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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
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Nature's Law
Spiritual Life, Governance, Culture, Traditions, Resources, Context and Background
The Heritage Community Foundation, Alberta Law Foundation and Albertasource.ca
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Oral History

Story Telling

Elders as Teachers

Power of Words

Visual representation of nature's laws

I mean when I talk to people in Hay River, that as Dene Tha', the Creator created us the way we are, even our hands. No matter how hard you work your hands, its not going to break, its not going to come off. That's the creators creativity that you received. As Dene you have to work as hard as you can work for yourself, you have to make do to survive. Adam James Jumbo (Saloprice), Bushey River Reserve, Alberta

This selection of excerpts demonstrates another function that is crucial to law—oral articulation. This research accepts that the oral tradition is a very complex one in Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal peoples give special place to the ability to speak convincingly and cogently. The genius of the oral tradition is its immediacy and liveliness. Indeed, for al Aboriginal peoples, the act of orality is a creative act, a notion expressed best by Aboriginal Culture scholar Sam Gill. Aboriginals, he notes, "commonly hold the view that the appropriate tellings of stories are creative acts, that is, acts that perpetuate the creative ordering powers of which the stories tell" (162). It is because of this belief that, in telling a story, the oral abilities of the teller are "reinforced" with a primordial creativity. By primordial, we understand that the original event had a certain power or authority—it seemed "inspired" or imbued with a creative dimension. In this way, storytelling becomes what we would call a religious act for Aboriginal peoples.

The Thunderbirds Nest

Interviewer - Earle Waugh, PhD.

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