Have you visited our Indigenous Storytelling exhibit yet? If you saw it in summer, you may have noticed that you didn’t quite get the full experience. You peeked in the tipi, you looked at the artifacts, you watched the videos, and you read most of the panels. But one section was covered up.
There’s a reason we cover that section sometimes. It’s because of the story on it and the original context of that story. In many Indigenous communities, there’s a seasonality to some things. Winter is considered an especially important time for storytelling; there are both practical and spiritual reasons for this. Winter is a good time for staying inside around the fire, since in many parts of Canada it is brutally cold. But it’s also a time to pause and reflect. Storytelling is part of that process.
The Museum tries to be respectful of all religious and spiritual practices, including those of Canada’s many Indigenous peoples. For this reason, we share seasonal stories only at the correct time of year. Next time you see a covered story, remember that it is part of a cycle. Perhaps take the time to stop and contemplate. What stories will you tell next winter?