Roger Fernandes, of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe in Washington State, was on Guam this past week at the GOPEACE Conference held by the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.
Fernandes is a master storyteller, and he told the Pacific News Center that his goal is to communicate through storytelling, which he believes is more effective than simply giving people statistics.
“Often today we look at issues like, we look at drug abuse or alcohol abuse or domestic violence. We look in terms of statistics, of numbers or reports and data. My teacher said we have enough data, we have enough reports, we have enough information, we need to act upon it,” he told PNC. “I think that once people understand that storytelling is more than cultural entertainment or just something to amuse children, when they understand that for most of human history 99 percent of human history, that’s all we did was tell stories to one another.”
The two-day conference was held August 13 and 14 at the Westin Resort on Guam. Nonprofits and volunteers listened to storytellers then broke into groups to discuss what they learned. According to PNC, the objective is to go back to their organizations and use what they learn to empower their communities.