A Haida author will share her own stories, as well as her people’s stories, in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Month.
Squamish and Haida storyteller Kung Jaadee will host an hour of storytelling for children of all ages through the Vancouver Island Regional Library on Wednesday, June 22, from 6-7 p.m.
She is the author of two children’s books, Raven’s Feast and Gifts from Raven, as well as two curriculum textbooks, Indigenous Communities in Canada: Haida Nation and We are Home.
The virtual event will include singing, a regalia show and tell, and a performance by Jaadee on her Raven’s Feast story.
“It’s a really great book about bringing everybody together and talking about how everyone has gifts to share,” she said. “In my performance, I usually sing a couple raven songs at the very beginning. I might sing a feast song because that’s connected to the raven’s feast. I might sing You’re Singing to a Precious Child – which is kind of a lullaby. And those are the main songs.”
Since the mid-’90s, Jaadee has told stories at hundreds of festivals, schools, museums and conferences across Canada and the United States.
She said she turned to storytelling when her son was a child to raise awareness of her culture and counter the discrimination she received as a child.
As part of her teachings, Jaadee said it’s critical to instill self-love and confidence.
“Each and every one of us has tens of thousands of ancestors who love us no matter what, who will always love us. And I teach them to remember that, and to hug themselves and tell themselves ‘I love me’ every day for as long as they live.”
One of her favourite parts of doing live performances is hearing the children repeat her language back to her.
“I absolutely love performing live, when I can. Because I love seeing the children’s face, even behind masks. I can tell that what I’m doing is resonating with them,” she said.
Those interested can register at http://virl.bc.ca/event/kung-jaadee-storytelling-event/ to participate in Jaadee’s online storytelling event.