First Nations Storyteller-in-Residence Program Receives Award of Merit
Created to strengthen relationships between the Library and First Nations communities in Vancouver, the First Nations Storyteller-in-Residence is the first program of its kind at a public library in British Columbia and only the second at a Canadian public library. The program offers unique experiences for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal individuals and communities to learn more about First Nations culture and to build intercultural understanding and appreciation.
“We are extremely honoured the program was recognized in May by the British Columbia Library Association,” said Chief Librarian Sandra Singh. “The program is one of many steps the Library is taking to make our facilities and services more-inclusive and welcoming for people of Aboriginal and First Nations heritage.”
During the three-year pilot project, storytellers Amanda Nahanee, Jackie Timothy and Henry Charles used song, dance and traditional and new stories to recount their history, share their language and values and broaden an understanding of their culture. The three storytellers participated in diverse community events like Britannia Community Centre’s Stone Soup Festival and National Aboriginal Day celebrations at Oppenheimer and Trout Lake parks, the Central Library and several community centres.
The First Nations Storyteller-in-Residence pilot program received generous support from the Vancouver Foundation and the Vancouver Public Library Foundation. Moving forward, the Library will incorporate lessons learned from the project and feedback from the storytellers, program participants and community members.