Editorial June 7 – Sharing stories

There are a lot of stories that never get told. When kids are younger, they don’t necessarily grasp the importance of their elders.They don’t stop to think about the conflicts they’ve seen or the incredible technological advances they’ve watched. And they likely don’t think to ask about their perspectives on it all.Last week, The Chronicle had the privilege of being invited to Penelakut Island for the launch of The Elders Speak, a book that chronicles the stories of local elders — some First Nations, others not — as told by local elementary student children.It was a touching celebration as each student was given the opportunity to read his/her story aloud to the small crowd of friends and family gathered for the occasion.Many stories offered glances into simpler times, happier times. While others expressed terrifying insight into life at the old Kuper Island Residential School and the impacts to follow.Taking it all in, the project’s significance and impact was not hard to see.The Elders Project and the follow-up The Elders Speak, serve as a reminder to us all to reach out to the ones close to us and take the time to hear and understand their stories. This is not something that applies simply to the First Nations elders. Everyone’s grandparents, and in some cases great-grandparents have seen and lived through some pretty incredible things.It’s a mission we strive for at the Chronicle. To hear and record as many stories as our print size will allow. Make it your mission, too. Share your stories before they are lost.