This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Tecumseh and some of that celebration will take place at the Little Miami Conservancy dinner on April 17th in Mason, Ohio. The keynote speaker will be writer and historian James Alexander Thom. He is the author of Panther in the Sky, Follow the River, Warrior Woman, and other novels.
In this recent interview for WYSO Weekend, Thom calls Tecumseh “one of the great American patriots” and says at the dinner he’ll talk to audience members about how the man’s life is still very relevant today.
“I’m going to point out some of the things that he made us aware of 200 years after his lifetime,” he says. “And I’m going to talk some about the American Indian connection with living a sustainable life in this world, you know, not taking more than you give back.”
Thom says Tecumseh was a “totally committed and brave person” when it came to living up to those ideals, but he’s also quite humble when it comes to summarizing his own decades-long commitment to bringing Native American stories to life.
“I think of myself as just a guy who has a story to tell and it’s so exciting to me that I just want to share it, so that’s my attitude whenever I start a book, and I want to make it as exciting and interesting and meaningful as I can for my readers.”
Thom doesn’t think of himself as an artist and says storytelling for him has been more of a job, however, it’s a job he loves. Audiences will have a chance to see him at work when the Little Miami Conservancy holds their dinner in Mason.
The conservancy was founded in 1967 by Dayton newspaper editor Glenn Thompson with the assistance of former Antioch College President Arthur Morgan. The organization partners with the Tecumseh Land Trust and Glen Helen in protecting the Little Miami National Wild & Scenic River.