“When I’m doing moosehide t...
A sense of cultural identity is important to an individual person’s own self-identity. Cultural identity is a built feeling of belonging that includes understanding the histories, languages, stories and practices of a group. The stories in this category include examples from schools, land-based programs and community initiatives. They involve hands-on opportunities focused on learning language and experiencing cultural activities through traditional teachings and practices. Some are land-based programs and others bring cultural knowledge indoors to combine Indigenous knowledge with other forms of knowledge. Many stories include a focus on cultural knowledge, values and protocols that build intergenerational relationships to show how traditional teachings can offer solutions for present day challenges and demands and build a stronger sense of identity while healing from intergenerational impacts of colonialism and government policies.
This interview with program developer and instructor, Dr. Ken Brealey, and program instructor and cultural advisor, Naxqxalhts’i (Sonny) McHalsie, focuses on the significance and uniqueness of the Indigenous Maps, Films, Rights and Land Claims program and provides specific details about its pedagogy, curriculum, and cultural relevance to the Stó:lō Nation territory.
Elizabeth Sault seeks to provide wholistic educational opportunities to community members with the aim of violence reduction. Violence reduction can happen in many ways and Elizabeth speaks of how a healthy community reduces violence. She works much of the time one to one with individuals in crisis but her workshops round out her program to assist individuals to gain life skills and build a healthy Indigenous identity to empower them to seek health and wellness. Reducing violence is about living a good life and she seeks out elders and community members who have teachings to share with her participants. Elizabeth does work to raise awareness about MMIW and human trafficking in her programs as well as hosting larger events for service providers.
Meeka is a well-known teacher of education, healing, and Inuit culture. She started teaching children in 1971, and moved onto adult education at Nunavut Arctic College for 18 years. Meeka believes that elder knowledge from experience is necessary have a foundation for living an Inuit life as our ancestor did. She hopes that healing and education from Inuit go a long way.