Cultural Video Series

Storytelling, songs, and tribal culture

This week's cultural video

Indian Education is continuing to share a series of short cultural videos for our students and families. This week, we hear the story The Flute Player by Michael Lacapa as told by Choctaw citizen and former teacher Linda Skinner. She is accompanied by Grace Smith, Muscogee Creek composer, and teacher, with original music.

The Flute Player by Michael Lacapa

About Linda Skinner, Choctaw and Grace Smith, Muscogee Creek

The book, The Flute Player, by Michael Lacapa, (White Mountain Apache) was the inspiration for the collaborative performance. Ms. Skinner, Choctaw, has been telling Native American stories for many years as a teacher in her school, as well as the Indian Education Program. Skinner was Director of Indian Education for the Oklahoma State Department of Education for several years before coming to Edmond Public Schools to teach. She retired from teaching after 47 years.

Grace Wiley Smith, Muscogee Creek, was a teacher for the Indian Education Program. She taught Native American Expressions at Boulevard Academy for fifteen years, retiring in 2016.

These two elders have been friends for thirty years and loved this story so much that they worked together to create this presentation. Grace Wiley Smith, Native flutist, performs excerpts from three of her original compositions, “Whisper on the Land”, “Legende”, and “A Distant Dream”.

As you are watching this video, answer the following questions:

  1. How does nature affect a culture and life-ways?
  2. How does inspiration develop?
  3. Why do people compose and play music?

The Flute Player Story

Optional Extension Activity - Illustrate a scene

Listen to the story and the music. Pick a scene that you enjoyed in the story to illustrate.


1. One piece of blank white paper

2. Crayons, colored pencils, or markers

When you are finished, take a picture and share it with