By Haley Grinder
Journalist Local Journalism Initiative
Thursday, October 14, –a“am Chef Joe Pierre virtually shared the story of the Ktunaxa creation with the world. The event was hosted by JCI Kootenay in the hope of bringing the community together and sharing a traditional piece of Indigenous oral culture.
Pamela Currie, Director of Training at JCI Kootenay, introduced Chef Joe Pierre as “a community icon and brilliant storyteller”. Her demeanor on the ground was warm and welcoming, transcending the virtual platform and seemingly bringing the characters in the story to life in her own living room.
He started by sharing a photo of himself when he was five years old sitting with his sister and (step-) grandfather. Highlighting the importance of family in Indigenous culture, he shared his love for his elders, related and unrelated, fondly remembering when he and his sister could listen to their stories firsthand.
Throughout the duration of Chef Joe Pierre’s storytelling, 333 people logged in, delighted by his ability to bring the characters to life and immerse them in traditional Indigenous culture.
Debra Fisher, R4 Regional Director for MNBC (Métis Nation British Columbia), was on hand for the virtual event, commenting, “Thank you Nasu? Kin Joe Pierre. I have been fortunate enough to hear this story many times from Herman at Rediscovery Camp and from you over the years and I am always learning something new. Tansi.
Although he shared the shorter version with viewers, the elders told him that the full creation story “would take about three days.”
For those who want to learn more, visit Ktunaxa.org.