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Indigenous Storytelling Mixtape

Estimated Time: 40-90 minutes


I challenge you to create a playlist of Indigenous storytelling that teaches, motivates, or otherwise inspires you. Curate a playlist of 10 songs, poems, videos, short films or other forms of Indigenous storytelling on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music or Soundcloud. Once you’ve created your playlist, make it public and share it with all of us by using the hashtag, #IndigenousMixtape on social media.

About This Challenge

Stories are the foundation of our cultures; they allow us to share teachings, to share laughter, and to share our understanding of the world. This challenge is about learning to listen and pushing your understanding of what Indigenous storytelling means in today’s context. Stories can open the door to new learning, but we all still have to make the choice to walk through it.

For this challenge, I’m asking you to dive into the world of Indigenous storytelling - really examine what that means in today’s context, and to create a playlist of videos, songs, podcasts or other media that helps you understand Indigenous worldview in some way. Create a playlist that pushes you to think differently about Indigeneity, or pushes your understanding of Indigenous identity. Whether you’re a person Indigenous to these lands or not, storytelling is a powerful tool through which to better understand Indigenous experiences and realities in this place we now call Canada. I encourage you to push the boundaries of what you think of as “storytelling”; storytelling might include songs, speeches, or short films, it might include podcasts, news stories, or poetry. Indigenous knowledge transfer and learning is bound tightly to storytelling; in order to learn about Indigenous worldviews and gain any of that knowledge, you need to listen.

Why Digital Storytelling?

I consider Indigenous stories as one of the most generous and generative things that we can do in Canada today to center Indigenous voices. For too long, we’ve heard but one side of the story. However, for millennia Indigenous people have been telling each other stories in a profound act of love, that I like to call re-membering. To re-member is to bring your community members,  your community back to the circle, back to whole again. And it is my estimation that Indigenous storytelling can bring all of us together in that way. So, join the challenge, use #IndigenousMixtape as the hashtag and have some fun!

Just as they have since Time Immemorial, there are Indigenous storytellers around Turtle Island today who are sharing their cultural teachings and their worldviews. The only difference between today’s storytellers from those that lived and taught thousands of years ago, is the tools that they use to share their stories. Using the digital tools available to us today, Indigenous storytellers are able to reach huge audiences across geographic distances and across time.

There are so many Indigenous storytellers working hard to revitalize their cultures using digital tools; kids, youth, adults and Elders alike are gaining knowledge about their cultures and turning around and teaching it to others. We’re all working, not to preserve our cultures, but to revitalize them. We’re not curating an archive of history, we’re creating a knowledge and story exchange that’s ever-growing and ever-changing. Be a part of that exchange by listening to and learning from Indigenous storytellers; push your understanding of the idea of an Indigenou storyteller by listening to formats that you might not associate with traditional Indigenous stories.

To begin, click "accept challenge" below!

Need inspiration? Check out Ryan McMahon's #IndigenousMixtape on YouTube.

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Ryan mcmahon
A challenge from:
Ryan McMahon

Ryan McMahon is a professional funny person. He talks, yells , writes, and makes digital media art for a living. He is an Anishinaabe comedian, writer, media maker and community activator based out of Treaty #1 territory (Winnipeg, MB).

"I challenge you to create a playlist of Indigenous storytelling that teaches, motivates, or otherwise inspires you"

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