Archive for the ‘News’ Category


OGDEN, Utah — Darryl Tonemah had everyone in the Weber State University Wildcat Theater make a fist and squeeze it hard for about five seconds Thursday morning.

As the audience cringed in pain, he explained that doing something like that for a long period of time would eventually cause a person’s bones and tendons to break down.

“The trauma, the stress applied would have eventually shown up in my hand,” Tonemah said. “Now imagine this being a person who watched Dad abuse Mom when they were five or six, and now they’re 40.”

Tonemah, an American Indian health psychologist, singer and writer, was the keynote speaker for the 11th Annual Native Symposium held in conjunction with Native Heritage Month. The talk was the culmination of several events throughout the week including the showing of “Unspoken: America’s Native American Boarding Schools,” a discussion about persecution in the Native American community and a sunrise ceremony.

At a talk attended by about 25 people, Tonemah spoke at length about the historical and generational trauma the Native American community experiences, which he has seen manifest in what he called a “sense of overwhelm.”

This overwhelming feeling happens for Native American people, he said, because of a “charge” inside them passed down from generation to generation because of trauma and oppression.

Tonemah said while college students might find ways of coping, that’s not the case for everyone, and the freedom that comes with attending a university can be challenging for Native Americans who are used to living on reservations.

“We have all these healthy things to mediate that sense of overwhelm but imagine growing up in a toxic environment where you don’t have a way to mediate that overwhelm,” he said.



Tonemah kicks off the holiday season tour with a performance at The Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas’ Annual Benefit Dinner & Concert in Dallas on Thursday, December 5th.

This will be your first opportunity to purchase the new album, “A Moment In December,” and hear him perform some of the new Christmas songs in person. All proceeds from this album benefit the Native American Children’s Benefit Concert Series.

Below are some details for the upcoming Native American Children’s Benefit Concerts. *********************************** NORMAN BENEFIT CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER – PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR OTHER BENEFITS AND THE ADDRESS IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE. WE WILL POST MORE WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE HERE AS INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE. DECEMBER 6th – NORMAN, OK – 7-9 PM The Norman Santa Fe Depot 200 South Jones Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma  73069  MAP > Hosted by Chance Rush with Performances by Native Pride, Hoop Dancer Jay Mule, Terry Tsotigh, and Tonemah. Live painting by NiCole Hatfield, plus more guest performers TBA. Also appearances by “The Cherokee Word for Water” cast members, Kaylee Dreadfulwater, and Darryl Tonemah. Get pictures taken with Santa and Much More! 

Admission: A new unwrapped toy or article of clothing for a child ages birth – 17 years old.

*********************************** DECEMBER 12th – RAPID CITY, SD – 7-9 PM Dahl Arts Center 713 7th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701  MAP > Performance by Tonemah and a screening of the film “The Cherokee Word for Water.” 

Admission: A new unwrapped toy or article of clothing for a child ages birth – 17 years old.

*********************************** DECEMBER 14th – LEWISTON, NY – 7-9 PM The Lewiston Opera House 732 Center Street, Lewiston, New York  MAP > Hosted by Darryl Tonemah with Performances by Tuscarora Brass, Tuscarora Hymn Singers, and Tonemah. Get your picture taken with Santa. Door Prizes and other special guests!

Admission: A new unwrapped toy or article of clothing for a child ages birth – 17 years old.

*********************************** If you aren’t able to attend one of the benefits, you may also contribute by mailing new unwrapped toys or clothing items for children birth to 17 years old. We will make sure they are distributed to those in need. Mail children’s gifts or check donations to this address: Tonemah P.O. Box 917 Lewiston NY 14092 You can also help out by purchasing the New Christmas Album below. All proceeds benefit the concert seri A Moment In December $10.00–$15.00 Select options
293978_130140370419147_1683866781_nJust cast: Darryl Tonemah in “Manahatta” a play written by Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee), directed by Kate Whoriskey.

“Manahatta” is part of Public Theatre NYC’s NEW WORK NOW series. Darryl has been cast in the lead role of “Robert/Tamanend”. “Manahatta” will play in New York the first of September – date and location to be announced.

MANAHATTA Written by MARY KATHRYN NAGLE Directed by Kate Whoriskey

When a modern day Lenape woman returns to her ancestral land to work on Wall Street, she must reconcile all that her people have lost with what she now attempts to gain. MANAHATTA simultaneously tells the story of the Lenape Indians who lived on the island of MANAHATTA in the 1600’s, when Peter Minuit and the Dutch claim to have purchased the island for $24, and explores how the concepts of indigenous identity, ownership, and the entire system of American capitalism have made us who we are today.

ABOUT MARY KATHRYN NAGLE  Mary Kathryn Nagle was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and an honorary member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She studied theater at Georgetown University and went on to study law at Tulane Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Judge John Minor Wisdom Award. At Tulane, she wrote and produced Katrina Stories, Welcome to Chalmette, and To the 7th Degree. More recently, she has written Miss Lead, which Tulane Law Revue produced at Tulane Law School in April of 2009. Welcome to Chalmette (Next Stage Press, 2011) won the 2008 TNT POPS Playwriting Contest, and was a finalist in the Reva Shiner Playwriting Contest as well as Aurora Theatre’s 2009-2010 Global Age Project. In 2009, To the 7th Degree was accepted at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. She has also written Waaxe’s Law, which was performed at the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska on May 12, 2009, in celebration of the 130th Anniversary of the Trial of Chief Standing Bear. In December of 2009, Waaxe’s Law received a Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for readings at Creighton Law School in Omaha, Nebraska; the 2010 Annual Chief Standing Bear Celebration in Lincoln, Nebraska; the 2010 Great Plains Theatre Conference; and the 2010 Annual Ponca Pow-Wow. In October of 2011, the Great Plains Theatre Conference and Metropolitan Community College performed Waaxe’s Law at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and again at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2012. During her tenure in the Emerging Writers Group, Nagle wrote Manahatta. Manahatta recently won the Oklahoma CIty Theater Company’s New Native American Play Festival and will be featured as a side-event in the 2013 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous People.


DARRYL TONEMAH (Kiowa – Comanche – Tuscarora)

Tonemah-Bruchac Tonemah with Joe & Jesse Bruchac and Special Guest John Kirk JULY 7, 2013 @ 7 PM (EST)

Historic Caffe Lena 47 Phila Street., Saratoga Springs, NY


Can’t get to Saratoga Springs? No problem! Thanks to our friends at Concert Window, you can watch the show live from your home! Remember it’s LIVE, so get online by July 7, 2013 @ 7 PM (Eastern Standard Time) – They’ll even send you a reminder, if you want to check out the link below now. It’s the next best thing to being there and it’s only $5!




Tonemah is currently co-writing and publishing a new book with author and storyteller, Joseph Bruchac, telling the story of his family’s journey after losing their home in Oklahoma to a tornado in 2010.

For over thirty years Joseph Bruchac has been creating poetry, short stories, novels, anthologies and music that reflect his Abenaki Indian heritage and Native American traditions.

He is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults. The best selling Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children and others of his “Keepers” series, with its remarkable integration of science and folklore, continue to receive critical acclaim and to be used in classrooms throughout the country.

Tonemah is also writing new songs for an album to be released along with the book.

The project is due to be completed in the Spring of 2013.

El Ojito Springs ConcertTUCSON

Tonemah’s latest album, “Mulligan,” has been nominated in the Best Rock CD category for The 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.  → Read more


Excited to have had a part in the feature film, “The Cherokee Word For Water.” Very much looking forward to the premiere in November. → Read more