Ideas

Legends of the Shuswap

From the shores of Shuswap Lake in British Columbia come the foundation stories of the Secwepemc people: rich accounts of the magic in nature that teach the harmony of the world. CBC Radio's Legends Project compiles traditional oral stories, legends and histories of Canada's Inuit and First Nations, gathered in communities across the country. To find out more, go...
Recording Legends of the Shuswap. (Left to right) Melpatkwe Matthew, Janice E Billy, Sekwaw Matthew, singing and drumming.
Listen to the full episode53:59

From the shores of Shuswap Lake in British Columbia come the foundation stories of the Secwepemc people: rich accounts of the magic in nature that teach the harmony of the world. CBC Radio's Legends Project compiles traditional oral stories, legends and histories of Canada's Inuit and First Nations, gathered in communities across the country. 


Stories from the Secwepemc of Salmon Arm, B.C. aired nationally on CBC Radio Ideas in March, 2006. This collection of traditional oral legends was recorded, dramatized and produced in the north Okanagan, using bilingual performers, original music, unique vocalizations and natural sounds from rural Salmon Arm and adjacent communities. These ancient stories are as meaningful today in these adapted versions as they were when they were first told thousands of years ago.


Original music for these stories was provided by the voice talents of local performing artist Peter August, the drumming and traditional songs of Janice E. Billy, Melpatkwa and Sekwaw Matthew, and vocal improvisations from Crystal Thomas.

All the natural sounds you hear were found in the wind, water and creatures of this amazingly beautiful region of Canada.

This production was made possible by the willingness and support of the fluent elders from the Shuswap Nation, the generous contribution of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF), and all of the teachers and students at Chief Atahm School. The producers would also like to thank the native and non-native members of the Switzmalph Cultural Society in Salmon Arm, British Columbia.

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