Native Storytellers Share Craft at UWS

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2010 Updated Mar 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM CDT

SUPERIOR, WIS. --- Keeping Native American Traditions alive through storytelling --- Dozens gathered at the University of Wisconsin Superior today for just that reason.

Native Speakers from Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas all shared stories and culture. The event was known as the Second annual Intercollegiate Indian Storytelling Event. However, many of the speakers say it's simply a gathering to promote traditiona.

According to tradition, the stories aren't written down, but are usually told in the winter months.

Members of the Fond Du Lac Band of Ojibwe, The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and even Lakota Storytellers spoke at the event.

Storytellers like Amik (Larry) Smallwood, an Ojibwe storyteller from the Mille Lacs Reservation say it helps spread native culture while also serving as a link to the past.

"They want to hear stories; they're interested in other cultures' stories," Smallwood said, talking about the Ojibwe people. " So they gather up and come and enjoy and listen, and they always learn something from a story."

According to tradition, all stories were told in Ojibwe and other native languages. However, the stories were re–told in English for those who stayed to listen.

Written for the web by Matt Standal