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Joe Goudie tells tales of Labrador

Goudie (left) talks to members of the audience following his storytelling session
Goudie (left) talks to members of the audience following his storytelling session

About 100 people packed into a room at the Rooms in St. John’s on October 12 to hear stories of Labrador. The storyteller was Joe Goudie, former MHA, radio personality, canoe builder, guide and former president of the now defunct Labrador Metis Association.  
Goudie, originally of Mud Lake, was there as part of the St. John’s Storytelling Festival, at the invite of Dave Paddon, formerly of North West River and a storyteller himself. 
He told stories and tall tales about his brother Horace, his mother Elizabeth (a noted writer), Wallace McLean and other noted storytellers of Labrador, most of which centered around the Churchill River. 
“I’ve been doing a canoe trip down the river now for 28 years but I grew up in a family of trappers and that’s the river where they made their livelihood,” he told the Labradorian. “It’s kind of a natural thing to have the Churchill/Mishtashipu River as a central point of a lot of my stories.”
Goudie makes an annual 200 mile trip by canoe down the river and said he has seen a lot of changes in that time. 
“I’ve seen huge changes over the years, especially now with Muskrat Falls,” he said. “TO say it hasn’t changed the river is silly.” 
Goudie was speaking in front of a hand-built canoe that he had designed and was built by youth he was working with years ago. The canoe is now a permanent part of the collection at the Rooms and was the focal point of his first story.
He said he was happy to bring the stories of Labrador to the capital city and hopes it’s part of a larger interest in the culture of Labrador.
“I lived here for 10 years when I was in provincial politics in the 1970’s and 80’s and so there was some exposure then but there’s never been a concentrated effort to exchange cultures,” he said. “Hopefully in the future there will be even more. There appears to be more of interest and that’s good. We need to learn more about each other in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
 

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