Oral Traditions

Oral Traditions:

Mi’emhoelh: Voice recording from Elder Dr. Elizabeth Phillips



Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, Sto:lo educator.  “Working with Indigenous Stories” (Pr0D)

Article from CBC Unreserved: Mysterious tales of ‘Little People’ intrigue new generations of Cree, Mi’kmaq.

Four Directions Teachings: Celebrates Indigenous oral traditions by honoring the process of listening with intent as each elder or traditional teacher shares a teaching from their perspective on the richness and value of cultural traditions from their nation.  The site provides free curriculum packages for grades 1 to 12 in the form of downloadable PDF  formats of learning activities.  About Four Directions Teachings.  (Intermediate, Middle School, High School)  [Videos require that you allow the use of FlashPlayer.]

Contents of Four Directions Teachings Website

Blackfoot – PDF of video transcript ; related student learning activities Gr. 1-6  Gr. 7-9  Gr. 10-12    Teacher Resources

Cree – PDF of video transcript ; related student learning activities  Gr. 1-6  Gr. 7-9  Gr. 10-12          Teacher Resources

Ojibwe – PDF of video transcript ; related student learning activities  Gr. 1-6  Gr. 7-9    Gr. 10-12    Teacher Resources

Mohawk – PDF of video transcript ; related student learning activities  Gr. 1-6  Gr. 7-9   Gr. 10-12    Teacher Resources

Mi’kmaq – PDF of video transcript ; related student learning activities  Gr. 1-6  Gr. 7-9  Gr. 10-12    Teacher Resources

The Tradition of Oral Storytelling lesson from Delta Public School District:  Students have opportunities to apply and demonstrate the skills associated with oral storytelling: memorize, internalize, and present (re-tell exactly). Students can use metaphor, analogy, example, allusion, humour, surprise, formulaic phrasing, etc. which are storytelling devices that can be applied when explaining almost any non-fiction concept. (Elementary School, Middle School)

 Louis Bird, Cree Storyteller. “Our Voices” Audio recordings:  “The archive of stories and interviews recorded by Louis Bird is the foundation of OurVoices.ca. In Aboriginal culture, teachings are passed from generation to generation in a rich tradition of storytelling. Louis Bird is a renowned Aboriginal scholar and storyteller.  As part of OurVoices.ca and in conjunction with the Omushkego Oral History Project, Bird will share – in Cree and in English – a sampling of the stories of the Omushkegowak or “Swampy Cree” people of the Hudson and James Bay Lowlands of northern Manitoba and Ontario. Bird is from Peawanuck Ontario and has shared his stories with audiences throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. In addition to performing traditional Cree legends, mystery stories, and oral history, Bird has devoted three decades to documenting Cree oral traditions. He began making audiotape recordings of the stories told by his elders in 1965. Today, his collection comprises more than 340 hours of material – the largest extant collection of such recordings. We are proud to be able to bring some of these recordings to OurVoices.ca.”  (Intermediate, Middle School, High School) [Choose MP3 Stream]

The Oral Tradition : This document explains about FNMI oral traditions.  From “Walking Together : First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspective in Curriculum”, Government of Alberta. (ProD)

First Nations Pedagogy Online : Explanation of First Nations storytelling, followed by videos of First Nations storytellers telling traditional stories. Lots of great information for free here.  To access resources, you will need to sign up via email.  This information is here  – scroll down to the “Community” section for instructions.  (ProD, Primary, Intermediate, Middle School, Highs School)

Circle of Stories (Native American): ”Circle of Stories uses documentary film, photography, artwork and music to honor and explore Native American storytelling.” For Educators section has practical, inquiry-based,  detailed lesson plans. Many Voices section teaches about the cultural significance Native American traditional storytelling. (Primary, Intermediate, Middle School, High School)

Archived – Our Voices, Our Stories (FNMI Stories) : Canadian government site offering background information about FNMI traditional storytelling and  guidelines for telling stories (Introduction) and lesson plans and activities for teachers. French version here Archivée-Nos voix, nos histoires (histoires orales des PNMI) (Intermediate, Middle School, High School)

Literacy Video Series : From Alberta.  “In the Empowering the Spirit video series, literacy is explored through storytelling as a way of sharing culture and values, understanding ourselves and others, and as an important form for expressing personal voice and connecting to others.” (ProD)

Legends of Old Massett Haida : from “Ideas” [54 min]  – CBC radio program  “The Haida are an ancient and powerful nation, internationally renowned for their artwork. Despite modern day assimilation, the Haida of Haida Gwaii are fiercely proud of their culture and history. Their stories of creation and transformation illustrate the richness of that culture.” (Intermediate, Middle School, High School, ProD)

Set in Stone: The spirits of Sto:lo ancestors are alive in Fraser Valley landmarks : Transformer landmarks and stories as related by historian and storyteller Sonny McHalsie. CBC reporting created with Reporting in Indigenous Communities. (ProD)