Join the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian on Sunday, January 11 from 2:30 to 3:30 as local storyteller Robert Wapahi (Dakota/Santee) shares new tales in the Dakota tradition during our “Winter Storytelling” event. He will share traditional, historical and true contemporary tales for all ages.

“Winter Storytelling” happens during the cold winter months when one spends hours indoors quietly reflecting. The stories are made to be mythical in nature and make one think about the meaning of life.

When Mr. Wapahi introduces traditional Dakota stories, he begins with the words, “Back in the time when all things spoke,” which he says is the Native equivalent to “once upon a time.” New this year is “The Creature on the Roof,” as well as a story about three young men who find out they are related, and one about two boys that met from different tribes and share an experience.

His stories will range from these traditional Dakota tales to a historical tale about the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre to true real life stories from the 20th century about the migration of American Indians to big cities such as Chicago to his own experiences as a U.S. Army combat soldier in Vietnam.

In an interview with the “Chicago Tribune”, Mr. Wapahi said, “I started trying to pass the Native American culture on to my own children, and then I started working with other children, and now it has become the whole neighborhood.”

Mr. Wapahi was born in 1945 in Springfield, South Dakota. He grew up on the Santee Indian Reservation in Nebraska. His drawings and paintings have been exhibited at the Illinois State Museum galleries in Chicago and Lockport and at the American Indian Center of Chicago. He has served as president of the board of the Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center.

Mr. Wapahi’s presentation will be the final storytelling program held in conjunction with the Mitchell Museum’s exhibit “Storytelling: Inspiring Traditions for Generations” unveiled in January 2014. The exhibit will close at noon on January 16, 2015. The cost for the presentation is $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Tribal members are FREE. For more information, contact visitor services at or call (847)475-1030.