8th Fire: Drew Hayden Taylor on the role of storytellers

A multiplatform, multicultural documentary project, 8th Fire is a provocative look at the richness and diversity of Aboriginal cultures and Canada's complex 500-year-old relationship with Indigenous peoples — a relationship still mired in colonialism, conflict and denial.

To further explore Aboriginal culture, CBC Books is presenting a series of video interviews with authors, playwrights and storytellers to discuss how their heritage influences and inspires their work. This week, we talk to Drew Hayden Taylor, a novelist, playwright and contemporary storyteller.

As a member of Ontario's Curve Lake First Nations, Taylor is very familiar with the integral role of the storyteller in Aboriginal culture.

"He is the historian, he's the philosopher, he's the psychologist, he's the person that explains all of nature's natural laws in story form. He's also an entertainer. His role in the native community was multifaceted and I think, to a certain extent, it still is today."

Watch the video above to find out how growing up with storytellers influenced Taylor's own life and work as a writer.

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