Traditional Storytelling At Chadron Native Film Fest

Jul 13, 2015

As part of its second annual Native American film festival, the Chadron Public Library added traditional story tellers to its list of educational entertainment. 

Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey is Yankton Sioux and Ottawa. She started story telling in the Rapid City school system. The American Indian elder says she shares traditional stories as a way to educate people.

Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey tells a traditional American Indian story at the Chadron Public Library's annual Native American film festival.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

“I do my story telling in full regalia,” explains Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey. “And I want the kids to recognize that…the Indian kids have something to be proud of…and that the non-Indian kids say ‘Gee…maybe there’s something we should find out about.”

Gingway Godfrey says that same psychology applies to adults in a setting like Chadron Public Library’s “Trading Stories: A Native American Film Festival”.

“For adults…adults are just big kids,” Gingway Godfrey observes. “They enjoy the stories. And I also do history. So, yesterday I did ‘Lewis and Clark meet the Sioux”.

Having the opportunity to tell history from the Native American perspective, says Gingway Godfrey, helps clear up misinterpretations about a variety of events that have previously only been presented by non-Native historians and academics.

Related story:

Chadron Native Film Fest Offers Insight Into Contemporary Culture