Over the next few weeks, Saskatchewan residents will have the opportunity to take in Indigenous stories, poetry readings and even cooking classes.

It’s all part of Aboriginal Storytelling Month which kicked off Monday.

The event is being held online and hosted by Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal Peoples.

University of Saskatchewan assistant professor Randy Morin is one of the storytellers.

“We grew up listening to stories,” he said. “As you know, a lot of our stories are fantastical in nature. Our stories have shape shifting in them, time travel – magic almost. So, they were a way of using your imagination. They were an escape.”

At the same time, Morin, who is originally from the Big River First Nation, said traditional Indigenous stories often contain valuable life lessons and can be interpreted on a number of different levels.

“They’re very educational. They’re a way to teach Indigenous people who they are, where they come from. These stories have been passed down through the generations. Many stories are family stories, many stories are nation stories – meaning they belong to Cree people or they belong to Anishinaabe people and so on and so forth.”

Morin teaches in the department of Indigenous studies at the U of S.

He is the author of a number of books including two of which are for children and in the Cree language.

Morin has also worked on the Cree animation projects Wapos Bay and The Guardians television series.

He says he believes storytelling provides an opportunity for Indigenous men to heal intergenerational trauma by talking about things they may have experienced through residential schools, the justice system or addictions.

Online storytelling events will be held at local schools, libraries and cultural organizations over the next month.

For more information, go to the Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal Peoples website.

(Photo courtesy Randy Morin)