Storytellers sought by Norfolk public library

Indigenous artist Nikki Shawana and Norfolk County Public Library's programming and communications manager Beverley Slater spoke with students at Delhi District Secondary School about the importance of storytelling. The library was celebrating the launch of The Norfolk Literary Prize contest, which is open to all ages. (ASHLEY TAYLOR)

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Those with a knack for storytelling have an opportunity to win a cash prize and a trophy with their work.

The Norfolk County Public Library launched its new contest, The Norfolk Literary Prize, this week.

The launch party was held at Delhi District Secondary School, where students heard from Beverley Slater of the public library and Nikki Shawana, an Indigenous artist from the Odawa Nation.

Shawana told the students a number of Indigenous stories that had been passed down to her by her elders. She taught them the creation story of the Sky Woman, the story of dream catchers, and the story of faceless corn husk dolls.

She explained to the students that there were times in Canadian history where it was illegal to share the stories from her culture, and the stories only exist today because elders were able to pass them on

With it being the Year of Indigenous Language, Shawana also shared to the students the stories that can be found within her language. In the Anishinaabe language the word for beaver, who taught how to build, is found within the words for all buildings, including school, arena, and home.

Entry forms are available at all public library branches and the website.

All entries must be submitted by March 27.

All entries must be originals and unpublished. Anyone with an up to date library card with fines below $15 is able to enter.