About the Sxwi’em’ project
We really enjoy listening to the Hul’q’umi’num’ stories of our Elders. Through listening and studying them, we have learned to appreciate how an Elder uses the language to tell a story. Each storyteller has their own way of bringing the story to life.
Often the stories start off with the Elder explaining the situation about when the story was told to them. And then they launch into the story, using special structures and rhythms when they are telling it. Each story holds a life lesson and a message to the listener. Stories are a fun way to experience our language, and listening to stories is a very traditional way of learning.
After we studied a lot of stories, we were inspired to try to write some of our own. Our goal was to create a new generation of stories for the young people to enjoy. We were fortunate to have guidance from Elders Delores Louie and Ruby Peter, who are teachers and story-tellers. They helped us create authentic new stories following our traditional values.
Lots of work goes into making a story. Each story was written and re-written many times with the help of our teachers and Donna Gerdts. We learned how to record our voices, edit the sound files, construct art, and put the stories together as a movie project. We were surprised at how much work goes in to what seems like a simple story, and we have a new appreciation of the knowledge shared by the Elders.
We hope you enjoy our efforts and find these stories helpful when you and your family are learning Hul’q’umi’num’. And we hope the Elders like what we have done so far, and that they will assist us as we practice to improve our new skills.
Just like we were helped, we hope to be able to help the next generation write their own stories. Perhaps some day, there will be thousands and thousands of Hul’q’umi’num’ stories, for watching, listening, reading, and telling.
Thank you, Elders, for always reminding us how important our language is and that we must work to keep it strong.
Learn More about Making Stories
To learn more about making stories, see section 7 of the Hul’q’umi’num’ Lessons, which you will find here.