Indigenous knowledge sharing and relationship building through narrative storytelling and creative activities

Jelina Haines, Jia Tina Du, Ellen Trevorrow


Throughout human history Indigenous cultural stories have been transmitted orally through narrative storytelling, music, art and ceremony. Research suggests that storytelling is at the heart of social and personal identity whether the story relates to our daily activities or whichever other stories the elders choose to share to others.

This paper seeks to share the story of the outcome of creative activities involving a specific Indigenous community in South Australia. This paper imparts on the importance of Indigenous people’s stories to the current discourse about the role of elders in facilitating and generating interaction among people through creative activities. Audio recording and Photovoice have been employed as methods of collecting information. Use of these methods creates a collaborative structure of research that is culturally appropriate in capturing live experiences of knowledge sharing.

Initial results show that Indigenous knowledge sharing through creative activities is a way to build relationships for Indigenous and non–Indigenous communities. There is a clear indication that young Indigenous participants’ literacy learning is heartened from birth, drawing upon oral tradition via storytelling, land–based experiences, artistic activities and ceremonial practices. This approach to future educational knowledge orientation will be invaluable in improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students. The preliminary results of this study are the precursor to my doctoral research.


Narrative storytelling, Indigenous knowledge sharing, digital storytelling, Indigenous people, Oral tradition


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