How do you choose the stories to share on the Indigenous Storybooks website?
We are committed to respectful sharing of stories on Indigenous Storybooks. The following questions are considered, based on the available information, when we review the stories and resources that appear on our website:
- How did the story come to be known?
- How has the community and/or Nation participated in the development and/or telling of the story?
- Have the cultural protocols for sharing this story been honoured? Who gave permission for the story to be shared?
- How are Indigenous history, worldviews, and values represented?
- How does the story acknowledge the diversity of Indigenous peoples?
We recognize that it is not always possible to answer all of these questions and our knowledge is limited to the protocols with which we are familiar, so if you find stories and/or resources on our website that you consider disrespectful, please contact us.
Adapted from: Iseke-Barnes, J. (2009). Unsettling Fictions: Disrupting Popular Discourses and Trickster Tales in Books for Children. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 7(1), 24-57 & UBC/EDX Massive Open Online Course (2015). Reconciliation through Indigenous Education.
How can we respectfully retell stories?
We recommend that you use public stories to retell or ensure that you have permission to retell a story before you do so.
- Permission: Before retelling a story, ensure that you have permission to do so. This may be granted by the nation, clan, community, and/or the individual who owns the story. Sometimes, permission has been given to share the story for educational purposes. If permission has been granted to share the story, it will usually be indicated in some way. If you seek permission to use a story, make sure that you learn about the permission you have obtained (i.e., Do you have permission to share it only within a certain context? Do you have permission to teach it to others?) and share it when you retell the story.
- Research the context of the story and share this with each retelling: If permission has been given to use the story or you have gained permission to retell the story, make sure that you share this information with each retelling. This models respectful protocols for sharing stories and it educates your listeners about the story you share. This also means that the owner(s) of the story are acknowledged in your retelling.
- Maintain the integrity of the story: Indigenous stories have usually been translated from an Indigenous language, this means that when we tell them in English, their meaning has shifted with the translation. If you are retelling a story, it is important to ensure that you include all of the key points of the story, so that the story is not lost in your retelling.
How are Reading Levels assigned within Indigenous Storybooks?
|Level||Description||Words per story|
|Level 1||One or two short, simple sentences per page||Up to 75 words|
|Level 2||A few sentences per page||76–250 words|
|Level 3||A short paragraph per page||251–500 words|
|Level 4||One paragraph per page||501–799 words|
|Level 5||A long paragraph per page||800 words or more|