Storytellers Series

Storytellers Series button

Premiering in October, this brand new video series spotlights Indigenous and non-European oral storytelling traditions. The series launches with the first of four storytellers, Anishinaabemowin educator Barbara Nolan. Barbara helped create one of the first NSL (Native as a Second Language) programs in Ontario. Her recorded stories, told over three days on Oct. 15, 21 and 28, will be presented in Ojibway with English subtitles.

Storyteller and playwright Gail Nyoka brings her stories to the virtual stage Nov. 25, Dec. 2 and 9. In 2018, Gail travelled to Ghana where she recorded tales of the Ewe people, Voices of the Ancestors: Stories and Lore from Ghana’s Volta. Louise Profeit-LeBlanc and Pamela Mordecai will also be featured later in the series.

The series will be made available to schools with optional pre- and post-show workshops.

Barbara Nolan

Updated schedule: Please note that this series will launch on Thursday, Oct. 15 and continue on Oct. 21 and 28.

“How the Bear Lost Its Tail” – Told by Barbara Nolan
Recommended for Ages 4-8 (JK-Gr. 2)

“How the Turtle Flew South” – Told by Barbara Nolan
Recommended for Ages 4-8 (JK-Gr. 2)

“How the Beaver Got Its Tail” – Told by Barbara Nolan
Recommended for Ages 4-8 (JK-Gr. 2)

 

Nesdotmookiid (“Causer of Language Understanding”)

Barbara Nolan headshot

Barbara Nolan is grateful to have survived the attempts by Canada’s Indian Residential Schools system to take her Nishnaabe language from her. As a vibrant first-speaker of Nishnaabemwin, Barbara has spent several decades working with a variety of organizations to revitalize the Ojibway/Odawa language, her most passionate method is through storytelling. She also delivers presentations on Community Wellness that addresses the impacts of the Indian Residential School System including Healing and Laughter Workshops. Barbara is a proud Nishnaabe-kwe, formerly from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, who now resides in Garden River First Nation.

Gail Nyoka

Nov. 25, Dec. 2 & 9, 2020
Recommended for Ages 9-12 (Gr. 3-6)

Storyteller and playwright Gail Nyoka believes that both adults and children need the wonder and delight that stories can bring, and that stories shape our lives.  As a storyteller, Gail has performed in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., most recently at the Borderlight Festival in Cleveland. In 2018, Gail travelled to the Volta Region of Ghana where she recorded stories of the Ewe people. These are published in an e-book, Voices of the Ancestors: Stories and Lore from Ghana’s Volta Region, https://books2read.com/VoicesoftheAncestors.

Louise Profeit-LeBlanc

Feb. 3, 10 &17, 2021
Recommended for Ages 9-12 (Gr. 3-6)

“T’s Däna”- Beaver Woman
Louise is a member of the Nacho N’yak Dun First Nation of Mayo, in Northeastern Yukon. She is a mother, grandmother and a Story-Keeper. She presently lives in Wakefield, Quebec with her husband Bob. Louise comes from a long line of traditional storytellers and her repertoire consists of her own personal stories and more specifically ancient stories relative to her homeland, the Yukon. These stories depict how the land was made, how her people lived and survived for thousands of years. Many of these stories refer to how everything in nature exists in balance, but more importantly depict morals and teachings on how we all can learn to live harmoniously with each other, while caring for the land, the water and all living things. She is grateful for the privilege of having been passed down these stories by her Elders and honoured to be able to share them with all generations and people of all backgrounds, for the last 45 years. She has travelled extensively sharing these stories at many international venues, Storytelling festivals, universities and colleges, where she also has provided storytelling  workshops using examples of stories to inform the audience  of the importance of oral tradition for the healing of the nations.

Louise is also a visual textile artist, poet and short story writer and continues to demonstrate the necessity of utilizing the power of art and story, to heal, educate and provide opportunities for others to express their culture and strength through the arts. Louise volunteers her time serving in many capacities and sharing Traditional knowledge with children, mothers at schools and community centres. She also provides storytelling workshops and is a member of  the Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs du Canada. She recently accepted to be on the  board for the “Bearing Witness Canada” chapter for this region, established to assist in educating the public about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and has recently offered a workshop on “Seven Valleys Towards Reconciliation” for the organization to help commemorate National Indigenous Day. Louise strongly believes that “the purpose of justice is for the appearance of unity” on the planet.

Pamela Mordecai

Apr. 7, 14 & 21, 2021
Recommended for Ages 4-8 (SK-Gr. 2)

Pamela Mordecai’s debut novel, Red Jacket (2015), was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction award. Her short story collection, Pink Icing (2006), was recently released as an audiobook, read by herself, in ECW’s Bespeak Audio Editions. Her children’s poetry is widely anthologized and used in language arts curricula in the US, UK, Africa, India, the Caribbean and the Far East. A former award-winning thespian, she was one of four guest storytellers at the 25th Anniversary Ibby Conference. Her play, El Numero Uno or the Pig from Lopinot had its world premiere in 2010 at YPT in Toronto and its Caribbean premiere at the School of Drama, Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2016. She has published two crossover collections of poetry, de Man: a performance poem and de book of Mary: a performance poem. Her seventh poetry collection, A Fierce Green Place: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming from New Directions in NYC. She and her husband live in Toronto.