Established in 1989, Swiftdeer-Paige, an earth friendly company, has been "edutaining" thousands of people young and old on the important ecological issues of our times. Offering age appropriate programs for all seasons, Swiftdeer-Paige is strongly committed to inspiring a greater desire for a more balanced relationship with the web of life.


Dennis Paige has been awarded the 2008 Grassroots Conservation Leadership Award from the Audubon-Chicago Region and the Chicago Wilderness Habitat Project. This award reminds people that so many of us have a profound love for nature and that this love inspires us to do extraordinary things.


Contact: 847-372-0437 or


"We thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. It was a real privilege to witness the passion and conviction with which you share your knowledge and your stories. You obviously have a gift for drawing your audiences into Native American traditions and for engaging them in meaningful reflection."
Matt Meacham, Program officer-outreach | Illinois Humanities Council


Journey From The Heart

With close ties to the earth, native North American cultures are a crucial link between human society and nature. The flute playing, circle dances, animal impressions, stories, songs, drumming, and sharing of the Medicine bag are presented in a very colorfully captivating setting, creating an inspirational program to draw the participant into the humor and ancient wisdom of the First Nations. Tailored to meet the needs of the individual group, this engaging 50 minute performance is  available any time during the year. Ideal for scout gatherings, summer camps, school/library special events, festivals, and birthday parties.

This program has been performed to thousands of people, young and old, in hope of inspiring action toward a caring kinship relationship with nature. Receiving the ceremonial blessings of Sitting Bull's pipe by Lakota pipekeeper Tatonka Ska (father of the Spotted Red Bead People), Dennis honors "the Red Road" with a deep conviction and love for the Native American ways. Having recently been adopted into the Northern Branch of the Spotted Red Bead People, Swiftdeer-Paige prides himself with an Earth-centered consciousness in his daily life. This program is recommended for people over 6 years of age. A one month advance notice for bookings is required.

Coyote Awakenings

This hour long program celebrates the return of the coyote to our area. Play a lively audience participatory game to learn how coyotes survive in the modern world, listen to a whimsical Zuni tale about Old Coyote Woman and a mystic grasshopper, engage in the entire coyote friendly version to Home On The Range accompanied by harmonica,  and then be enthralled to hear an amazing true story of how Swiftdeer was saved by a coyote and her pup in the rugged high desert wilderness of north central New Mexico.


Ideal for libraries, campfire programs, school assemblies, and scout gatherings.

Spinning Earth Friendly Yarn for Kid's Sake

Where can you find the nearest storyteller? The answer may be closer than you think. Dennis Paige believes we are all born with the ability to tell stories, and that each of our lives is filled with a rich treasure of life experiences though we live in a fast paced electronic age that doesn't nurture those gifts. A naturalist, writer, and professional storyteller, Dennis guides children in creating, telling, and listening to tales with the wild world in mind and stories of personal connections with nature. Activities over a two hour period will help provide the necessary tools for kids to enjoy the art of storytelling to their schools, family, friends, or even their pet animals.

Guiding the child through a series of playfully engaging exercises through the imagination, Dennis shows how to use our innate storytelling skills to recover lost connections with nature, escape the video age of passive entertainment in the quest for people to people time, and give parents a window into their children's lives.

Awakening The Hidden Storyteller As If the Earth Mattered

Where can you find the nearet storyteller? The answer may be closer than you think. We are all born with the innate ability to tell stories, though we live in a fast-paced electronic age that doesn't nurture the those gifts of life. Activities in this earth friendly workshop provide the basic necessary tools for educators, eco-questers, parents and grandparents to enjoy the art of storytelling for their audience while integrating creative collaborative exercises which embrace nature in our lives. Come and explore an enchanting window into your inner child with long time eco-storyteller Dennis Swiftdeer Paige.

Living As If The Earth Mattered

Two hour motivational thought provoking workshop for adults devoted to helping people find empowering earth friendly ways to live with joy and practical simplicity in your community.

You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

(45 minute storytelling program intended for adults)
Belonging is the most important function a community serves. Indeed, that is the message that lies at the heart of longtime storyteller Dennis Paige's program. Growing up in the 1950s in a small industrial suburb of Chicago solidified a sense of belonging to a world larger than himself and prepared him with his parents' guidance to participate in the larger community, human and otherwise. Just like every generation, the Fifties carried a unique cultural bag of absurdities and creative challenges to belong into the "real world." Listen to delightfully rich tales of a not so distant time and see if your generation outmatches Dennis' memorable relationships in his community when sandlot baseball ruled, TV westerns thrived and the feeling of terror related to the possibility of being invaded by Martians.

About Dennis

Dennis has extensive professional background as naturalist, restorationist, ecology minded storyteller, green thinking lecturer, natural landscaper and environmental journalist. He has trained under the Second City School of Comedy in Chicago, served for two years on a United Nations Earth Charter Planning Committee for the City of Chicago, and runs his own earth caring enterprise called Swiftdeer-Paige.

As a naturalist-education specialist for over 15 years at a nature sanctuary in Schaumburg, Illinois, Dennis has continued to educate people young and old to the daily detailed awes and wonders of nature through interpretive walks, day camps, night hikes and campfire programs. For seven years he lead outdoor ecology focused adventure camps in Wisconsin for youth with an emphasis on challenging low impact recreational experiences.

For four years Dennis wrote an award winning column for the Daily Herald called "Green Light: Living with Nature" circulated throughout the northwest Chicago suburbs, covering local, regional, and global environmental issues.

For ten years he served on a committee to help plan and coordinate an annual Earth Day Celebration sponsored by School District 54 and played as a percussionist-singer in a contemporary folk band called Prairie Smoke for over 12 years.

He holds double Masters Degrees in Environmental Education from the National Audubon Society Expedition Institute through Lesley University (Cambridge, MA) and in Social Studies from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL).

He presents a thought provoking workshop-lecture program titled "Living As If The Earth Mattered" to colleges and other interested organizations and a slide talk presentation on creative native landscaping titled "Creating Eco-gardens in Sterile Residential Landscapes" to garden clubs, nurseries, and other interested groups.

Serving in the Peace Corps in West Africa, living in his own rotunda style self made adobe home without electricity for 6 years in Santa Fe, New Mexico, canoeing, camping and backpacking throughout many wilderness North American national parks have instilled a rich spectrum of engaging worldly experiences.

Dennis tries to live as he preaches, conserving energy by riding to and from work on a bicycle, composting regularly, and eating a mostly vegan diet at home. A dedicated advocate of wetlands, he has successfully campaigned to protect them from development. Over the past few years, he has designed and applied environmentally friendly natural landscaping to individual homeowners and a condominium association and received media attention in the Chicago Tribune for his unique conscientious approach.

Sampling of Performances by Swiftdeer-Paige


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