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Brighton Reservation hosts Seminole Moments

By Andrea Holata

BRIGHTON — For decades, the Seminole Tribe has used storytelling for entertaining and teaching purposes.

Community outreach specialist Willie Johns spoke to Tribal employees about the history and significance of storytelling within the Tribe during a Seminole Moments presentation on Aug. 9 at the Brighton Cattle & Range Dining Hall.

During the event, Johns recalled how his family would tell different stories when he was young.

“We would gather around at our camp by the water tower on cool nights listening to stories told to us by our elders,” he said.

The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum sponsored the presentation, and employees from different departments, including Fire Rescue, Accounting, Maintenance and Culture, attended.

Beth Suggs, a regular Seminole Moments participant and Accounting Department employee, said she enjoys coming because she loves history.

“It’s best to know and…[not] just assume things,” she said. “Seminole Moments has been very helpful to me.”

Johns also spoke about the impact that hearing the elders tell the stories in Creek had on him as a child. He said each story had a lesson to teach.

“For example, the corn woman story taught us not to look around for things if you don’t know what it is,” he said. “And the snake story told us that if you find things that are not in normal places, don’t mess with it.”

Johns also mentioned how Tribal members have different ways to tell stories.

“Tribal members Elgin Jumper and Moses Jumper Jr. do their storytelling by using poetry,” he said.

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