The Inuit ‘Storyteller’ pays a visit

A special guest is coming to Prince Rupert to celebrate family literacy courtesy of North Coast Literacy Now and Prince Rupert Early Years.

Michael Kusugak “The Storyteller” traveled from Nunavut to be part of the Literacy Fair in Prince Rupert.

Michael Kusugak “The Storyteller” traveled from Nunavut to be part of the Literacy Fair in Prince Rupert.

A special guest is coming to Prince Rupert to celebrate family literacy courtesy of North Coast Literacy Now and Prince Rupert Early Years.

Michael Kusugak, or “The Storyteller” and his wife will be appearing in multiple free events for children and families this week at the library, the Literacy Fair and many elementary schools as well as Prince Rupert Middle School and Annunciation School.

Kusugak is a children’s book writer and traveller who likes to explore his Inuit heritage and bring stories of nomadic life, dog-sled travel, hunting, fishing, building igloos and using such tools like a qulliq (soapstone, seal oil lamp).

Kusugak lives in Rankin Inlet on the west coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavut, but before he had graduated high school, he had already been to Chesterfield Inlet, Yellowknife, Churchill and Saskatoon, mostly growing up in Repulse Bay, Nunavut.

Kusugak’s award-winning children’s books have been translated into French, Japanese, Korean and Braille. Some of his works have even been adapted on stage as a play in Canada and the U.S. and even puppet shows.

Kusugak also co-wrote A Promise Is a Promise with Robert Munsch. The author doesn’t so much read his children’s literature as he tells the stories unprompted. He never reads off a page and always tries to incorporate teaching throat singing in his sessions.

There is an author reading on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at the multi-purpose room in the Prince Rupert Public Library.