Welcome to First Voices Story Library! Here you can find videos of the completed digital stories we’ve worked with, presented in various formats: some stories are interpreted by First Voices participants, some are told by the Tribal Knowledge-keeper directly, some are presented both ways. We also have audio-only versions which you can download, and printable transcripts, and lesson plans (and additional videos) can be found in the Educator Resources section of this website.
As the project expands in reach and scope we will be adding to this library regularly. Please check back to this page—and we invite you to subscribe to our First Voices newsletter for updates. You can also contact us directly at email@example.com. We'd love to hear from you!
("The Big Dipper")
This story, about how the Big Dipper (constellation) was formed, is related in the Tsitsistas / Suhtai language which in English is known as Northern Cheyenne. The story is told by Knowledge-keeper Ruthie Shoulderblade, with subtitles in English. Ruthie lives and works on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in south eastern Montana.
It's a great example of inter-tribal collaboration: the music is composed and performed by Chontay Standing Rock (Chippewa Cree) and the original artwork is by Sammy Jo Bird (Blackfeet).
More information, including a lesson plan for educators (and full credits for the video) can be found here.
BAHÁ IPÁ OWÁNĮJA
("They Perished at the Rock Point")
This story is a historical story, related in the Nakóda (Assiniboine) language by Michael Turcotte who is a language specialist with Fort Peck Community College (Poplar, MT).
The story is about the smallpox epidemic of the 1830s, which was devastating for the Indigenous people of the region. In the version below, music is again by Chontay Standing Rock (Chippewa Cree) and the original artwork is by the project participants, all of whom are residents of the Fort Peck Reservation.
The lesson plan relating to this story (Grade 8 through college) can be found here.
In this version of the story, Michael (Turcotte, storyteller) relates the story without music or interpretation.
Audio only track (Nakóda language)
If you'd like to hear the track of Michael Turcotte narrating the story in the Nakóda language, click the player below.
EXCLUSIVE MUSIC TRACK!
As part of the First Voices project at Fort Peck, singer and composer Chontay Standing Rock created a unique original song, working with the participants.
This was a great example of inter-tribal collaboration, as Chontay is a member of the Chippewa Cree tribe, and worked on the track with the participants in the Fort Peck Reservation, the majority of whom are members of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. Use the player below to hear the track.
Chontay Standing Rock and his frame drum.
THE GREAT RACE
This story is a little different—it was developed in collaboration with the students at Lame Deer High School in Lame Deer, MT. It's an ancient story of the Tsitsistas / Suhtai (Northern Cheyenne) people, telling how man gained dominion over the animals, and built the first medicine lodge. The students present the story in English. The video also includes sequences showing how the performance came together.
OLD MAN COYOTE (coming soon)
We're currently working on a story in the Apsáalooke (Crow) language. In English the story is called "Old Man Coyote" and we are privileged, below, to have legendary figure of the Apsáalooke tribe Henry Real Bird (former Poet Laureate of Montana) relate the story both in English and in its original language.
This story, and all related assets, will be coming to the website soon.
Henry Real Bird, Apsáalooke (Crow) knowledge-keeper and former Poet Laureate of Montana is our storyteller for OLD MAN COYOTE—videos coming soon!