A Brief Excerpt from Mi’kmaq Campfire Stories of Prince Edward Island
One thing is certain: at night, by the campfire under the stars, our families would tell each other stories. Stories about who we were, where we came from, and all the lessons we needed to learn about life. Those stories passed on our traditions, songs, language, and the culture of our people.
Here we present to you just a couple of those stories that were passed down from generation to generation. Storytelling is how we pass down our traditional knowledge, our history, our language, our customs, and who we are as a people. The only written part of our culture would be the pictographs left many years ago in Kejimkujik National Park. Those are pictures on rock that represent a whole story, and many of those picture stories have been lost over time. What we do have, and what we share with pride, is our stories. Each story is based on a teaching: believe in yourself, be good to others, look after the world and nature, and so many more. There are a lot of reasons we share our stories. One reason would be if we need to teach a child a lesson, and as a culture that believes in non-interference, we would not tell a child what they can or cannot do—instead we tell them a story to explain to them why they should do what we suggest.
Hear our stories, learn from them, and experience them, but most of all we hope you enjoy them! Wela’lioq—Thank you
–Excerpted from Mi’kmaq Campfire Stories of Prince Edward Island by Julie Pellissier-Lush. © by Julie Pellissier-Lush. Published by Acorn Press. acornpresscanada.com