Winnipeg teachers learned how to create story vines at the community arts space ArtsJunktion

Winnipeg teachers learned how to create story vines at the community arts space ArtsJunktion, Iryna Chyrkova

Winnipeg teachers use story vines to make their students be aware of Indigenous culture.

Renee McGurry, a local teacher, began to use story vines about 10 years ago. The woman believes that they fit with oral traditions very well.

"That's how information and knowledge and teachings were passed down … orally. So I thought this was a perfect way of sharing stories like that — the great flood or the creation stories — using the vines as a way of doing that."

Recently, McGurry gave a workshop for 15 other teachers where she shared her knowledge. The teachers used wool, paint, drawings, beads, pompoms and other things to create their own story points.

One of the teachers, Vivian Fogarty, used red, gold and brown pieces of cloth for her story. She explained her choice as follows:

"I am going to put the turtle to represent Turtle Island — another name for North America — and then use the other animals, the otter and the muskrat, to try and show how they are going to go down deep and in the water to try and get the earth," Fogarty said.

McGurry is sure that any story can be told with the help of story vines.

"Doing workshops like this is always nice," the teacher said. "It's sharing my knowledge, my experience, and seeing how excited they are over the fact that they can do a project like this, and it's very easy to incorporate into your classroom."

Despite the fact that Renee McGurry is already retired, she will continue to acquaint teachers with the art of using story vines in the future. 

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