By Debbie Mishibinijima
Eventually, he started regular sessions with a speech therapist, who suggested he sing out his sentences.
“I took a deep breath and formed a sound--it was easier for me to speak,” he says.
The breathing exercises he practiced taught him how to hold a note.
“It was an absolutely amazing feeling--just knowing the history of it,” he excitedly said.
“It was magical like I stepped into a story book.”
Backstage at the Opry, he met one of his mentors, country crooner Mel Tellis.
Much like Yellowbird, Tellis also had a stuttering problem. CMT plans to air a behind the scenes documentary on Shane’s experience at the Opry.
As for remembering his roots, Yellowbird enjoys performing for Aboriginal audiences.
“When I have an Aboriginal crowd, I tell different stories using Indian humour,” Yellowbird says. “Humour runs in my families so I like teasing.”