Artists share healing, understanding & positivity with Aboriginal Storytelling Month

“Stories are the most authentic way to foster the spirit and imagination and to give your life direction.”

Randy Morin has always loved a good story. Even in kindergarten, he knew he wanted to be a storyteller when he grew up.

Randy Morin will be sharing stories for children and adults at virtual events right across Saskatchewan. (photo provided)

“We didn’t have books, internet or the radio, we learned through the stories our parents told us.” He says. “Storytelling gave me the power of imagination, that all things are possible, nothing is impossible.” Morin continues to share his passion for story and traditional teachings as an author of many books for children and adults.

Wintertime is a sacred time for Indigenous communities, where knowledge about people and lived experiences are traditionally shared. To celebrate the Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal Peoples (LSSAP) is helping schools, local libraries and cultural organizations with online events that highlight the power of storytelling. The month-long event kicks off February 1, 2021. Poetry readings, stories for children, cooking classes, musical performances and cultural teachings will be held virtually through local libraries across the province.

Rhonda Donais is telling stories to classes in Regina’s Public and Catholic Schools this month. (photo provided)

Rhonda Donais says nothing compares to seeing the kids light up when they hear her traditional tales of how the porcupine got its quills or tales of the Trickster. Donais says being a storyteller fills her with joy.

“To take people away from their worries for just a few minutes, if I can provide that escape, I feel I’ve done my job well,”

“To take people away from their worries for just a few minutes, if I can provide that escape, I feel I’ve done my job well,” she explains. “I love sharing Indigenous stories and making people laugh.”

LSSAP chairperson Harriet Roy says Aboriginal Storytelling Month 2021 is about making Indigenous culture accessible, through libraries, to everyone no matter where they live with online channels like Facebook, Zoom and other websites.

“Aboriginal people have always shared stories orally,” says Roy. “It’s important to build understanding and moving these events online makes them more shareable with others. We want to reach as many people as possible.”

Morin says he feels a responsibility to pass on the knowledge he’s been given through story and this month is the perfect time to do it.

“We need to be good ancestors and share our stories,” he says. “They teach you about human connection, how to share kindness, generosity and trust. There is nothing more sacred than our stories.”

With most libraries across Saskatchewan taking part in the event, there is truly something for everyone. You can find a full schedule for the month on the LSSAP website