Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spirit is not about religion.


Many look at religion as what makes one understanding different than another. I like to look at the similarities. Amazing! There is only one creator! Honour that creator and the creation with respect. We are all connected!

Compare at :


James B Beard aka Noodin

“To be centered is to stand alone together” Noodin

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Conversation with Noodin, Cultural Storyteller on Moccasin Tracks May 8, 2014

 A Conversation with Noodin, Cultural 

Storyteller on Moccasin Tracks

 May 8, 2014

A Conversation with Noodin, Cultural Storyteller on Moccasin Tracks May 8, 2014

Hosted by : Deb Reger                                                        The Book: White Mocs on the Red Road

Music Credit
Inca Son, Vol IV
Sharon Burch, Touch The Sweet Earth (CD)
Noodin, aka James Beard returns to Moccasin Tracks and gifts us with his stories about Medicine Wheel Teachings and his journey that puts him on a Red Road. His elders guide him and his work is to tell the stories orally that have been generously given to him. He tells us to "trust" what is given to you in your path. He says there is Beauty ahead and the most powerful gift is to help others find their path.

Moccasin Tracks airs on WGDR and WGDH, Goddard College Community Radio and online at 2-4PM Thursdays
Mondays with The Wildside and Ruth Wilder on WJSC 90.7 FM and online here 11AM-3PM
Tuesdays on University of Vermont Student and Community Radio WRUV FM 90.1FM and
noon-2PM also program archives at for one week.

“To be centered is to stand alone together” Noodin

  James B. Beard aka Noodin   

Books :

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cultural Program for Parks


Story telling camp fire
Gilson Pond Campground
Monadnock Stat Park
The proposal shown below is an outine of a projected cultural program for a state park in New Hampshire. The program was nearing 50 percent completion when parks shut the program down. The program was reviewed and no problems appeared however the legal department, word has it, has not released the program to be continued and therefore the Native Cultural Program that was to be offered is not.

The suggested program is available and I invite anyone interested in developing any part or all of this proposal to get in touch with me.

James B. Beard, P.o.b. 602, Amherst, NH 03031 , phone 603-261-7228, email:

Native Cultural Educational Interpretive Program
For Parks ~ Community


Pencil drawing by visiting camper at Monadnock State Park, Jaffrey, New Hampshire


Submitted by: James B. Beard









Proposal / Project ------------------------------------    3
Educational Programs -------------------------------    5 

Structures -----------------------------------------------   6 

History ---------------------------------------------------   9

Quality Criteria ----------------------------------------   10 

Project Initiation --------------------------------------   10 

Project Management Team Structure -----------  11

Coordinator Qualifications -------------------------  12

References ---------------------------------------------  14 

Approvals ----------------------------------------------  22


Proposal / Purpose

Proposing a Native Cultural Interpretive Program to enhance cultural knowledge. This project would be open to anyone.

The art and culture of Native American People has continually been of interest to the public. Children are in awe of the stories and colourful portrayal of the first people. Antiquities, traditions and history of the various tribes that occupy the America’s are of interest to all people. The wisdom of this beautiful culture is often hinted at through stories and phrases credited to various Native Elders and Chiefs. Most are curious about the information known by Elders but not shared in writings or audio format. The teachings of the people traditionally are passed on by the Elders in a verbal form. This program offers the opportunity for people to experience teachings passed on only in that way.

Offering a cultural educational resource for all people based on the traditional teachings of the Algonquin / Anishinaabe people native to the North Eastern and North Central areas of North America. To encourage personal and community implementation of a value based manner of living that will guide toward respect of all life, each other and the natural laws of our existence.

Educational programs to do with environment, culture, traditional teachings and wilderness survival would be offered. Focus is to be on understanding Native American Culture to enhance values for individuals and community. The physical area developed would be utilized by anyone in the community wishing to learn or experience indigenous cultural understanding. The area would be available to teachers offering programs relating to natural teachings from all forms of beliefs and science.

A variety of programs would be formed and staffed by volunteer Native craft people.(Volunteers and conductors would receive stipend for their contributions) Various crafting would be done depending on availability of experienced craft persons to do with making of Native tools and objects. Leather work and tanning, drums, shakers, beading, weaving, baskets, dream catchers, pouches and other projects will be offered in structured classes as well as on demand by individuals seeking to learn certain crafts.

The desired physical area to establish this program would be an open area (near water would be preferred) large enough to accommodate several small structures.  Structures placed in the area would consist of: Teepee, Wigwam, Long House, Healing Lodge, Central Fire, Cooking fire area Project work area and ten Picnic Tables and/or traditional work covered lean-to covered areas. Any facility with utilities such as bathrooms, kitchen and inside cover would be beneficial but not absolutely required.

The program mission is to encourage all people to accept one another with wisdom, respect, humility, honesty, love, strength and truth. To help all life in coming to know where we come from and where we will go in order to understand where we are.

Elder Mentoring

Tribal Elders and visiting Elders are encouraged to take part in mentoring to the people that attend programs. Elders are invited to teach or share experiences that will guide others in a quality based manner of living.

Cultural Story Telling

Native American people tell sacred stories as a way of keeping coherence in culture. The stories become a foundation of shared understanding of the general nature of life upon which their societies are built. Native American drums, shakers and flutes are often used to enhance the delivery of the story. Stories contain wisdom and hope, and shape societies in profound ways.


Native American people make their own items including: clothing, jewelry, tools, and weapons. Crafting projects can include beading, braiding, leather pouch making, basket making, dream catchers, drums, shakers and flutes.


Workshops are designed to present a value system as it has been adhered to over millennia by peoples of the American Continent. The purpose being to demonstrate an ethical culture that lives in harmony with all things. The values of these people demonstrate principles that can improve the balance of our society.

Medicine Wheel – A Traditional Record of Life Teachings

Animal Talk – Understanding nature and what it can tell you

Indian Lodges – Everything has a lesson to teach

Talking Circles

Talking Circles have been used by many indigenous cultures, particularly in the Native American traditions. A talking circle is a method used by a group to discuss a topic in an egalitarian and non-confrontational manner or to simply "check-in" about what is present for them in their lives. The group members sit in a circle and make comment on the topic of the discussion.



  • Teepee
    • Near the entry of the project area setting a tone of Native welcoming to visitors.
    •  To be utilized for various teaching programs.
    • Canvas covered tepee instead of birch bark

  • Wigwam
    • Placement in area near central fire. A rounded shape dwelling and covered in birch bark or canvas. (Algonquin style)
    • Usable as a gathering spot or for overnight shelter for some programs.
  • Healing Lodge
    • Used as a teaching tool with visitors.  Students are often brought into the lodge when it is not covered to explain what the lodge is for and what it represents. The public is not brought into the lodge when it is being used for Native ceremony. (It is a functioning lodge)

  • Crafting Area
    • A teaching lodge style structure would be constructed to provide shelter and shade over the present picnic tables used in our craft area.
    • A schedule of crafting programs would be available to park visitors. Craft programs would include.
      • Making of leather pouches, dream catchers, drums, shakers, basket making,

bead working and other Native oriented crafts. (Only cost for supplies would be charged, ie. Crafts supplies can be procured and sold through parks or obtained and sold direct by craftsmen)

      • Teaching Lodge structure

- Covered area for Teaching Lodge at Monadnock State Park, New Hampshire

Structure area would be 35’ X 25’ made of bent saplings in a rectangular shape with entry openings at east and western end. It would be partially covered to provide shade for crafting projects and protection from rain.


  • Central Fire Pit
    • A typical ceremonial fire pit used while storytelling and set up in a Native traditional way. (fire permits would be required for the lodge fire pit, central fire pit and cooking ring pit).


Figure 10 - Ceremony Fire Pit at Monadnock State Park, New Hampshire



Team Coordinator: James Beard aka Noodin

Started in 2006 with a fire and storytelling weekly at the state park campground area.

In 2010 a new campground area was established and opened to the public at the Gilson Pond entry of Monadnock State Park. A small section of the picnic area in the field looking out over Mt Monadnock (Great Spirit / mountain that stands alone) was offered for a fire pit and storytelling area. During the summer camping season the campers and visitors of the park have been offered a story telling program on Saturday evenings. Many visitors to the park have returned to hear the stories of the Native American people as told by James Beard a.k.a. Noodin, cultural story teller, author of White Mocs on the Red Road / Walking Spirit in a Native Way.

During the summer of 2011, the program was expanded to
include a ceremony fire area, lodge, birch bark wigwam, cooking fire pit and a crafting area under tarp cover.


·         Response by the public was positive in all respects. Interest in the program and attendance for interpretive storytelling is strong. More than 800 visitors to the park attended storytelling events in 2011 and an equal number in 2012. Many attendees were return campers as well as people visiting the park from the neighboring communities to attend the program.

·         The cover page drawing was an artist rendering of the teepee. Many visitors drive through just to see the teepee.

·         The programs, maintenance of the area and construction is done by participants in the program under the guidance and mentoring of Elders.

1.  Project Initiation

The Project Initiation is in place and ready to be used.

Past programs have established interest of the public for this program. The project coordinator, James Beard, has a large resource of Native craftsmen volunteers who are committed to provide their talents and energy. The materials needed are on hand. Any additional materials needed to implement the project will be provided at no cost to the park.

2.  Quality criteria

  • All project work will be done subject to approval of the Administration.
  • The coordinator, James Beard, will be responsible to oversee all structures and areas utilized for the project.
  • Schedules for program activities will be provided by the coordinator, James Beard, in advance and subject to approval of Administration.


Project Tolerances

Area set up Spring
Initiate programs in June
Minimal cost program. Actual cost to the provider depends on the extent of the program.
Program is low risk.
Enriches experience for the community
Provides a platform for Educational and Interpretive programs
Encourages preservation of traditional heritage
Traditional heritage and introduction of value based programs for all people.
This program is provided for and overseen by people who posses teachings from Native elders of Algonquin Language based tribes in the United States and Canada. Focus is on north eastern tribes.

Project Management Team Structure


Named Individual(s)
Role Description
Administrative Division
All program development and implementation subject to approval
Program Coordinator
James Beard
Set up, implementation, maintaining of grounds and programs. Coordination of volunteers.
Various craftsmen and helpers
Subject to Program Coordinator
Provide crafting knowledge to visitor participants
Craftsmen, Craft Outlets, Native communities
Supplies may be procured by the program provider and sold to visitors as needed for crafts or the individual crafters may charge the visitors for materials being used.


3.  Coordinator Qualifications

James B. Beard

8 Main Street                        Phone : 603-261-7228

P.O. Box 602                         Email  :

Amherst, NH 03031            

Objective               Presenter / Consultant

Experience:           Speaks on topics such as traditional living and natural spirit teachings. Topics address many concerns to do with wellness and balance in life. A student of native teachings from Ojibwa Elders, Algonquin language based people, living throughout the Great Lakes Region of the US and Canada. The audiences for his presentations vary from youth to elderly. Elder, Larry Matrious, of Lake Lena Reservation in Minnesota is Jim’s teacher and has given him Algonquin teachings of traditional culture, language and ceremony for more than twenty years.

 January 1999  Present         

Author, Cultural Story Teller, Native Cultural Consultant

·         James B. Beard aka Noodin

Grand Monadnock, Jaffrey, New Hampshire

·         Best Sellers: 
White Mocs on the Red Road ~ Walking Spirit in a Native Way @

Woodpecker Came to Visit! @:
Outdoors , age nine @:
Golden Eagle ~ What You Say! @: &

The story of the Life Stick @

Founder: Northeast American Cultural Resource /


2005 – Present                    New Hampshire Department of Resource      Jaffrey, NH

State Park

·         Assigned to Park Ranger staff 2007 at Mt. Monadnock State Park.  Duties are daily ranger duties in park campground & trails.  Mountain patrol & rescue on mountain.

·         Camp host in campgrounds at Mt. Monadnock from April to November.

·         Park interpreter at Mt. Monadnock, Greenfield, Pillsbury & Pawtuckaway State Parks presenting Legends of the People (Native American Stories, ecological information & native flute music).


2003 – Present                    Northeast American Cultural Resource                           Amherst, NH

Independent Website Information Service

·         Resolved to make services available to all people to aid in the understanding of Native American people living in a traditional way.  Efforts are intended to assist in a movement of the traditional teachings to help all people live a balanced life.


1991 – 2004                         Beard Insurance Agency, LLC                            Amherst, NH

Insurance Agent/Owner

·         Established and managed insurance agency offering property, casualty, auto, life and health insurance products to commercial and individual consumers.  This is an independent agency under contract with fifteen insurance companies.



4.  References


To Whom It May Concern:


It is an honour for me to write this letter of recommendation for James "Noodin" Beard.

I have known him personally for 3 years and before that, I was familiar with his

style of teaching through his book, White Mocs on the Red Road. Words that describe

him are: profound, insightful, humorous, and wise storyteller. As department chair

of world languages, French teacher and as high school advisor for the foreign exchange students

through AFS, I had the privilege to host James as a teacher and storyteller

who could represent native culture in a good way. In particular, the traditional

teaching style through story-telling and songs, through sacred objects like the

drum, the rattle and herbs, our students at Berea-Midpark High School as well as international

students were able to gain an understanding of first nation, Anishnaabe culture through direct experience.


Especially at this time, when a more ecologically sustainable way of life is being called

for, to have Jim share the older, Earth-based ways was both inspiring and healing for

teachers, administrators and students alike. What remains with me as I am writing this

letter now are the 7 virtues embedded in all the stories of: honesty, love, truth, wisdom, respect,

humility and bravery and how important it is for the next generation to be reminded of

the teachings that have helped humanity for centuries.


He comes to you with my highest recommendation.




F. Christopher Reynolds, M.Ed.


Berea-Midpark High School

Ursuline College

Ashland University





To whom it may concern;


I first met Jim when I was an intern with the SCA in the NH Parks 
system. I struggled with one aspect of that job; leading interpretive 
programs in one of the park campgrounds. Jim was an inspiration! His 
story-telling programs were engaging, informative, entertaining, 
interactive; everything a novice could strive for. When I had the 
chance to manage a park a few years later, I was eager to have Jim 
come visit and do a program or two. 

Jim's story telling helps the audience build connections; you leave 
the circle feeling connected to a cultural and natural history that is 
shared by everybody.


Vermont Parks Manager, Underhill State Park



To whom it may concern;

Jim is a long time friend and business associate. Our paths first crossed when he was a professional in the insurance industry. At the time I noticed something special in Jim. He really cares about people and the world we live in.

In the late eighties Jim took a turn that I, at first, did not understand, He began to take a different path in life learning from Native American Elders. As he progressed down that path it became clear that this was more than a passing interest for him. He has come to be well known for his work teaching and sharing Native tradition and values. Jim has made a bridge between people seeking to help others to understand and respect one another. His work with the Native population is not without notice and many of the programs that he offers are in conjunction with eastern tribes such as the Maliseet, Mic’Mac, Abenaki and others. He also provides programs to schools and youth correctional facilities around the country.

The message Jim conveys is simple. Respect all things, love all life and be gentle on this Earth. The program Jim is offering will truly help many people to understand one another as well as their own personal being. The knowledge he carries is guided by many Native Elders who assist him in his efforts. That is truly unique!

Carl Weil

Master Fellow – Academy of Wilderness Medicine

Director at Wilderness Medicine Outfitters

2477 County Road 132

Elizabeth, Colorado



To whom it may concern;

It is a rare and precious thing to find one who speaks as Spirit flows. Wisdom arises in every word, simple, surprising, refreshing. His book, White Mocs on the Red Road is a must read for anyone seeking deeper meaning in life. Jim Beard, also known as Noodin, is a gifted story teller, a talented teacher and a beautiful soul. I cannot recommend him highly enough.


Jim's knack for connecting on a deep level with all ages makes him a superb teacher, and his understanding of the native cultures equips him to meet a broad spectrum of challenges, and to convey teachings of profound value.

Hannah Thomas

Heart Rising Radio

Cambridge, England

 To whom it may concern


I highly recommend James Beard, aka Noodin. He and I have co-facilitated heart-centered circles and I am always so moved by the depths of his stories and how they move me and touch others in the group. He is surely following his heart's guidance in the work he is called to do in this world to support the People and the Planet. I highly recommend that you attend an event with Noodin and read his book "White Mocs on the Red Road: Walking Spirit in a Native Way". The story has so many teachings interwoven within it that will touch you on many levels and stir something deep in your soul. I feel honored to know James 'Noodin' Beard and highly endorse him and his work.


Senior Reviewer at College for America of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

Heart Wealth Creation Coach, Packard Productions


New London, NH


To whom it may concern


I have worked with Jim on a research project about Native American culture and history. I have attended many Native American events at which Jim has been both facilitator and teacher. Jim is greatly talented as a writer, story-teller and lecturer. He is great with all ages, his wisdom is appreciated by many in our community in New Hampshire as well as across the United States. 
Jim has much to offer to anyone that is seeking wisdom and guidance with respect to Native American culture and history. 


Andrea Cadwell, Strategy & Development- Non-Profits & NGO's, Photography/Photojournalism

Peterborough, NH


NH Division of Parks and Recreation

172 Pembroke Road

PO Box 1856

Concord, NH 03302-1856

RE: Fabulous Program at Monadnock State Park

I attended a program last Saturday that was not only informative, but inspiring. As a program developer and presenter with over 15 years of experience and having attended hundreds of programs throughout the northeast and elsewhere, including programs at Pinkham Notch and multiple National Parks, I was impressed with what I learned and witnessed.

In one hour, I learned more about our regional Native American cultures than I’ve probably learned in all the hours I’ve spent watching and reading from various other sources (including such maligned greats as Disney’s Pocahontas and Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves, along with more accurate information acquired from trips to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon and dozens of other resources/exposures). From the meaning of various names that grace our own hills and mountains, to traditions of people who came before us and passed along their medicinal knowledge, to all around good tales that offer a lesson or two, the program was not only broad, but had depth and meaning. Sure I’ve heard of the Algonquin, Ojibway, and Abenaki and have imagined I knew enough about them. And I know that I can jump on the Internet, hit Google, and come up with a gazillion resources. I had realized before that Merrimack, Wapack, and Monadnock are all derived from Native American words, but to hear the stories told by a knowledgeable individual who captures the essence of the persona brought new meanings and understanding. To experience the stories in that intimate setting, in those special surroundings with a fire burning brightly as a backdrop was much more memorable. When we were informed that “MAANG” means the “loon” (as indicated on the license plate of our storyteller identifying him as a member of the “loon clan”), there was a car starting its engine. And just then in the distance, I actually heard the loon calling. Not an unusual sound to be heard on our nearby ponds, but the timing was impeccable and perhaps more than coincidental. Then, while he was spinning his tale of “Ginyu” listening to the breeze that created haunting sound in the pines, “Noodin” picked up his flute and played a wistful tune reminiscent of nature at her finest. At that very moment, the previously nonexistent breeze actually started blowing through the tops of the pines and hemlocks above our heads, and it went away as that story ended. It was eerie, yet quite moving and enjoyable.

There were 20 guests of various ages gathered around the storyteller that evening in front of the fire; and while the couple with the two youngest children had to leave a bit early, the rest sat raptly as the wise old narrator wove his tales and passed around artifacts that enhanced the experience – a hand carved walking stick, a handcrafted rattle that easily took on various roles in the story, a flute that didn’t need sheet music to render beautiful tunes, and a simple drum that acted as thunder and took on a spirit of its own (with what I assumed was a genuine animal skin stretched across its breadth).

It may not be for everyone, but this program and others that offer new insight and experiences that people crave so much in today’s cookie cutter, computer-driven world are exactly what we need to hold onto, to encourage, and to maximize in order to continue enticing urban visitors to our beautiful NH outdoors. I urge you and the Division to find a way to continue offering this inspiring program and to expand programming efforts in the parks that will add to the value and enjoyment.

Best regards,

Brenda Bhatti

Jaffrey, NH


5.  Approvals

Prepared By       James B. Beard



This document requires the following approvals

Approved By      __________________________________



Approval Date   ________________________________

“To be centered is to stand alone together” Noodin