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The University of Southampton

'Raven's Speak': storytellers from the Yukon Territory discuss their tradition and its role in the 21st century

Published: 28 November 2003

The importance of oral tradition amongst the northern peoples of the Yukon and the special place that story has in today's society will be discussed at a special event at the University of Southampton's Avenue Campus (Lecture Room C) on Thursday, 4 December (6.30pm).

Ida Calmagne & Louise Profeit-LeBlanc, two storytellers from the Yukon Territory in northern Canada, will be speaking about the importance of storytelling and keeping oral tradition alive in the high tech and low touch world that we live in today.

Ida Calmagne is a Yukon Elder and comes from a long line of storytellers and orators from her Tlinget/Tagish heritage. She is the daughter of the grand matriarch of stories from the Yukon, Elder Angela Sidney, and a renowned storyteller in her own right. Ida is also a healer and works with many herbs and traditional medicines; several of her stories are about how medicinal plants came to be where they are today.

Louise Profeit-LeBlanc is the Aboriginal Arts Co-ordinator of the Aboriginal Arts Secretariat in the Canada Council, and has an international reputation for her storytelling and her facilitation of better understanding of aboriginal culture and society in Canada. A teller from the Northern Tutchone worldview, her work is inspired by a love for the art of storytelling and the responsibility of the teller as informer, healer and teacher.

"Between us, we will be sharing what is important to us: about story, about legends and myths and the importance of being able to translate the underlying meanings, the morals of the story into this modem day," says Louise. "The teachings which emerge from the heart of the stories are what makes us better human beings, and with the gift of story we are able to assist our community to find their own voice to tell their own story."

The event 'Raven's Speak' is open to all. No tickets are required.

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