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Contemporary forms of Storytelling

Winter messages from Tribal Youth Resource Center:

We have just passed the winter solstice, which marks the beginning of a season for storytelling and ceremony in many tribes. This winter, perhaps the most challenging many of us and our children have known, might be a good time to engage with traditional stories, which have helped so many of our ancestors pass the time pleasurably while gaining wisdom and the strength to meet challenges. While it may not be possible to gather and tell stories together, perhaps we can gather in our smaller circles to share stories this year.

There are many tribal storytelling resources online, like this overview of some different tribal members’ reflections on their memories of traditional storytelling, or these Ojibwe stories that can only be told when there is snow on the ground, or this audio recording of a Nuhlegan Abenaki storyteller sharing the story of how the rabbit got its tail. It’s also possible to provide the young people in your life with similar kinds of enrichment through contemporary forms of storytelling, as long as we participate in that activity with them. For example, we can watch a movie with our children and young people and then discuss the characters’ actions and motivations afterwards to provide the teachings that may sometimes seem absent from modern media.