Tekaronianeken, Jake Swamp Remembered

chief swamp

Chief Swamp

Chief Jake Swamp, the author of Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message passed away yesterday. I met Chief Swamp fifteen years ago at a reading he did at Barnes & Noble near Lincoln Center. He was reading Giving Thanks to a packed storytime crowd of children and their parents. When the Chief recited his good morning message, everyone within earshot stopped in their tracks and listened. With his powerful voice and enormous presence, Chief Swamp had us all completely mesmerized.

The Chief will be missed, but his book will live on and honor his memory. Children will read Giving Thanks for years to come because its message of respect for nature and offering everyday thanks to the earth is timeless. It is a message that should act as a reminder to everyone never to take nature’s gifts for granted. This is a sad day. Our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.



  1. Larry Wheeler
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    A very giving man. Giving Thanks will indeed carry on his legacy. I wonderful orator with an honorable cause. He surely will be missed by all that knew him.

  2. Posted November 5, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear of Jake’s passing at such a young age. Did you know, Cherokees don’t have a word for good-bye…my Dad never in his life said bye to me though I had to leave him often. We’d hug but then, no words. I know of a traditional Cherokee saying for times like these: “Peace to his ashes; sorrow for his going.” Jake’s book brought joy to so many. I will continue to share it at many of my storytelling programs.

  3. Posted November 5, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Thank you both for your kind words.

  4. Posted November 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I received a copy of Giving Thanks in the mail yesterday. Thank you for sending it! We are enjoying it very much at home and in my library, where the children made thanksgiving books after I followed your links to teacher support materials and learned how to teach them to make acordian books.

    I plan to blog about the book. I would love to be able to link to audio of Chief Jake Swamp reading the text in his original language. Is there such a file accessible online? If so please let me know! Thanks again!

  5. Posted November 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Andromeda, I did a couple searches on youtube and did find a couple videos of Chief Swamp, but none of them featured him reading the good morning message. We look forward to your blog review and thanks for taking the time to write.

  6. Posted November 20, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Jason, Thanks for searching for me! I found some videos and audio recordings and requested them from y library. I linked to them and you in my post here: http://awrungsponge.blogspot.com/2010/11/giving-thanks-native-american-morning.html

  7. Posted November 22, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks again, Andromeda for the post and for digging up additional materials to share. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  8. Kira Wild
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I am wanting to find a video copy of the good morning message from Chief Swamp. Do you know where I can find it? Thanks!!! Kira

  9. Posted July 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Kira, I’m not sure if a video of Chief Swamp giving the good morning message exists. If anyone finds one, please paste a link here. I do know that Weston Woods still carries an audio version on CD of Chief Swamp giving the good morning message. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/kvtggwx

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