By Haley Grinder
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
On Thursday, Oct. 14, –?aq?am Chief Joe Pierre virtually shared the Ktunaxa Creation Story with the world. The event was organized by JCI Kootenay in the hopes of bringing the community together and sharing a traditional piece of Indigenous oral culture.
Pamela Currie, training director at JCI Kootenay, introduced Chief Joe Pierre, as “a community icon and brilliant storyteller.” His grounded demeanor was warm and welcoming, transcending the virtual platform and seemingly bringing the story’s characters to life in one’s very own living room.
He began by sharing a photograph of himself at five-years-old sitting with his sister and (step)grandfather. Showcasing the importance of family in Indigenous culture, he shared his love for his elders, related or not, by fondly remembering when him and his sister could listen to their stories firsthand.
For the duration of Chief Joe Pierre’s storytelling, 333 people tuned in, enraptured by his ability to bring the characters to life and immersing them in traditional Indigenous culture.
Debra Fisher, R4 Regional Director for MNBC (Métis Nation British Columbia), was present for the virtual event, commenting, “Thank you Nasu?kin Joe Pierre. I have been fortunate to hear this story many times from Herman at Rediscovery Camp and you over the years and I always learn something new. Tansi.”
Although he shared the shorter version with the viewers, elders told him that the full Creation Story would “take about three days.”
For those interested in learning more, visit Ktunaxa.org.