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Telling Our Stories

Omushkego Legends and Histories from Hudson Bay

by Louis Bird
edited by Jennifer S.H. Brown & Paul W. DePasquale

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native american studies, customs & traditions
list price: $35.95
also available: eBook eBook
category: Social Science
published: 2005
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
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Telling Our Stories: Omushkego Legends & Histories from Hudson Bay

The author spent years recording stories and memories of the Omushkego (Swampy Cree) people of the Hudson Bay Lowlands area. The book includes legends and historical stories that tell about his people’s history, culture and values. He explains that oral stories are invented and often comical in nature, differing from legends, which are treated as historical events. Each chapter’s introduction includes background information on the content of the stories and legends. There are stories about beginnings, survival, shamanic showdowns, Aboriginal spiritualism and Christianity, omens, mysteries and first encounters. Louis Birds’ family history is entwined within the legends and stories presented.

Louis Bird is a distinguished Aboriginal storyteller and historian.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2007-2008.

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Since the 1970s, Louis Bird, a distinguished Aboriginal storyteller and historian, has been recording the stories and memories of Omushkego (Swampy Cree) communities along western Hudson and James Bays. In nine chapters, he presents some of the most vivid legends and historical stories from his collection, casting new light on his people’s history, culture, and values. Working with the editors and other contributors to provide background and context for the stories, he illuminates their many levels of meaning and brings forward the value system and world-view that underlie their teachings.

Students of Aboriginal culture, history, and literature will find that this is no ordinary book of stories compiled from a remote, disconnected voice, but rather a project in which the teller, deeply engaged in preserving his people's history, language, and values, is committed to bringing his listeners and readers as far along the road to understanding as he possibly can.

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About the Authors

Louis Bird

Louis Bird is a widely known storyteller and historian of his Omushkego (Swampy Cree) people. A member of Winisk First Nation, he resides in Peawanuck near the shore of Hudson Bay. He has devoted the last three decades to preserving Omushkego stories, language, and history on audiotape. More than 80 of the stories he has gathered, along with overviews of his life story and the Winisk region, are presented on the website www.ourvoices.ca, produced by the Omushkego Oral History Project at the University of Winnipeg.
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Jennifer S.H. Brown

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Paul W. DePasquale

Paul DePasquale is Associate Professor of English at the University of Winnipeg where he teaches courses on Aboriginal literature and on early modern European travel and colonialism.
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