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USask graduate student and artist Lindsay Knight served as the first Storyteller-in-Residence at the University Library. (Photo: Sweetmoon Photography)

Rhyme and reason

Lindsay Knight's term as Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence is a first at USask.

At 13 years old, Lindsay Knight discovered the lyricism and storytelling of hip-hop music.

“I have always been a storyteller through the written word,” the University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate student recalled. “When I discovered that you could create a poetic flow over a smooth beat, I was hooked. And I still am to this day.”

In addition to the sound and swagger of the genre, Knight identified with the sadly familiar characteristics of the racial inequalities chronicled by hip-hop’s Black and Hispanic founding storytellers.

“There are so many parallels to Indigenous experience when considering colonial violence in the forms of racism, poverty, police violence,” said Knight. “Through identifying with the similar realities of struggle and survival, hip-hop culture was adopted by Indigenous people.”

Nine albums and several accolades later under the moniker Eekwol, Knight has harnessed her passion for connecting with audiences and sharing her personal experiences.

The latest outlet for Knight’s creativity has been her recently completed term as the University Library’s first Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence at USask.

In December, the library announced the pilot project introducing the position. The program, the first of its kind at USask and in the province, is a natural evolution of the library’s commitment to sharing and supporting Indigenous worldviews.

“It is important that we never lose sight that we’re on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis,” said Charlene Sorensen, acting dean of the University Library. “Our sense of place is essential to USask’s identity. Welcoming Lindsay to the library in this capacity to uplift Indigenous voices and lead important discussions with students is vital to the university’s Indigenization efforts.”

Read complete story at USask news.

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