Kung Jaadee (Roberta Kennedy) is a professional storyteller, educator and published author belonging to the X̱aayda (Haida), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations. Her Haida name, Kung Jaadee, means ‘Moon Woman’ and was presented to her at her great uncle’s memorial feast by her cousin Crystal Robinson. Over the past 28 years, Kung Jaadee has performed traditional Haida legends, while also sharing vivid personal stories about her clan's survival of the smallpox epidemic, and the history and culture of her people. She has performed at hundreds of festivals, schools and Aboriginal celebrations across Canada. She is the author of the popular children's books, Raven's Feast and Gifts from Raven (selected as a Local BC Book to Read), as well as curriculum textbooks, Haida Nation: Indigenous Communities in Canada and We Are Home. Her stories have also been published in several anthologies, magazines and online publications. Most recently, Kung Jaadee worked as the Vancouver Public Library's Indigenous Storyteller in Residence.
While living in Haida Gwaii, she taught X̱aad Kil, the Haida language while working with the Old Masset Village Council, at Chief Matthews School and the Haida Health Centre in Gaw Tlagee. Kung Jaadee holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and minor in Women's Studies from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta.
Read the article from The Lovepost:, "Changing the narrative on what it means to be Indigenous with Haida storyteller Kung Jaadee"
Storytelling & Keynote Performances
Haida Stories - Live Performance
In her live storytelling performance, Kung Jaadee shares her telling of a few famous Haida legends about Raven (Yaahl), the creator of the world, and their universal teachings. Enjoy the stories of “Raven Brings the Water,” Raven’s Brings the Light” and “Raven's Feast.” She also shares some traditional Raven songs while using her drum, teaches some basic words in X̱aad Kil (Haida language), and shows her traditional regalia. Includes a Q&A to discuss Haida culture, traditions and history.
Grade suitability: K-12
Capacity: entire school
Duration: 45 minutes + 15-min Q&A session; option of 2-3 smaller group sessions per day
Squamish Stories - Live
In her live storytelling performance, Kung Jaadee will share her telling of Squamish legends popularized by Indigenous activist and poet E. Pauline Johnson's book, "Legends of Vancouver." The legends she'll share may include Siwash Rock; Lost Lagoon; the Two-Headed Sea Serpent; The Two Sisters (The Lions mountains); How the Salmon Came to the Squamish People; The Great Flood Story; and How the Squamish People Came To Be. Includes a Q&A. Inquire for flexible pricing for multiple shows/day.
Grade suitability: K-12
Capacity: entire school
Duration: 45 minutes + 15-min Q&A session
Keynote Presentation - Haida history, stories and songs
During Kung Jaadee's keynote presentation, she will share about the rich cultural traditions and history of the Haida, along with some Raven songs and stories. She'll also share the amazing story of her great great great grandmother Isabella's survival of the last smallpox epidemic in 1862. At the time, four-year-old Isabella and her cousin Amy were the only two survivors of the epidemic and are the reason the Yaguu'laanaas Raven Clan still exists today.
Virtual Haida Stories & Squamish Stories Programs on Arts IQ
Haida Stories & Squamish stories are also available as virtual programs with professionally pre-recorded videos that can be licensed for the entire school year, along with a virtual artist visit as an add on. To learn more about Kung Jaadee's virtual program available to teachers and schools, visit artsiq.ca/kung-jaadee.
Published Books: Raven's Feast & Gifts from Raven
After the Raven (Yaahl) had finished creating the world, he realized that he was lonely. So he invited the whole world to join him in Haida Gwaii for the greatest feast you could ever imagine. At the end of the Feast each person, from all 4 sacred directions, was given a special gift that would change their lives forever! Order books from Medicine Wheel Education here
“...balm for the soul, enthralling, highly recommended...”
“Raven causes magic...[Kung Jaadee's] compelling delivery keeps her audience enraptured with these magical tales...a wonderful show, and perfect for two-leggeds of all ages.”
“Four Stars. Kung Jaadee's voice is well practised, an authoritative tone of high seriousness that she betrays with a whimsical grin, perfect for telling stories. She has the kind of voice that makes you want to curl up by the fire and learn, eyes up to the heavens looking for Raven overhead.”
“[Kung Jaadee] creates beautiful scenes in the imaginations of listeners young and old about a time when the animals were mankind's teachers.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“I highly recommend this experience to everyone. The audience I was part of spanned at least six decades, and Kung Jaadee kept us all rapt.”
—The Jenny Revue, Winnipeg
“You were awesome at school today. You have an awesome singing voice, very talented. Thank you for sharing your rich culture with us. We are truly blessed for the opportunity to listen to your stories.”
“Kung Jaadee is a compelling storyteller. Her performance weaves together traditional Haida stories, songs, and contemporary Haida life. She will introduce you to a magnificent culture that has survived difficult times and is now being restored to its rightful place. You'll laugh with her, you might cry a little bit, and you will come away with a deeper understanding of the power of art, myth and tradition.”