiota, New York.
Perry Ground (Onadaga) – Perry, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga, is a dynamic storyteller who brings his stories and understanding of Haudenosaunee traditions to life through vivid descriptions, his rhythmic voice, and energetic stage presence.
Kay Ionataiewas Olan (Mohawk) – Kay is a Wolf Clan Mohawk storyteller and educator. Upon retiring after 33 years of teaching, she relocated to the Mohawk Community at Kanatsiohareke where she worked as Director and as assistant to Mohawk Elder, Tom Porter.
Roy Hurd – Considered by many to be the Adirondacks most famous musician Roy “Poncho” Hurd is a dynamic performer and a world class singer-songwriter . In the years he has been performing, Roy has played his brand of mountain music nationally, and has developed a following unparalleled in the Adirondack Mountains. Roy’s song Adirondack Blue has become a modern-day Adirondack anthem, and his recordings are regional best sellers. Although Roy is a legendary regional treasure for the Northwood’s area, his music has impact far beyond its mountain borders.
Dan Berggren – Dan Berggren’s roots are firmly in the Adirondacks where he was raised but his music has branched out across many borders. The award-winning musician and educator grew up on the land farmed by his mother’s family for generations and has worked in the woods with forest ranger and survey crews. Hearing stories and songs from local friends and neighbors, Dan has developed a style that captures the spirit of the mountains.
Chris Shaw – Christopher Shaw was raised in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. He was born the son, of the son, of a commercial steamboat pilot on Lake George. Shaw worked the big boats and grew up listening to the songs and stories passed down in those mountains from generation to generation, never suspecting he would bring those same songs and stories to audiences all over the world.
Bill Smith – As one of the North Country’s most popular storytellers, Bill Smith’s presentations draw on his experiences growing up in the Adirondack region. Whether it be his days as a small boy listening to stories or his experiences running trap lines, making baskets, snowshoes, and rustic furniture or working as a forest ranger, outdoor educator and guide Bill’s multi-faceted presentations make it come alive. Author of the book Tales From The Featherbed: Adirondack Stories and Songs Bill has been the subject of nunerous articles, and featured in films and videos about the Adirondacks. Still an avid outdoors man Bill lives with his wife Sal in Colton, NY.
John Kirk – John Kirk is best known for his great voice and has always made his living as a musician. He sings, calls dances, fiddles and also plays mandolin, banjo, and guitar. john has his own recordings and has played on many more. The Dixie Chics recorded his song “Long Roads”. He teaches music at Bennington College in Vermont, and is a dynamic emcee, clogger and jokester.
Trish Miller – Trish Miller has been teaching and performing Appalachian clogging since 1981. She toured with The Green Grass Cloggers from Ashville, NC, has danced with John Kirk since 1988 and appears occasionally with other groups. Trish calls square dances, plays banjo, lap dulcimer and gives workshops on North American folk dance in schools.
Ed Lowman – Ed Lowman is a multi-instrumentalist and singer. Old-time and Cajun fiddling, bass, guitar, mondolin and carpentry are his trades. In addition to working with John and Trish since 1984, Ed has appeared with several groups including the St. Regis Stringband. He is known for his authentic rendition of early country songs, yodeling like Jimmie Rodgers, and Ed has worked as a studio musician on several recordings. For over two decades he has been the Schroon Lake dance coordinator.
Susan Shanley – A teaching artist, Susan recognizes that for many Native peoples, art, life, and spirituality are one. At Ndakinna, she collaborates with young people and adults to create art that celebrates the natural world and the traditions and culture of Northeastern Native peoples. Susan sees art as a powerful tool for connecting people to the earth, to themselves, and to each other.
Jack Zucchini – Musician and songwriter, Jack Powel, is a member of the nationally renowned group, The Zucchini Brothers. Known for their work in schools, theaters, and festivals throughout the country for the past 13 years, The Zucchini Brothers are winners of the NAPPA Gold Award and the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and have received critical acclaim for their albums “In Your Garden,” “Live! At The Clubhouse,” “Safe & Sound.” A year-round volunteer at The Ndakinna Education Center, Jack is a student of Native American studies, primitive skills, wilderness survival, and animal tracking.