BC Lillooet Public Library – Digital Collection Initiative

Inspired by two other similar innovative online digital projects, namely the Aboriginal Youth Network and Aboriginal Digital Opportunities, Aboriginal stories were collected and then displayed on the Aboriginal Cultures and Traditions Storytelling website in both digital audio and text forms.

In 2005, the Lillooet Public Library began recording stories and songs for the library’s digital collection initiative.  Seven stories written by elementary school students about Lillooet, and two preschool songs with St’át’imc translations by Ms. Lémya7, were recorded and added to the library’s website in mp3 format. The library continues to add more stories and songs in the future in order to build a digital collection.  The stories and songs can either be streamed by clicking on the play button on the player, or downloaded onto the  computer.

This type of oral histories and songs captures the essence of First Nations’ storytelling, which is a powerful and traditional way of passing down knowledge to younger generations and preserving culture and heritage.   As Ms. Lémya7 teaches St’át’imc at the elementary schools in Lillooet, she often provides the library with her own translations of the preschool songs, such as The Itsy Bitsy Spider and If You’re Happy and You Know It, as well as singing them so they could be put on the website. Ms. Lémya7’s translations are less literal and instead capture the basic concepts of the original English versions of the songs.

In using these songs to help teach St’át’imc vocabulary to her students, the goal is to make them available on the internet so that more parents will be able to share them with their children.



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