About The Project | PROJECT TEAM
Below is a collection of community members and participants that made this project possible. Click on each photo thumbnail to learn more about each person.
Elder, Oral Historian, Project Advisor
When I was a little kid, these old timers, with them, I sing nááchene yinéʔ with them. From there, I learn about these songs and these drums, when they're making it. From them, I learned how to hunt, and how they're going to live in the bush.
All those ways....
These young people, I'm teaching them that in the bush.
And these Nááchę yinéʔ, Dreamers songs, if they wish.
...I'm going to teach them the way of the old timers that are gone.
I remember those things since I was a kid.
(Sam Acko - courtesy Robin Ridington)
Sam Acko is the youngest son of Ray Aku, a master storyteller and singer, and the grandson of the Dreamer Azáde. Like his father, Sam can tell a story from memory without hesitation. Like his father, his stories are both humorous and profound. Sammy is committed to passing on the Dane-zaa oral literature. During Tea Dance ceremonies he sets aside time to pass on traditional stories to the younger people. He also tells stories with grace and ease in less formal settings. Sammy has accepted the role of lead singer and is an inspiration to the younger people of his community.