Events throughout Saskatchewan for Indigenous Storytelling Month

Poet Austin Ahenakew is one of many storytellers who will be contributing to Indigenous Storytelling Month across Saskatchewan. Photo provided: Austin Ahenakew

Throughout the month of February, Indigenous stories will be told in various forms across the country.

The Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal Peoples, Inc. (LSSAP) has been hosting Aboriginal Storytelling for going on 20 years. The project aims to support and promote First Nations, Métis and Inuit oral storytelling traditions in Saskatchewan and to celebrate the history, language and culture.

Read more: February is Aboriginal Storytelling Month

“For Indigenous people, storytelling is both a gift and a very old custom, sanctioned by the people,” stated Jessica Generoux, LSSAP SAS project co-ordinator.

“Storytelling is fundamental to the teachings, ceremonies, and way of life of Indigenous people…. They have a rich connection to who we are since they are an important component of Indigenous identity.”

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One of many Indigenous storytellers that LSSAP will introduce throughout the month is a man from the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation, where storytelling was prevalent in his home growing up.

“We are just stepping into a time where people are kind of evolving into understanding us and being open to wanting to understand,” said Austin Ahenakew. “There is a lot of healing that needs to be done, that can be done through the storytelling.”

Ahenakew, who calls himself “The Noble Savage” on stage, will be creating a storyline poem on the topic of residential schools. The poet hopes people can take away the importance of Indigenous storytelling throughout the month.

“The stories (are) what really helped our people get by in the old times,” said Ahenakew. “So, it’s really nice to draw people in together and it makes a very beautiful way for people to connect while doing it.”

Not only is LSSAP hosting events across the province but school divisions and organizations like the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) will also honour the sacredness of Indigenous storytelling.

According to a release, the RSM is launching a second video series that was developed in partnership with the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation and features elder Hazel Dixon.

Read more: University of Saskatchewan library launching Indigenous storyteller program

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Dixon has recorded several new Indigenous stories to share with people across the province through social media platforms.

“Back by popular demand, these stories by Elder Hazel Dixon provide a unique perspective on the world around us by exploring our relationships with one another and the plants and animals that inhabit our planet,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross stated in a release.

“These videos help the Museum to share Indigenous culture through oral history and imaginative stories with a larger audience.”

To find a list of Indigenous storytelling events, check out the LSSAP and RSM websites.

Click to play video: 'USask announces Library’s third Indigenous Storyteller-in-residence'
USask announces Library’s third Indigenous Storyteller-in-residence

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