Skip to content
Secondary Content





Utah’s first Native American Storytelling Festival is a two-day event that begins on Indigenous Day, November 25, 2013, with an evening of storytelling that is free and open to the public and continues on November 26 with educational storytelling workshops for students and teachers.

The Indigenous Day-Storytelling Festival invites the general public to become acquainted with the beauty and power of traditional Ute, Northwest Shoshone, Navajo, and Lakota stories and learn more about the creativity, courage, inventiveness, and wisdom of Utah’s and the nation’s indigenous people.  The festival also offers educational workshops that explore the exciting development of story in Native communities and, in the process, strengthen identity for young Native Americans.

“A Celebration of Storytellers,” the November 25 event features nationally renowned Kiowa/Apache storyteller Dovie Thomason with local storytellers Aldean Ketchum (Ute Mountain Ute); Rios Pacheco (Northwest Shoshone); and James Bilagody (Navajo) who represent three of Utah’s eight recognizedtribes. The event will take place at Taylorsville High School, 5225 South Redwood Road.  Admission is free to the public. Doors open at 5 p.m. with traditional food and cultural activities for children. The program gets underway at 6 p.m. with Utah Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox reading the state’s proclamation, signed by Governor Gary R. Herbert, followed by the performances of the storytellers. Dovie Thomason’s keynote performance begins at 7 p.m. Thomason is considered one of the most respected and admired storytellers of her generation. Her storytelling has been featured on countless artistic stages, including the National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museum, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. To register for event tickets go to KCPW will broadcast Thomason’s performance on November 29 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. For additional broadcasting information go to:

On the festival’s second day, November 26, Dovie Thomason and award-winning graphic book illustrator Dimi Macheras will conduct educational workshops for high school students at 9 a.m. and teachers at 1 p.m. at the Canyons School District offices to demonstrate the art of presenting traditional Native American stories in new, comic book formats.  Macheras (Ahtna Athabascan) is a professional artist/ illustrator who has worked on projects ranging from the Native American legend anthology Trickster to designing record sleeves for UK record label BROKETrickster was distributed globally and nominated for an Eisner Award, the most prestigious comic book prize.   Student and teacher workshops will be broadcast live to schools throughout Utah via the Utah Education Network.  Teachers wishing to register for the graphic storytelling workshop can go to:, course number 59546, and sign up for a section near them. For questions on how to register for the workshop contact Ailleen Vidal at 801-826-5493.

The Indigenous Day-Native American Storytelling Festival is presented by the Utah State Division of Indian Affairs and the Center for Documentary Expression and Art.  Other partners include: Canyons, Granite, and Salt Lake school districts; Utah Education Network; KCPW Radio; AITEC/American Indian Teacher Education Collaboration, University of Utah; Utah State Office of Education; Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts; Hill Air Force Base Cultural Resources Management; Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, & Parks Program; and the Salt Lake City Arts Council.

# # #