The Kekionga Storytelling Festival takes place this Saturday at Headwaters Park from 10 am to 4 pm with a concert by Douglas Blue Feather.
One of the storytellers appearing, is John Dunnagan.
Background provided by the Festival:
John Dunnagan, Vice Chief of the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana, is in his second term in office. A member of the Bundy family, Vice Chief Dunnagan filled his mother’s, the late Chief Frances Dunnagan, grandfather seat following her passing in 1998 and was elected as Vice Chief in 2002. He believes that effective communication and leadership is important to effectively leading the Nation in the right direction. He follows up with thoughts of tribal leadership in general. He sees his position as a tribal leader not as a position of power, but rather a position of responsibility to those who have come before him and provided him the opportunity to make a better world for those to come.
Vice Chief Dunnagan has also been employed by the tribe since 1997 serving as director of the maintenance department and currently as the Complex Director. In his current position, he oversees the daily business of the tribe and Miami’s charity bingo operation. As a tribal council member he is the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAPRA) chair, a member of the by-law committee, member of the archive committee, and the tribal historian. In addition he is a member of the Miami Indian Foundation which promotes education and culture advancement of America Indian people. Furthermore, Vice Chief Dunnagan sings with The Twigh Twee Singers and acts as the drum keeper of his family drum group, TheÂ Mississinewa Singers.
Vice Chief Dunnagan’s main goal for the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana is to regain the respect and recognition from the United States Federal government that the tribe deserves. As these daily efforts continue, he supports the tribal youth’s enthusiasm for language and cultural revitalization. He believes that “the recent children’s language program sponsored by the tribe was a testament to the Nations’ commitment to strengthening our community. The language committee members put in so much work in the program, and the knowledge that the children brought back was incredible. In moments like that, I realize the importance of continuing the fight that our ancestors have passed on to us.” This fight that the Vice Chief mentions is that of community growth and ultimately federal recognition.
John has been married to Faye (Dillon) Dunnagan for 26 years. He has three children, Erin, Andrew and Shawn. Aside from his tribal activities John enjoys riding his motorcycle, hunting, fishing, and his family. He can be reached through the tribal office at 765-473-9631 or. He welcomes community questions and concerns and encourages tribal members to become involved in tribal activities and events.
John Dunnagan will alternate with the other storytellers every hour on the hour.