Why is the telling of stories important?
There are many reasons why oral tradition is important. First,
many stories are centuries old and contain information about events
that happened not only to the people at the time but to the land
as well. For example, author Julie Cruikshank tells of a story in
her book Reading Voices (1991) regarding Tommy McGinty, who tells
a story he heard from his parents and grandparents of an eruption
by Volcano Mountain - Nelruna (in Tutchone). McGinty described in
detail - verified by geologist's scientific evidence - the eruption
that occurred between 300 - 500 years ago.
This means that stories are apart of history and pass on knowledge
of how things happened, why they happened as well as how society
works. In other words, stories are about people's relationships
towards their surroundings as well as each other.