Welcome to your Indian Resource Speaker and Assembly Resource page for Coos County teachers and their classrooms!

This page has been developed for local school teachers in Coos County schools as an additional resource for them to provide additional positive Indian resources for their students. In addition to the positive Indian print, curriculum guides, films and videos available to teachers from the six Indian Education Programs in each school district in Coos County, Indian resource speakers and assemblies are also available through these programs. The following list of approved, positive Indian Resource Speakers and Indian assemblies can be scheduled by calling Jim Thornton, Coos County Indian Education Coordinator at 888-4584. Please allow at least two weeks in advance for scheduling our busy Indian Resource Speakers and assembly participants since many must schedule their time between work and other presentations in our schools. Also, some presentations require materials that must be assembled for students.

Teachers will be asked to fill out an evaluation form at the conclusion of each presentation so that we have continuous feedback on our speakers and assembly resources. Funds for these presentations are made available through Federal Title IX-Indian Education funds through the individual school districts and their Indian Education Parent Committees.

The following list has been approved for the current school year. If you do not see a specific subject area that you would like to include in a local classroom, please call Jim to see if we can provide the appropriate resource.

Indian Resource Speakers:

Delores Caldwell (Apache) is available in her North Bend School District's Indian Education Program on a wide range of various Indian subject presentations. Delores has been the North Bend Indian Education Project Director in her schools for over twenty years, and is also a performing member of MOTHER EARTH'S CHILDREN (Who can forget her Grizzly Bear!?). Besides sharing information on her own Tribe, Delores is also VERY experienced providing classroom workshops on beadworking, jewelry making, moccasin making, leather pouch making, and a delicious frybread/cactus cooking demonstration sure to interest all classes within the school building with its wonderful smells of cooking frybread that quickly spread throughout the school where ever she presents her workshops!

Don Ivy (Coquille) is very involved with the Coquille Indian Tribe's ongoing archaeological efforts and his extensive knowledge in today's Tribal government and issues affecting it. As the Tribe's Cultural Resource Program Coordinator he has helped organize each Spring the regional Indian Culture Conference that has become an important link between Oregon Tribes, universities and scientists. Don is also actively involved in community planning and development for the Coquille Indian Tribe and has a wonderful grasp of local Tribal stories. Don is recommended especially for older students.

Carol Leaton (Cherokee) saw her family grow up through the local Indian Education Program and was both a popular Camp Cook at many of our Indian Education Summer Camps as well as an Indian Resource Speaker in area classrooms. One of her most delicious presentations was on demonstrating the preparation (and eating) of frybread. Carol also provided beadwork and jewelry making workshops for students in classrooms. Her most popular presentation was her traditional regalia display where she shared the dance regalia that her family had worn at traditional powwows. Carol passed away in 2009 and we will all miss her and her dedication since we began offering Indian Education services over 35 years ago.  

Esther Stutzman (Yonkalla/Kalapuya/Coos) is available to provide classroom presentations and workshops (all grades) on traditional Indian storytelling, American Indian music, American Indian stereotypes and how to recognize them, and Oregon Indian history. She has developed many American Indian guides and curriculum resources for our area, including: "The American Indian Social Studies Curriculum Activity Guide for Grades K-6, 7-8, High School"; "American Indian Music For The Classroom"; "Thanksgiving . . . A Resource Guide"; "An American Indian Perspective on Columbus"; and "American Indian Stereotypes . . . The Truth Behind The Hype". Because of travel distances involved from her home, please schedule a minimum of two presentations per school per day.

Indian Assembly Resources:

THE COYOTE SINGERS is an intertribal Indian group that is available as a valuable local school assembly resource for area schools. THE COYOTE SINGERS present a wonderful demonstration of traditional Indian drumming, singing and dancing, with local Indian students performing. They include students in their presentations so that they may learn basic traditional dancing. Their program also includes a strong message to students to refrain from abusing alcohol and drugs. Since many of the members of this group either attend school and/or work, please allow sufficient time for scheduling a presentation for your school.

has performed traditional Indian stories in a visual manner for over twenty years in area schools. Storyteller Esther Stutzman tells the traditional stories as its performers visually recreate the action of the stories. During the performance the storyteller asks for student volunteers to join in the action of the stories to assist the actors. Action of the stories extends beyond the stage to directly involve the audience in the stories. Funds generated by the non-profit group are used to award outstanding Indian student achievement awards to graduating Indian students. Available during first part of April each year.

brings two old friends together to share a dramatic and musical conversation exploring the similarities and differences between pioneers and the American Indians in Oregon who met them. In this unusual and lively presentation, mutual friends and storytellers, (pictured at right) Esther Stutzman (Yonkalla/Kalapuya/Coos) and Shannon Applegate (author of "Skookum, An Oregon Pioneer Family's History and Lore") present a sometimes humorous, always historically accurate, storytelling dialogue. Performed in period costumes, their presentation focuses on lifeways, traditional stories and historic incidents which have shaped the destiny of their ancestors.


Jim Thornton, Indian Education Coordinator, Coos County Indian Education Coordination Program,
90633 Cape Arago Highway, Coos Bay OR 97420-7635