Annual Storytellers Festival
The Sâkêwêwak Annual Storyteller’s Festival is a community based, multidisciplinary arts showcase featuring Indigenous artists. During this annual event, many Indigenous artists are invited to participate as an opportunity to share their diverse artistic practices with the Regina community.
Storytellers Festival 2024: ātsōkan and lore
The Sâkêwêwak Annual Storytellers Festival is a community based, multidisciplinary arts showcase featuring a range of Indigenous artists.
As we reflect on the profound influence of stories and language in shaping the understanding of Indigenous histories and ways of being, we actively explore the languages and narratives originating from Turtle Island. We aim to hold space for teachings that provide the community a platform to delve into ancestral and reinvented stories.
This year’s theme is ātsōkan (legends) and lore. We chose to consider the word legend from an Indigenous perspective. Legend translated in nakawēwin is ātsōkan (aat-soo-kahn). The translated definition for this nakawē word is “traditional stories of nanabush or nanabush stories”; ātsōkan is also the definition to describe one of the grandmother/grandfather spirits in the spirit world. In Cree, this word may be translated to âtayôhkêwin, meaning speaking of spirits, and in Michif, the translation for Legends is atayoohkun. Recognizing how Indigenous people speak of spirit stories taught us that some of our words and stories share similarities in the sound of the word.
With our emphasis on the evolving practice of storytelling within Indigenous communities, we’ve chosen narratives that have transformed over time, merging contemporary world elements with past reflections. We introduce the term “lore” to acknowledge artists whose stories originate in modern settings yet draw inspiration from historical and current contexts, projecting visions for the future.
We invite you to join us over the weekend to hold space for hearing legacy stories! Storytellers Festival celebrates diversity and experimentation while including storytellers who have teachings from the past and can remind us of their origins. The true spirit of the festival is a point of gathering and kinship through collaboration, interconnectivity, and community.