Oral Traditions

Some protocol things to think about….

Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story

In First Peoples’ cultures, knowledge was traditionally kept in oral tradition. The oral tradition, still highly valued today, includes oral narratives (or stories) that are used to teach skills, transmit cultural values, convey news, record family and community histories, and explain the natural world. In addition to expressing spiritual and emotional truths (through symbol and metaphor), specific stories also provides a record of literal truths (regarding events and/or situations) as narratives were passed unchanged from generation to generation.

Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives (PDF)

…from page 40

First Nations Stories

  • Stories can vary from the sacred to the historical.
  • Some focus on social, political, and cultural ways.
  • Some are entertaining, even humorous.
  • Some tell of personal, family, community or an entire nation’s experiences.
  • Some are “owned” by certain clans or families and can only be told by a member of that group.
  • Others can be told by anyone who knows them and cares for them.
  • Stories reflect the perceptions, relationships, beliefs and attitudes of a particular people.

(from the website First Nations Pedagogy Online)

SET BC Oral Storytelling

“As BC educators begin to increasingly incorporate Aboriginal content into their classrooms and teaching practices, there have been many rightful discussions occurring around cultural appropriation and the improper integration of Indigenous stories and knowledge into classroom learning.

In this module we explore the importance of educators exercising careful consideration over the authenticity of the content being presented, as well as the proper process for obtaining that knowledge.”

Do you need permission to tell a story? Video by Bonnie Harvey Ktunaxa Story Teller (Click on the video button in this link to hear from Bonnie Harvey)

K’ómoks First Nation origin stories

Click here to learn more about the K’ómoks First Nation culture through the origin stories of the Sathloot and Pentlatch.

Legend of Queneesh

Local flood story The Legend of Queneesh retold by Andy Everson of the K’ómoks First Nation.  Click here for our webpage on the Legend of Queneesh.

Raven Releasing the Sacred Fire

Suzanne Camp, retired and long time cultural support worker in SD#71 tells the story of the Raven Releasing the Sacred Fire. Jeannie MacDonald, Mark R. Isfled Indigenous Support Worker, gives an introduction of their school is connecting this story to their work with the Downie Wenjack Project. JoAnn Restoule, Ni’noxsola, an elder in residence, makes a connection to the strong tradition of oral storytelling in Indigenous culture and how we see the world and learn about life. Can you make connections to your personal life, your community, your nation?

The Sacred Circle

JoAnn Restoule, Anishnabe Kwe cultural presenter for School District #71,  shares her teachings on the Sacred Circle. Filmed at Bear Spirit Place, located within the traditional unceded territory of the K’omoks First Nation.

Wedlidi Speck reading Little Giwas and Little Uligan

Wedlidi Speck is a member of the Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC. His cultural connections are to the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuuchanulth and Island K’omoks. Wedlidi is the head chief of the Gixsam namima (clan) of the Kwagul tribe.  In this video he is reading classroom books created by Colleen Devlin and the Indigenous K/1 Students at Puntledge Park School.

Mooshoom Bryce Mercredi

Métis Elder, Bryce Mercredi shares his knowledge with students from Queneesh Elementary about the importance of elders in our community and respect.

Phil Umpherville Cree Storytelling

Click here for more stories from Phil

Sky Tellers

Explore the mysteries of our Universe with Sky Tellers! Ten Native American myths and legends investigate the reason for day and Night, why we have seasons, the origin of the stars and other wondrous phenomena of our night sky. Each narrative is accompanied by the story that scientists tell today.

Look for the Sky Teller storys and DVD at SD #71 LRC under Aborignal Astronomy.