DR. CHARLES A. STONE
Dr. Charles A. Stone of Austin,Tex. has been named winner of the 2011 White Buffalo Native American Poet Laureate Award for his poem “Grandfather Cypress.” He is a retired medical Geneticist whose Native American ancestry comes from both sides of the world. He joins prior White Buffalo poets laureate Barbara Youngblood Carr (2009), and Dr. Carl B. Reed (2010) as Honorary Chiefs of the White Buffalo Tribe.
He says, “My grandfather (a native of Norway) was of Sami Indian ancestry (the Sami are the largest indigenous group in Europe--the Laplanders). In this country, his family settled on land that has been on again/off again part of the Oneida reservation in Northern Wisconsin and three of my father’s brothers married into the Oneida/Menominee tribes.
"Thus I claim familial kinship with indigenous groups on both sides of the Atlantic and spiritual connection with indigenous people everywhere. Sufficient ties to listen to the Great Spirit. . . ”
His mother, an avid reader of Northwest Indian literature, gave him his middle name in honor of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce.
The spirits of my ancestors
They call to me from the smoke
I sing to them that I will join the dancing
Until then, I must dwell within the bark
The time I spend here is good for my soul.
It is a time to make peace with demons
Totals of the 2011 contest included income of $330 from 33 poets for 82 poems and one $20 contribution. One-third ($110) went to the 1st Place winner, 1/3 was split among other winners, and 1/3 will go toward production of future White Buffalo projects. The quality of entries inspired the judges to add 3rd and 4th place categories:
2nd Place: White Buffalo Calf Award ($30)
3rd Place: White Buffalo Peace Pipe Award ($15)
4th Place: Chief’s Choice Award ($5)
Several Online Awards were also given. View them on
All winning poems will appear in GIFTS OF THE GREAT SPIRIT, Volume II, to be published in summer 2011. It will include selections from the “NAME THE CHIEF” challenge that closes May 30, 2011. See page 3 or click CHIEF