Stories of reconciliation at Vancouver public library

Sharon Shorty is the 2015 Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library.

"They just want their stories to be heard and validated," says traditional aboriginal storyteller

As the storyteller in residence, Shorty has had the opportunity to share her stories — many passed down from her grandmothers — and on Tuesday afternoon, she will be sharing both traditional and modern stories at Britannia public library at 4:30 p.m. PT. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

An award-winning playwright and actress from the Yukon continues to bridge the gap one story at a time, as the Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library. 

Sharon Shorty has been in Vancouver for the past several months, telling both traditional and modern stories, in an effort to repair the hurt caused by residential schools.

"They just want to be heard. They just want their stories to be heard and validated," she told the CBC's Rick Cluff on The Early Edition. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its recommendations in May with 94 recommendations for change in policies, programs and the "way we talk to, and about, each other." 

As the storyteller in residence — The Vancouver Library chooses one each year — Shorty has had the opportunity to share stories passed down from her grandmothers. 

"I want them to hear stories of my dad," she said of her father who went to residential school in the Yukon with his cousin. "They were traditional trackers, when kids would take off from school, they would be the ones to track them down," she said. 

"One day, my dad said, hey cousin, why are we doing this? If we can track these guys, why can't we just take off on our own and not be tracked? And that is what they did.

"I was very proud of my dad when I heard that story," she said. 

Shorty will be sharing stories on Tuesday at Britannia public library at 4:30 p.m. PT.


To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled Stories of reconciliation: healing through storytelling with the CBC's Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.

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