Bruce Sinclair has been named the third USask Storyteller-in-Residence. (Photo by Brittany Carmichael.)

By: Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

University of Saskatchewan (USask) Métis drama professor Bruce Sinclair has been named the University Library’s Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence at USask for 2023.

Sinclair, a Métis theatre artist, teacher, student of the nehiyawewin (Cree) and Michif languages, begins his 12-week residency this month.

Sinclair is originally from Meadow Lake/ The Battlefords and is currently a sessional lecturer in the department of drama as well as a theatre artist. Sinclair said about his role as Storyteller-in-Residence that it is about connecting stories to education.

“(It’s) making time for others, to share and hear and learn, for acceptance of many cultures and stories, to teach our children … to actualize and realize the essence of story in our places of education,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair teaches drama to USask students in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) and Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways (ISAP), and acts, directs, writes plays/stories and strives to merge artistic practice with life.

Sinclair will hold regular office hours at the Murray Library on the USask campus and spend a portion of his residency delivering programming to the community, made possible through a partnership with the Saskatoon Public Library.

“We’re excited to have Professor Sinclair take up this important role in the library,” Dr. Melissa Just (EdD), dean of the University Library said.

“The Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence is a unique opportunity for Indigenous artists to develop their practise in an environment that supports and encourages creative expression. It’s also a significant opportunity for the library and the wider university to hear and learn from Indigenous perspectives through storytelling.

Sinclair’s follow poet and author Zoey Roy held the position in 2022 and hip-hop artist Lindsay (Eekwol) Knight was the inaugural Storyteller-in-Residence in 2021.

Just said Sinclair’s selection as the 2023 Storyteller-in-Residence supports the residency’s aim of creating and delivering opportunities designed to promote intercultural understanding and story-sharing between and among Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

“The fact that this is the third consecutive year of this residency speaks to the success of the program, and how important we believe it is to create spaces on campus to engage with Indigenous perspectives,”  Just explained.

The residency culminates in a presentation of a project during the university’s Indigenous Achievement Week in March.

The Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence is made possible through the generous support of University Library donors, and the programming efforts of the Saskatoon Public Library.