The young boy sat upon the land and offered simple gifts of dried corn and deer meat to the spirits. The spirits told him many stories of where his people came from, how the stars were formed and how the animals came into being. The Young boy listened many years until the spirits were finished with their stories. The spirits told the young boy that it was now time to share these stories with those who would listen.

Since time immemorial people of all nations have told stories to help their communities understand who they are and where they come from. The stories contain the wisdom and experience of the ancestors who have come before us. The old stories educate us on how to live a good life. They contain the traditional ethics and morals that tell us to have compassion, be humble, and take care of our people. It is our responsibility to actively listen to the stories and begin to live our lives guided by them.

Not only are we guided by the old, traditional stories but we are also being led by our own personal story. Whether conscious of it or not, all people conduct themselves according to the story that is living within them. If our personal story tells us that we are unworthy, cursed or destined to fail then we will live out that story. Addiction, violence, verbal abuse and other harmful behaviors only help to enforce the destructive personal story. Our traditional stories can help balance out the harmful effects of negative personal stories and integrate an inspiring and healthy way of life. The traditional stories can connect us back to our ancestors, community and a sense of purpose that is powerful and healing.

Storytelling is all about remembering. Remembering that we are all connected and our actions affect everyone around us. Even the land, plants and animals. Our lives our not just our own. They are an extension of our family and our greater community. Sometimes we forget this natural law from the Creator. That is why our traditional stories are so important. They help us remember that we must live as if the health and vitality of our family depends on our every thought and action. Because they do! So continue to tell the stories of how our ancestors overcame obstacles, lived a good life, and always helped one another. Remember, your story is important so tell it. Live a mythical life!

Click Here To Hire Crit for Storytelling

Storytelling Organizations

Peacekeeper Society – A Native nonprofit that mentors youth and adults through the use of storytelling, cultural traditions ad survival skills.  They have some amazing storytellers that work with families, communities and professional organizations.
Peacekeeper Society

Wisdom of the Elders – Great organization that has an apprenticeship for emerging storytellers and holds an annual storytelling festival in Portland, Oregon during October.
Wisdom of the Elders

Northwest Indian Storytellers Association – Free to join and a great way to meet traditional storytellers.
NISA

Storytelling Movies

Dreamkeeper (2003) – My favorite Native movie about a Grandfather telling traditional stories to help his grandson with modern struggles.

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2002) – Amazing Inuit legend about curses, romance and murder.  It is spoken in their traditional language and the story has been passed down through oral tradition for generations.