Jesse S.

Storytelling is a term that everybody interprets in his or her own way.  For the most part, it makes me think of the fictional fairytales that my parents read to me when I was a kid.  However, in Indigenous cultures, storytelling is firmly grounded in oral tradition and history.  Indigenous storytelling is a way to instill a knowledge of the mind, body, and soul in connection to the earth through experienced and trusted “knowledge keepers.”  In many Indigenous cultures, storytellers must be trained, apprenticed, and given the right to share knowledge through these stories. (Wheeler, Winona. Personal interview. 15 September 2018.)  The life lessons brought about in Indigenous storytelling are essential for Indigenous peoples to make sense of the world and to teach about values, history, significant events, relationships, cultural beliefs, and sacred stories.  I spoke with two Indigenous professors to try and understand what makes Indigenous storytelling more than fictional entertainment.

This image is a depiction of the Cree Creation Story: Turtle Island. It beautifully illustrates the turtle sacrificing himself for the preservation of all living things. Artist: Aaron Paquette.

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