Special grant provides funding for several Indigenous storytelling events

By Derek Cornet
January 8, 2019 - 5:00pm

A $30,000 Community Initiatives Fund grant for the Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal People (LSSAP) will go a long way.

Pahkisimon Nuyeʔáh Library System Assistant Director Harriet Roy, who is also the chairperson of LLSAP, said the money will be used to fund Indigenous storytelling events across the province. Through a coordinator, the LLSAP reaches out to several sources for funding on a yearly basis and then a committee decides where the money goes. In 2018, the LLSAP distributed nearly $90,000 for multiple events, but Roy said they’re expecting less funding overall this year.

“They give us around $30,000 each year,” Roy said of the Community Initiatives Fund. “We try applying every year, but funding isn’t guaranteed.”

So far, Roy said LSSAP has received funding requests by six communities including Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, Cumberland House, Green Lake and Sandy Bay. The event each applicant wants funding for differs between them, but they all include traditional or cultural aspects. For example, students will learn about sweat lodges, setting traps and traditional ways of life in Sandy Bay, while Cumberland House wants to bring storytellers into the classrooms, as well print their stories and distribute them throughout the community.

There have also been LSSAP-sponsored events in La Ronge in the past such as a visit by Jeanne Corrigal at the seniors club last year. Communities and public libraries are both welcome to submit a request for funding through the LSSAP.

“Buffalo Narrows usually does something with Métis arts and crafts,” Roy said. “They have someone come in to teach them how to do some of the crafts and its significance.”

Roy also stated the provincial government recently confirmed to her February will be declared Indigenous Storytelling Month. In honour of the proclamation, the month will be launched Feb. 4 during a noon hour presentation at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Moose Jaw Campus.

Three other organizations in La Ronge were also recipients of the Community Initiatives Fund, which was announced in December.

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