Traditional Stories: A Lifeline To Our Cultural Roots And Teachings

I am a storyteller

Storytelling has been with us since we learned to talk, thousands of years ago. No one knows when they began. They were told to teach us how to live together, to teach us morals to guide us, to teach us our history, to give us reason for living. Many of these stories are no longer told. They have been supplanted by religion, television, and all those accoutrements of modern life: tablets, laptops, electronic games, the list grows... But storytelling continues.

I have found that, with traditional stories, I can keep children, 5 years old to 95, spellbound for an hour. The stories are enthralling if told properly. They transport you to alternative world, a world where animals and inanimate objects, like inuksuks, warn you of impending harm. There is magic as only the old world knows. This is what I learned from the old storytellers: my grandmother, my uncles and aunts.

I would like to show you how it is done.

Target Audience
Elementary (e.g. K-7)

Language of Instruction

Sponsoring PSA
Aboriginal Education Association (AEA)



Michael Kusugak

Michael Kusugak grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut). During his childhood, his family travelled by dog sled, living a traditional Inuit lifestyle. Michael is well known as a storyteller and author. He learned storytelling from his grandmother and his uncles, listening to their wonderful stories falling asleep in an igloo. He has written 15 children’s books, winning many awards including the Ruth Schwartz Award for Children’s Literature in 1993 and the prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award, for a body of work in Children’s Literature, in 2008. Michael recently moved to Vancouver Island from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, to allow him better access to travel. Michael continues to tell stories, write and travel across Canada and around the world.

Geraldine Kusugak

Geraldine Kusugak is Manager and Booking Agent for Michael Kusugak.

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