Sask. elder-in-training immerses himself in Aboriginal Storytelling Month

Visitors to the Regina Public Library’s Central branch can find Desnomie, the library’s oskapious in residence, on Wednesday evenings in February during Aboriginal Storytelling Month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Harry Desnomie will be at the Regina Public Library on Wednesday nights

Harry Desnomie, an elder's helper at the Regina Public Library, says he believes Aboriginal Storytelling Month is a chance to open up to our peers and gain trust. (Shauna Powers/CBC News)

Harry Desnomie wants to lend his ears during Aboriginal Storytelling Month.

Visitors to the Regina Public Library's Central branch can find Desnomie, the library's oskapious-in-residence, on Wednesday evenings in February during Aboriginal Storytelling Month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

"I think Regina Public Library is excellent in what they promote throughout the year and it's directed at the people that walk through those doors," said Desnomie, acknowledging that some of those people walking into the downtown branch are transient or live below the poverty line.

Desnomie was hired this month by the RPL as the on-site oskapious - which means elder's helper in Cree. The site has also erected a teepee within the branch.

The Regina Public Library's Central branch is located on 12th Ave. (Janani Whitfield/CBC News)

The elder-in-training said he'll be available for anyone looking to discuss difficult life topics, such as addiction or self-identity. 

"I practice the holistic approach and it doesn't say just because you're from a different area of the world, it means I can't talk to you. That's not so, because I promote holistic health — how you feel toward yourself, your family and your nation," he said.

During Aboriginal Storytelling Month, the RPL will also feature a different musician, storyteller, artist or elder every Monday and Thursday night.

With files from CBC's Sask. Weekend