The event’s honoured figure, Sam Johnston, is a venerated elder within the Teslin Community. He has been a politician, athlete and former chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council, as well as a celebrated community figure.
“The goal of this day is to share some stories with (Johnston), make him feel special and thank him for the stories he has shared,” Merkel says.
“And of course,” she adds, “Sam will be spending some time with the kids as well.”
Project-based learning events like these are great for the kids, who really get into the act of storytelling and dramatizations, says Merkel.
“It really develops confidence in kids, in their skills and their presentation, when they put on a play like this,” she says.
Merkel says she hopes the event will continue on, and calls this year “a prototype year.”
“There used to be a great story telling festival in the Yukon which was very popular,” she says, “But people got burned out and it stopped… I’d love to see some of Sam Johnston’s stories turned into plays.”
For more information on Teslin Heritage and future events, you can contact the Teslin Heritage Centre at (867)390-2526.