Uses "Story Telling" to teach his
Micmac HeritageMICHAEL RUNNINGWOLF
life experiences, his
ancestry, and his
charismatic speaking ability all come together to make Michael RunningWolf
an engaging and entertaining story teller.
Part of the Micmac Tribe, the northeastern most tribe of the Algonquin, RunningWolf
grew up in Maine and in New Brunswick, Canada.He
is a direct descendant of Beminuit, the Grand Chief of the Micmac Nation
moved to Floydada one month ago at the urging of his friend, Barry Hale, of Floydada.
is glad he
made the move.He
enjoys sitting on his
porch, smoking his
pipe, playing his
wooden carved flute, and listening to children play.RunningWolf
is a co-author of the book, "On the Trail of Elder Brother".He is also the illustrator of the book.
The book can be found at the Floyd County Library
will have two more published books--"Wabanaki Tales of Giants, Cannibals, Warriors and Spirits" , and "Woodland Stories of How and Why".RunningWolf
is currently working on the illustrations for these books also.
"'On the Trail of Elder Brother' contains traditional culture stories," said RunningWolf
"I learned my story telling from under the kitchen table.Relatives would gather to tell their stories and I would sit quietly under the table and listen.If I was quiet and still I wouldn't be sent to bed."RunningWolf
says Micmac history is passed down orally, with pictographs, on animal hides, pecked out on stone, in birch bark, and in effigy mounds.
Effigy mounds have consumed a lot of RunningWolfs time and energy lately.
traveled to North Carolina to offer his
expertise in finding and proving the existence of effigy mounds.
"Effigy mounds are man made animal shaped mounds that can be seen from space," said RunningWolf
"I've had 5 heart attacks in the last 9 months," said RunningWolf
."My race has very thick blood because of the cold country we live in.Down here that is detrimental.The doctors have put in a stint and are also giving me medication to thin my blood.It seems to be helping."RunningWolf
is very proud of his
Micmac heritage and enjoys telling the stories he
learned growing up.
"We were the ones who fought the Vikings when they first arrived in the year 900," said RunningWolf
says that five of his
ancestors have their signatures on the April 1776 Watertown Treaty between Washington and the Wabanaki Confederacy.The Watertown Treaty was the only treaty ever signed by the Wabanaki.
"This treaty was signed before the Declaration of Independence," said RunningWolf
."Washington was getting his
plans made and his
allies lined up before the Colonies declared their Independence."
The eldest of 8 children (4 sisters and 3 brothers), RunningWolf's father was in the military.RunningWolf was born in a military hospital and raised on both sides of the Canadian/U.S. border.He
graduated Northview High in California and then at the request of his
attended the Full Gospel Bible Institute
and received his
"I was taught by Jesuit Priests," said RunningWolf
In the late 70's, RunningWolf
was a firefighter/smoke jumper.
"I would jump out of airplanes with gasoline, oil, and kerosene to fight fires.After 37 jumps my parachute got hung up in a tree and I broke my back.I hung there for several hours watching the fire get closer, before help was able to arrive."RunningWolf
has also expressed his
opinions through political cartoons and volunteered his
time as a Boy Scout Ass't.Scout Master and Webeloe leader.He has worked as a Deputy Sheriff in Torrance County, NM., and as a special Deputy/Tracker for Valencia County.He
has taught courses in survival training, Herbs as Medicine and Food, and History and Culture Through Oral Tradition at the University of New Mexico Valencia Campus
expertise in many languages has landed him jobs with the New Mexico Parks Division as an interpreter.And his
knowledge of Indian culture has proved valuable as a research consultant in translating native pictures and petroglyphs for the University of Arizona
. He has made many contacts over the years in his work and has been a consultant for movie and T.V. productions.
"It's not worth mentioning," said RunningWolf--but I had a small stand-in part in the movie 'Little Big Man'.I was one of three Indians on horses--standing in a stream with the village in the background.I had half of my face painted white and the other half painted black."RunningWolf
was asked advice on the proper way to speak the Indian dialect in the movie, but "nobody paid attention to what I said."
When asked about his
feelings about the portrayal of Indians in movies, RunningWolf
smiles and says that it seems more attention is now being paid to detail and accuracy.
opinion the movie, "The Last of the Mohicans" was the best as far as historical accuracy.
"The Indians portrayed in Disney movie, 'Squanto's Tale' were also of the Micmac tribe," said RunningWolf
The contacts RunningWolf has made over the years has helped him in projects he
has helped bring about--such as, "Geronimo Days" in Truth or Consequences, as well as "Billy the Kid" days in Fort Sumner.
Floyd County residents will be able to experience some of RunningWolf's story telling on Punkin Day, October 14 in Floydada.He
is scheduled to entertain under the Pavilion from 12:00 noon to 12:30 p.m.
I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a new resident of Floydada--Michael RunningWolf.He
is from the Micmac tribe.
I had referred to Michael
as an "Indian" and he
thought I was supposed to say, "Native American".
When I asked Michael
if I was still allowed to say "Indian" he
smiled and said that I could.
What fun he
is to sit and talk with.