From 1974-1977, Nakoma Volkmann served with the Peace Corps in Venezuela

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Venezuela: Peace Corps Venezuela : The Peace Corps in Venezuela: From 1974-1977, Nakoma Volkmann served with the Peace Corps in Venezuela

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 9:37 am: Edit Post

From 1974-1977, Nakoma Volkmann served with the Peace Corps in Venezuela

The Circle of Life Presentation

Nakoma Volkman is a noted artist, writer, lecturer, singer and traditional dancer, of Chippewa and Cree descent, with a mixed heritage that includes Scottish, English and German. He grew up in Wisconsin as well as in South Dakota, where he learned Lakota traditions from his family on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Nakoma’s strong Anishinabe (Ojibwe) and Lakota cultural traditions are reflected in his artworks and writings, though the verses he composes and the values expressed are general to the ancient teachings of all tribes. His verses are profound, and his art combines realism and symbolism in great detail. His purpose is to provide attractive art which is educational and inexpensive.

His lecture at the 5th Annual Harvest Pow Wow concentrates on the sacred circle of life as symbolized by the Medicine Wheel. The purpose of his talk is to instruct the audience on who the Native is in his heart--in his value system, culturally and spiritually. With over 3000 presentations since the 1950’s Nakoma is an established and respected speaker, endeavoring to foster a truer understanding of the Native American and the ancient, good values of the traditional pathway.

Nakoma has a diverse and extensive life history with an emphasis on community service. While earning his B.A. degree from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois on a track scholarship, he led a group of Indian dancers on performance tours each summer through the western states. Upon college graduation, he entered the Peace Corps in one of the very first groups to serve overseas. He served 2 1/2 years in Bolivia, first as the sociologist for a frontier colonization project and then, at the invitation of an Amazon tribe, as a teacher and community worker with them. During this period, he developed a fluency in both the Spanish language and that of the tribe.

Upon return home, he attended the University of Chicago to earn credits toward a Masters degree in community organization. At that time in 1965, the “War on Poverty” was just starting in Chicago, and Nakoma was recruited to be Director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps, providing job experience and training for disadvantaged youth. He was then hired by the City of Chicago’s Commission on Youth Welfare to control street gang activity by channeling their energies into sports. For his work, he received several awards, including one from the Chicago Police Department.

In the following years, Nakoma’s work included Housing Coordinator for Chicago’s Model Cities Program; trainer for Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA); Director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps in central Wisconsin; Job Developer and Counselor for the Spanish-speaking Special Services; and as Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of Illinois.

From 1974-1977, Nakoma again served with the Peace Corps, first in Venezuela and then in Nicaragua. Upon return, he became the Coordinator of “Cultural Kaleidoscope,” producing, directing and moderating TV and radio programs on cultural diversity. Nakoma also worked in security through the years, including fifteen years as Security Director for a major hotel corporation, as well as coordinating Security and Law Enforcement courses for Chicago city-wide colleges.

Since a teenager, Nakoma had been an active member of Chicago’s American Indian Center (AIC). During that time, he became a proud member of the LaDeaux family, direct descendents of Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota Sioux.

Nakoma performed with the AIC dance club, served as Secretary on the Board of Directors, Youth Committee Chairman and one-time Program Director. He was also one of the founders of the Native American Center in Southeast Minnesota in 1984. He served many years as the leader of its intertribal Bear Creek Singers and Dancers, and launched and edited the Center’s “Drumbeat” newsletter for over ten years.

All through these experiences, Nakoma continued to draw, write, lecture and dance, finally going full-time into his “Nakoma Art Traditions” in 1997. He and his wife, Kati, are on the event and lecture circuit every week in the year. Married in 1971, they have two grown children and three grandchildren. Although on a busy schedule, he may be contacted for speaking engagements, and his artwork may be purchased at his presentations, or by mail. Leave a message at his voice mail: (507) 282-7357.

By Joe ( - on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 10:22 pm: Edit Post

Nakoma Volkman is a respected artist and speaker.

Here is a link to his site Nakoma Art Traditions

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