Our Arts in Storytelling

Our traditional arts have been a way to share stories and we can continue to use our arts to help share stories in a cancer basics online course I helped develop. We use many handmade Alaska Native dolls who share about cancer and help bring understanding to such a hard topic; we are using our traditional art in a new ways 💛

Cancer Basics Course

Check out this article about Telling Stories through Corn Husk Dolls, which inspired this post 💛

Corn Husk

 

Are you using storytelling in your community work?

Storytelling is where it’s at – use it as a part of your community outreach and organizing.

1. Use storytelling as a community development strategy. (Build awareness and address critical local issues!)

2. Use storytelling as an instrument for citizen empowerment. (Empowers community members!!)

Storytelling is an excellent tool to get your community voices heard!

As the Roses Age

As the Roses Age

Storytelling comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes, such as parables, poems, short stories, etc., and I have the honor of being friends with one of our respected Tribal Storyteller, Leader, and Culture Bearer, Wilson Justin. He doesn’t call himself these things but many of us think of him in these ways.

One time a long time ago, he was sharing a story that had an important observation about our healthcare and the struggles to access for our People who live in our rural communities. After he was done sharing, I said that his words were like getting hit upside the head with a hammer that is wrapped inside a pillow. His words continue to inspire, and continue to have us stop and think – he honors us with his gift of story, and his observations of life. Nowadays, when his stories, poems, and observations inspire me, and I now like to wrap them within an image ♥

Reflecting on Another Year Around the Sun

I think we need to honor ourselves and take a moment to reflect each year on our birthdays what we have learned, and maybe use some of that knowledge as our foundation to build for the following year…

December 15th Birthday Wisdom

My Lauraism for the day: “Story On”

I’m now at the “Elder-in-Training with Wheels” status. To reach this far is somewhat a miracle with the life I had 😀 I’ve been around the block a time or two or three or four 😉 and I’m good with it. So what have I learned so far in life?

  1. You cannot help everyone but you can help one person more than yesterday.
  2. YOU are responsible for your choices – just the way it is folks, so play nice.
  3. It is ok to be different; embrace it, honor it, run with it!
  4. Being serious all the time is seriously overrated so have fun! Laugh! Play! Create!
  5. You’re never done learning. Learning expands your horizons and keeps your mind open, and lawd knows we need more open-minded people in this world right now.
  6. HONOR YOUR STORY.
  7. Make peace with yourself, this will give you your greatest strength.
  8. Sometimes the bad guy wins but that doesn’t make you a bad person. Dust yourself off, hug yourself, and keep going.
  9. Saying goodbye is as much a part of our lives as saying hello…
  10. Time is what you make it.

Well this Wisdom about gave me leaky eyes remembering how I learned/earned all of this. I’m grateful to the Creator for letting me be here another day, another year and here’s to seeing what the next chapter of my life takes me, and remember:

“Be Courageous in Heart and Spirit.” – Me

Birthday Wisdom

Learning Through Story

LJRevels Story MaskI had the honor of learning from Gene Tagaban, Master Storyteller, last week and my biggest takeaways from the Storytelling Sharing (Training) were:

  • Thoughtfulness in sharing stories: what story are you sharing, and how to tell certain stories with honor.
  • Indigenous way of knowing and learnings through listening and story: this one was a good one to reconnect with. To sit and listen, just listen to what is being shared. We listened for hours and not once did I become restless. I knew at a deep level that knowledge was being shared and time was of no interest.
  • I am worthy of being a story keeper.
  • The impact of healing through indigenous ways.
  • Storytellers are healers. To learn more about this one, because this one is an honorable teaching, I suggest taking a class from Gene as I do not know how to articulate it with the respect this one deserves.
  • I am an “Auntie” and need to step into that role, embrace it, and help those who follow.
  • Be selfish, not self-centered. You have to take care of yourself, if you do not take care of yourself, you only share a part of yourself in storytelling, and in helping others. I’d like to add to this, being selfish for me as a storyteller also means setting boundaries.
  • Stop trying to be perfect, make mistakes. For me, it was more like, quit trying to be perfect for others, and was a good one for me to hear out loud.
  • Healing stories. I never gave this type of storytelling much thought, even though I see this happen in the many digital storytelling workshops that I do. I see people see the path of healing when they come to story circle, but I never named it really. This one gives me a lot to ponder on.

It was quite the training and there was so much more that happened during the workshop, including learning from some very young men. The balance between the men and women felt right and I was grateful that I was able to learn from the young men who stuck it out to the end. I was also very privileged to learn from an Elder who decided to drop in and share his knowledge with us too.

For me, it was good to be with Indigenous Storytellers, to be mentored back to ways of knowing and sharing, now it’s my responsibility to step up, embrace, and share what I know with others.

Gunalchéesh for stopping by. Gunalchéesh to Gene and to the Elder who dropped in, for sharing their knowledge and teaching us.

#storytellingraven  #nativewellnessinstitute

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