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Lac du Flambeau Tribal Library shares Ojibwe stories this 'storytelling season'

Brian Jackson shares a story at the Lac du Flambeau Public Library.
Erin Gottsacker
Brian Jackson shares a story at the Lac du Flambeau Public Library.

Circled around a reading table at the Lac du Flambeau Public Library, a small group of tribal members gather to share stories with each other.

Some are silly tales about long-ago memories. Others are more serious.

The Lac du Flambeau Public Library is hosting story times like this to provide a space for people to share stories in the oral tradition or read aloud from books written by indigenous authors.

The stories are a way to pass down knowledge, history and culture.

“The culture is in the language,” says Carol Amour, the coordinator for the Waaswaaganing First Nations Institute of Indigenous Teaching and Learning. “Our culture is in words, our memories are in words, our teachings are in words, and stories carry so many of those things.”

Amour says many Ojibwe stories are traditionally told only in winter – the season when much of the world goes quiet.

“Everyone’s together,” Amour says. “You’re not going to be outside building a wigwam at that time, it’s the time of year that most people will be inside.”

The public library is continuing the tradition this winter by encouraging tribal members both young and old to bring their own stories.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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