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Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Award-Winning Author, Playwright, Musician, Cultural Educator, Storyteller & Citizen of the Nipmuc Tribe of Massachusetts


Larry Spotted Crow Mann is a multi-talented Indigenous artist with a career that spans over three decades. In 2021, Mann was the first recipient of the Indigenous Peoples Award from the NAACP in Massachusetts for his lifetime commitment to social justice and sharing the culture and music of his Tribe. Read More >

Educating, sharing and being a voice for social change has been at the heart of his journey. His work and passion have been fueled by many of the painful experiences he has endured growing up as a Native child in an urban environment. Interwoven in his story is how he overcame addiction at the age of 21. Many of his early teachings came from his grandfather, who helped him on the path to healing. Mann’s music, traditional stories and books are always accompanied by important history and the living presence of Indigenous people today.

Mann has harnessed his experiences to educate and pass on ways Native youth can find pathways to healing and a better life. Mann’s writings, music and cultural sharing have taken him to many parts of the world to help bring awareness and connect people, who also share in the passion and commitment to make our world a better place. One of the things Mann emphasizes to the young and old alike: You do not need to drink or do drugs to have a good time. He wants his life to be an example to Native youth of what can be accomplished when we take care of our body, mind and spirit.

Today, Mann, who has been sober for over 30 years, is a nationally acclaimed author and an award-winning writer, poet, cultural educator, traditional storyteller and tribal musician centered around the intersection of cultural and environmental awareness, spirituality and youth sobriety in the Indigenous community. In 2021, he became the first Native American person to perform the opening honor song for the Boston Marathon.

Mann is the author of three books including Drumming & Dreaming, The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving (2015 Native American WordCraft Circle of Honors winner) and internationally acclaimed Tales from the Whispering Basket. Two of his books, Drumming & Dreaming, a spectacular collection of stories of Nipmuc legends, and Circle Tied to Mother Earth, are featured in a state-wide curriculum across Massachusetts as part of a Life Skills Training for teachers and students focused on alcohol and drug prevention for Native American teens.

Mann is co-director and founder of the Ohketeau Cultural Center, an organization that allows for the opportunity for interdisciplinary education through cultural workshops, dance, music, and art. Ohketeau, which means a “place to grow,” was founded to provide a safe, rewarding and enriching experience for the Indigenous community of the Nipmuc region. The Ohketeau Cultural Center is the first-ever, all-Indigenous run and operated center in all of Western and Central Massachusetts.

Mann was also the 2021 Distinguished Artist in Residence at Bunker Hill Community College, where he is worked with staff and faculty to create Indigenous curricula across the spectrum of studies course. Additionally, collaborating on art restorative justice and workshops on Indigenous epistemology.

Previously, Mann served as a board member of the Nipmuc Cultural Preservation, an organization set up to promote the cultural, social and spiritual needs of Nipmuc people, as well as an educational resource of Native American studies. Mann also serves as a Review Committee Member for the Native American Poets Project at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University.

Mann travels to K-12 schools, colleges/universities, pow wows and other organizations sharing the music, culture and history of the Nipmuc people. Outside of Mann’s life work within Indigenous arts and culture, he has given lectures on issues ranging from Native American sovereignty and Indigenous identity to drug and alcohol prevention and eradicating health inequities for Native Americans and Indigenous communities worldwide. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Novel Ideas with Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Speech Topics

Native American Sovereignty: The Tribal Stories That Bind Us

An award-winning author and storyteller, Larry Spotted Crow Mann has dedicated his life to Native American sovereignty and preserving the independence and history of Indigenous identity. The art of Native American storytelling has been passed down for thousands of years, from generation to generation, helping to preserve the traditions and ideals of Indigenous communities around the world. Sharing stories from his internationally acclaimed debut book Tales from the Whispering Basket and other literature and collections, Mann’s oracle depiction of the Nipmuc people teaches us lessons of love, courage, kindness, respect, humility, truth and wisdom. By connecting these stories with today’s most talked about and debated issues, Mann helps audiences bridge the gap between the history of Indigenous people and the role that Indigenous communities play in our current world. Mann hopes that by sharing these stories and the rich history of his people, we can come together as one and start eradicating the diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility barriers marginalized communities and BIPOC people face.

The Holistic & Traditional Approach to Living Drug-Free

Since the landing of the Mayflower, alcohol has taken a horrible toll on Indigenous communities. Generation after generation has suffered from its grip. In a 2008 report from the CDC, 11.7 percent of deaths among Native Americans and Alaska Natives between 2001 and 2005 were alcohol-related, compared with 3.3 percent for the U.S.A. as a whole. Teen suicide, birth defects, break up of families, violence in the home and community and high incarceration rates are all common. Read More >

So, how do you stop the trajectory of alcohol and drug abuse? In this talk, Award-winning Author and Cultural Educator Larry Spotted Crow Mann offers additional alternatives to traditional treatments. Read Less ^

A Place of Creation & Growth

One of the most epic and important accomplishments of Larry Spotted Crow Mann’s career is when he opened up the first-ever all-run-and-operated Indigenous cultural center. The Ohketeau Cultural Center is the first and only one to ever be in all of Central and Western Massachusetts. The center is changing the lives in dynamic ways of all the Native American people in the region. From education, culture, theatre, art and social services, the center aims to share, uplift and provide opportunities for Native people of all ages. In this talk by Mann, you will learn about the center, the work and how you can get involved to support this life-changing endeavor.

The Untold Story of the Civil War

During the Civil War, the Nipmuc people sent nearly one-third of their men to serve in the Union Army. Even though Native Americans were not considered U.S. citizens, they fought for freedom, nonetheless. In this talk, Award-winning Author and Storyteller, Larry Spotted Crow Mann shares their story based on his play, “Freedom in Season.” No less than 36 of these men were relatives of Mann, including two of his grandfathers. While they were away, many of these men had their land taken and children sent to White homes and farms as servants. You’ll learn this incredible yet heartbreaking story and how we were never taught the great sacrifice and contributions of these Native people.

The Art of Storytelling & Drumming

In many ways, storytelling and drumming are intrinsically connected. They both tell us a story that harnesses all our senses and helps us imagine alternate possibilities through our creative process. They are at once healing and teaching. Join Award-winning Author and Storyteller Larry Spotted Crow Mann for a journey into this creative space and see where it leads.

The Living Presence Of Nipmuc People

Many times, we hear the term Native American history. But what is just as important is the living presence — the people of today. In this talk, Award-winning Author and Storyteller Larry Spotted Crow Mann discusses the current issues of Nipmuc people — from the Land Back movement to removing mascots and the education and food sovereignty programs that are giving agency back to the community.

Eradicating Health Inequities for Native Americans

When it comes to health inequities, nearly no group of people have suffered more than American Indians and Alaska Natives. They continue to die at higher rates than other Americans in many categories, including chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, diabetes, unintentional injuries, assault/homicide, intentional self-harm/suicide, and chronic lower respiratory diseases. In this talk, Award-winning Author and Storyteller Larry Spotted Crow Mann identifies the root causes and how we can all help Indigenous people receive better medical care and the long run better health.

Writing & Poetry Workshops

Award-winning Author and Storyteller Larry Spotted Crow Mann, author of Drumming & Dreaming, The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving (2015 Native American WordCraft Circle of Honors winner), and the internationally acclaimed Tales from the Whispering Basket, identifies his process for writing and poetry and shares some of his methods that have been successful through the years.