Reimagining the rich tradition of indigenous storytelling

The stories of the Nishnaabeg people aren't just tales; they are an embodied way of teaching, learning and living, says a Canadian artist, writer and scholar.


Last updated 4/5/2019 at 3:06pm

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

DURHAM, N.C.-Like many indigenous people in Canada, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's family was disconnected from the practices of their ancestors.

But as a young adult, Simpson, who is Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg, an Indigenous people with a homeland in what is now southern Ontario, returned to learn the language and traditions from the elders of her community.

Among those practices is a rich tradition of storytelling, which she describes as "deeply relational and emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual, all at the same time."

"We have this vast, vast body of oral stories," Simpson said. "W...

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