Studium Generale and the Peninsula College Longhouse Water Lecture Series welcome Jamestown S’Klallam elder Elaine Grinnell and Makah elder Ted Noel in a special presentation that examines tribal perspectives on water on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The presentation begins at 12:35 p.m. in the college’s Little Theater (1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles), followed immediately by a reception in their honor in the Peninsula College Longhouse. Both events are free and open to the public.
Grinnell is a renowned storyteller and Noel is a Peninsula College adult basic education instructor.
The title of their presentation is “Water and Spirit: Ocean and River Prayers and Storytelling.”
Grinnell shares a story she says is “one of the ordinary stories” told along the shores by Olympic Peninsula tribes. These are the stories of family success and wonderment, and what the sea will bring.
Most people, Grinnell says, aren’t aware of the secrets of the sea unless they are raised by the water and become familiar with it through their parents and grandparents and all the generations that have gone before.
Noel talks about the Makah’s active participation in all legislation to protect the waters, such as the oceans, rivers and streams, and the meaning of water to the Makah people.
“My people carry our ancestors’ beliefs and values,” Noel said. “We’re also making a positive impact in the present by researching what we have and making strong recommendations to the lawmakers on how improvements can be made,” he adds.