Events throughout Saskatchewan for Indigenous Storytelling Month
Throughout the month of February, indigenous stories are told in various forms across the country.
The Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal Peoples, Inc. (LSSAP) has hosted Aboriginal storytelling for the past 20 years. The project aims to support and promote First Nations, Métis and Inuit oral storytelling traditions in Saskatchewan and to celebrate history, language and culture.
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“For the indigenous people, storytelling is both a gift and a very old custom sanctioned by the people,” said Jessica Generoux, LSSAP SAS project coordinator.
“Storytelling is fundamental to the teachings, ceremonies and way of life of indigenous peoples…. They have a strong connection to who we are as they are an important part of indigenous identity.”
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One of many Indigenous storytellers that LSSAP will be featuring throughout the month is a man from the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation, where storytelling was widespread during his childhood.
“We’re entering a time where people are evolving to understand us and be open to wanting to understand,” said Austin Ahenakew. “There’s a lot of healing that needs to be done that can be accomplished through storytelling.”
Ahenakew, who calls himself “The Noble Savage” on stage, will write a storyline poem about residential schools. The poet hopes people can take away the importance of Indigenous storytelling throughout the month.
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“The stories[are]what really helped our people make ends meet in the old days,” Ahenakew said. “So it’s really nice to bring people together and it’s a very nice way for people to connect in the process.”
Not only will LSSAP host events across the province, but school departments and organizations like the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) will honor the sacredness of Indigenous storytelling.
According to a press release, the RSM is launching a second video series developed in partnership with the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation, starring the elderly Hazel Dixon.
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Dixon has recorded several new Indigenous stories to share with people across the province via social media platforms.
“Returned by popular demand, these Elder Hazel Dixon stories offer a unique perspective on the world around us, exploring our relationships with each other and the plants and animals that inhabit our planet,” said the Secretary of State for Parks, Culture and Sport, Laura Ross, in a release.
“These videos help the museum bring indigenous culture to a wider audience through oral tradition and imaginative stories.”
A list of Indigenous storytelling events can be found on the LSSAP and RSM websites.
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