For thousands of years Indigenous people have shared their knowledge, traditions, and values through the use of story. Sacred stories, heroic stories, historical and narrative stories, all formed the basis of how the People were supposed to exist in ways that promoted sustainability and longevity. As Western values and knowledge structures were introduced, it was the stories that held the People together during the missionary and boarding school eras.
Yet, Western education systems find no value in models that do not serve to reinforce the dominant hegemony. Therefore storytelling is often disregarded in favor of a mastery over reading and writing.
The Story Keepers project seeks to draw upon the traditional Indigenous ways of being and knowing as a way of providing a cultural grounding and reframing for literacy efforts in Native and Indigenous communities. By utilizing the name of Story Keeper, we are highlighting the important role that each of the participants will have in keeping and maintaining the stories of their People.
The goals for the project are as follows:
- To empower Native and Indigenous youth through deep cultural and traditional connections to become guides and guardians of their communities' traditional values and ways of being as communicated through traditional and contemporary stories
- To support the development of strong communication skills based on Indigenous traditions of storytelling and oratory
- To develop a new metric for determining literacy from a Pueblo Indigenous perspective
- To promote intellectual curiosity and Indigenous imagination through the use of traditional Indigenous learning methodologies
If you are interested in assisting with the Story Keepers project or wish to host the project at your school or community, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.