Scw’exmx calls for traditional stories
The Scw’exmx Child and Family Services Society is calling on the public for traditional First Nations stories.
The society is looking for teachings that it will compile in a resource library that can be accessed by anyone looking for information.
“The stories are going to be used to support practise in the agency, as well as to support children who come into care,” said Yvonne Hare, executive director of the Society. “It will really help staff understand the traditional roles of the communities that we serve. Their rules are all built within the traditional stories.”
The group has already compiled stories from the Okanagan Nation Alliance which presented them their Enowkinwixw project in February.
“They do have a compilation of many of the stories, but we really would like to hear from some of our local elders to see if there are any additional stories they could add,” she explained.
She said that like most children’s stories, which have a moral, the traditional stories also have lessons on which a society can be based.
The stories will help teach parents how to raise children, for example.
“We’ll also look at what the traditional roles of aunties and uncles were in these stories,” she explained. “These stories represent all sorts of things and you don’t just take them for face value because there’s lots of inherent messages in all of those traditional stories.”
She said once the stories are compiled, elders may host readings.
“We want to involve the elders as much as possible,” she said. “We want them to not only bring stories to us, but also to help us understand what they’re about.”
Anyone looking to submit stories can contact the Society at 250-378-2771 or visit them at #85 Highway 8.
“I think this is going to be something that’s an ongoing project,” Hare added. “We have limited time and resources, so we are really depending on community members to come forward and help us out with this project.”
The Society’s mission is to “Provide services and resources to protect children and preserve families in accordance with our ancestral beliefs, values and instructions.”
The Society works with children who are in the foster care system.