Rob AptakerArt Form(s):
Native American stories are often called myths and folklore, but Native People call them the sacred teachings. And I think of them that way too. The stories of creation—of how things came to be and how we are supposed to act, as well tales of heroes large and small—serve as touchstones for how to live well and to care for the Earth. Stories of the Animal People invariably end up being stories about all people—our strengths and weaknesses, our needs and feelings, and the ways we act toward one another. Many of the stories are funny, some are poignant. They all contain moral teachings intended to guide the conscience of the listener.
For over forty years, Rob Aptaker has visited Native American people from many tribal nations. He has learned stories, tribal traditions, and songs, and he has taken part in ceremonies and celebrations. Rob is an avid student of Native American oral histories and of Native American historical and anthropological records.
When Rob Aptaker meets with students to share about pre-colonial native life in what is now America, he brings a respectful and balanced perspective that helps children understand Native People and their history. Rob has a Master’s degree in Education and has given hundreds of presentations in schools, libraries, and museums. His talent for combining humor, audience participation, and a well-paced “show and demonstrate” style make his presentations lively and engaging.