Tim Tingle & D.J. Battiest-Tomasi
Both D.J. Battiest-Tomasi and Tim Tingle are enrolled as members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and regularly participate in tribal events. Both also share relatives who came on the Trail of Tears from the original Choctaw homelands in Mississippi. They speak Choctaw as a part of their performances. They normally perform individually, but have been asked to perform together on this occasion. Tim Tingle is a traditional singer, flute player and drummer, and a nationally known performance storyteller, as well as a teacher, writer and lecturer. He delivers lively historical and traditional stories, accompanying himself on the Native American flute, and sings Choctaw songs to the rhythms of a whaleskin drum. From 2002 to the present, Tingle has performed a traditional Choctaw story before Chief Gregory Pyle's Annual State of the Nation Address at the tribal gathering in Tushkahoma, Oklahoma, a Choctaw reunion that attracts more than 30,000 people. D.J. Battiest-Tomasi is a flute player and storyteller, and works as a family counselor. He has performed extensively across Oklahoma and is considered an ambassador of the Choctaw people.