This week Animikii launches its first-ever podcast piece for the Indigenous Innovators series!
The Indigenous Innovators series is a multi-media project through which we profile and highlight the work being done by Indigenous leaders, activists, artists and entrepreneurs to better understand the challenges and opportunities that Indigenous peoples in Canada face today.
In this first podcast segment of the series, Animikii’s Front End Developer and Designer - Dakota Lightning - and our Producer - Jordyn Hrenyk - sat down with legendary Inuit storyteller and children’s book author, Michael Kusugak. Listen in as Michael shares his stories with us about his work and his life story that inspired the work. Michael also shares with us what it's like to share personal stories with the world and what he thinks emerging, Indigenous authors face in the publishing landscape today.
“I think that the stories are the most important thing we have as Native people...they gave us the morals and rules to live by and they worked for thousands of years.”
- Michael Kusugak
Michael was born in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut) in 1948; he spent his early years living a traditional Inuit lifestyle, living with his family off of the land. When he was six years old, Michael was first taken to Residential school in Chesterfield Inlet. Throughout his childhood and into his teenage years, Michael attended Residential schools in the North, in the South and even by correspondence. He eventually graduated high school in Saskatoon and attended one year of school at the University of Saskatchewan. Michael has had a much broader education than what he received in schools though; beyond his traditional and cultural learnings, Michael learned to fly and fix commercial airplanes and helicopters, he’s worked in pottery professionally, and spent time in military training. Michael has always turned to his own storied past, and to his Inuit culture, to bring universal tales of joy and wonder to life for kids all over the world.
Want to keep up with Michael? Follow along at his website!Article published January 31, 2017.