Zoey Roy will be the next Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence with the University Library. (Photo: Submitted)

Take 5 – Questions for Zoey Roy

Acclaimed poet and community-based educator Zoey Roy (BEd’17, MPP’21) has been selected as the next Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence for an eight-week residency with the University Library at the University of Saskatchewan beginning in December.

She is the second person to take this role following Lindsay (‘Eekwol’) Knight’s inaugural residency a year ago. We asked her a few questions as a way of introduction: 

What makes a good storyteller?: When I think of a good storyteller, I think of Joseph Naytowhow (USask, USSU Indigenous knowledge keeper). I would describe Joseph as charismatic, thoughtful, poignant, empathetic and kind. I appreciate that he always has a good lesson. These are all the makings of a good storyteller. 

What or who have you drawn upon from your past that has put you in the position you are today?: I've often drawn on my trauma as it perplexes me how I have responded to it both consciously and unconsciously. Choices I've made as a young person still baffle me today and I love to create art that brings to life that pursuit of the inner self. It's healing and life-giving. 

What do you hope participants leave with after participating in the program with you?:
I hope they leave with a more enriched level of self-accepted, a more nuanced understanding of self, and a curiosity to see what else their inner-self will do 

Tell us about the importance of inspiration?: Inspiration is important for invigorating action. Action precedes motivation and sometimes we just don't know where to begin. Inspiration helps us begin -- even if that means beginning again, and again and again. We all have a role in inspiring each other.  

How important is it for USask to have a place for an Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence?: The University of Saskatchewan is on a path of learning and it is within our student body that we will find the true essence of who we are and where we can go. As an institution that is seeking to find its truth in pursuit of reconciliation, I think it's a necessary step to encourage students to reflect on their own humanity and sense of place. It is clear we have some grieving to do and I am grateful we get a chance to do that together, here.  

-For more information and to register for this program, go to https://library.usask.ca/Storyteller-in-Residence.php

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