Master Storyteller Louis Bird
Wawatay News (Wawatay, Ontario) ,
September 10, 2004
Louis Bird, Elder and storyteller, is an Omushkego (Swampy Cree) from Peawanuck. His fascination with history goes back to his childhood, when he remembers first hearing traditional stories. Despite spending four years in residential school, the first 20 years of his life provided him with a traditional cultural education from his parents and Elders, through practical experience and the teaching of stories and legends.
As a young man, he began documenting the Swampy Cree legends and oral history he heard from the Elders, memorizing and recording their words.
“It is very important to keep our Omushkego language alive and also to teach our young people how to read and write in our language,” he says. “My collection of stories should be written down so the young people will be able to study our language and understand their culture better. It is time the stories should be put on paper.”
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