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Whatcom County library programs honor Native American Heritage Month

Northwest Washington’s deep American Indian traditions are featured in a series of events with local tribal members this month at two Whatcom County Library System branches.

Programs in Ferndale and South Whatcom honor Native American Heritage Month, which is November, said Ann McAllen, the county library’s outreach coordinator. Similar events last year drew large audiences, she said.

This month’s programs feature Frank Goes Behind, a Lummi Nation storyteller and artist, and other Lummi tribal members.

“They get to share their crafts with the community, and we get to learn,” McAllen said.

Frank Goes Behind teaches a free clamshell rattle-making class with all materials provided at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. Registration is required at wcls.org. He also offers a free storytelling performance at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, in the Sudden Valley Adult Center , 10 Barn View, inside Gate 2.

Though Frank Goes Behind is an accomplished bead worker and carver, he is particularly known for his effort to preserve Native American songs, tales and culture and to spread them to a wider audience. He often wears traditional Lummi attire for his presentations.

“They’re traditional stories, “ McAllen said. “He’ll do the voices, and he’s quite an entertainer, too.”

For more information about Frank Goes Behind, go online to his Facebook page or stop by his gallery at Lummi Gateway Center at 4920 Rural Ave., north of Slater Road on the outskirts of Ferndale, just west of Interstate 5.

Other programs include “Traditional Places of the Lummi Nation,” with Lummi tribal member Matt Warbiss, who offers a slide presentation and demonstration of the native flute. It’s free at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St.

Lummi artist Earline Hanson will demonstrate how to make traditional Lummi medicine bags at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at Ferndale Library. Register at wcls.org.

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