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Elements of Art – Textures in Our Environment

Elements of Art – Textures in Our Environment explores the connection between art and life. It links Indigenous values, such as our connection to water and our protection of Mother Earth, to artistic representations. In this lesson, Sara Leah Hindy, a Mi’kmaw teacher, introduces the significance of place and explores textures in one of her […]

Elements of Art – Textures in Our Environment explores the connection between art and life. It links Indigenous values, such as our connection to water and our protection of Mother Earth, to artistic representations. In this lesson, Sara Leah Hindy, a Mi’kmaw teacher, introduces the significance of place and explores textures in one of her favourite places, the beach. Using a rock collected on the beach, Marcus Gosse, a Mi’kmaw artist, then guides students on an artistic journey that weaves together a story of people and place through petroglyph-inspired rock art. Following the lesson, students are encouraged to explore their own special places and create a story that they would like to share through an art piece, uniquely theirs.

The complete lesson, Elements of Art – Textures in Our Environment, can be found in NCCIE’s Teaching Resource Centre at https://www.nccie.ca.

Art Petahtegoose – Thinking in Our Language and Our Role in Creation

An Elder, who is preparing Anishinaabe people to be responsible, knowledgeable about their culture, creation and to show us our own personal role in Creation.

An Elder, who is preparing Anishinaabe people to be responsible, knowledgeable about their culture, creation and to show us our own personal role in Creation.

Délina Petit Pas, Chair and Director, Mi’kmaw Language and Culture Programs, Mi’kmaw Heritage Research and Restoration Association

Délina Petit Pas is the Chair and Director of the Mi’kmaw Language and Culture Programs with the Mi’kmaw Heritage Research and Restoration Association (MHRRA), which is a not-for-profit society based in Nova Scotia.  In the interview, she describes the culture and language revitalization camps and classes offered by MHRRA in several Newfoundland communities. At the […]

Délina Petit Pas is the Chair and Director of the Mi’kmaw Language and Culture Programs with the Mi’kmaw Heritage Research and Restoration Association (MHRRA), which is a not-for-profit society based in Nova Scotia.  In the interview, she describes the culture and language revitalization camps and classes offered by MHRRA in several Newfoundland communities. At the camps, participants learn the basics of the Smith-Francis Mi’kmaw orthography and gain a deeper understanding of their language in relation to Mi’kmaw culture and traditions. Videos of esteemed Elders Bernie Francis and Curtis Michael at the camps can be found at http://vimeo.copm/channels/mhrra

Making Cree Resources and Traditional Stories Accessible

Solomon Ratt is an educator who has dedicated his life to teaching, while also creating and translating resources into Cree.

Solomon Ratt is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Languages at First Nations University of Canada. Ratt has been teaching Cree and creating Cree language learning and teaching resources since the 1970’s. He says, growing up there was no access to Indigenous literature and now, because of some key players like Freda Ahenikew and the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre (SICC), there has been significant progress in writing both traditional stories and other stories in Cree. Despite what some people say about writing and sharing traditional Cree stories in written form, Ratt believes in order for the language to survive we need to be able to write our stories in our languages so that they are available for the next generation. More and more of our people are isolated without a community of mentors who will teach us the language – writing it and creating ways online for people to access it is crucial to its survival and the survival of our cultures. Ratt suggests a number of resources that are effective in language learning and most of them are accessible through SICC.

Resources: 

SayITFirst Books

Cree Literacy Network

Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre

Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’Kuom – Audrey Benoit

Audrey Benoit, Vice-Principal of Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’Kuom in Miawpukek First Nation describes how they celebrate and support Indigenous culture in their school. 

Audrey Benoit, Vice-Principal of Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’Kuom in Miawpukek First Nation describes how they celebrate and support Indigenous culture in their school. 

Simplifying Cree Language Lessons by Focusing on One Word

Cree words are packed with meaning and can be used as an entire language lesson.

Simon Bird is the Director of Education for the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and he shares his wealth of knowledge teaching Cree. He says, there are people in our communities who want to teach Cree and there are many more who want to learn it. He describes that you can teach an entire language lesson with one Cree word. For example, the word mistatim or misatim means big dog and refers to a horse. The concept of big dog exists within other Indigenous languages (Lakota, Dakota, Ojibway, Saulteaux, etc.) which shows how the horse was introduced to Indigenous people, and that dogs were part of their lives before horses came along. This language lesson brings in elements of history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships, as well as, transportation and culture of peoples. In his discussion he gives an overview of a number of other Cree words that can be used in language lessons. Bird is a leader in his community and believes that if we study the language you will realize its significance and the roots it has in our culture and society – you will begin to appreciate who we are as people.

Resources: 

kâniyâsihk Culture Camps at Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation

Founder of kâniyâsihk Culture Camps, Kevin Lewis believes that land-based education is an important way for Cree and non-Indigenous people to (re)connect with Cree culture and identity.

Within the last two decades the kâniyâsihk Culture Camps at Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation have evolved from providing fall culture camps where participants took part in fishing and hide tanning to offering camps throughout all seasons and to anyone who wants to learn nehiyo (Cree) culture. Founder, Kevin Lewis explains that at kâniyâsihk Culture Camps participants take part in land-based learning that involves connecting with Elders, knowledge keepers, land keepers, medicine keepers, and berry pickers in their community. By sharing this wealth of knowledge with participants they begin to learn how to be self-sufficient and independent. Some of the many things done at camp include: learning Cree; harvesting plants for medicines; fishing and snaring; hide tanning; preserving moose, deer, elk, and fish; woodworking and building dog sleds, toboggans, birch bark canoes, snowshoes, and paddles; dog sledding; and participating in the Sun Dance, Sweat Lodge, and Chicken Dance ceremonies. Camp offers an immersive experience in nehiyo culture and Lewis hopes that more culture camps become available to people, especially for those living in urban areas.

Check out the kâniyâsihk Culture Camps website: https://kaniyasihkculturecamps.com.

Think Indigenous – An Initiative Supporting Indigenous Knowledge

The Think Indigenous initiative inspires educators to think about education through an Indigenous knowledge lens.

Chris Scribe is the Executive Director and Board Chair of Think Indigenous, an initiative that seeks to support programs, innovations, and education that focus on Indigenous knowledge. Scribe believes that Indigenous knowledge is “an embodiment of life, it’s all levels of understanding relative to the area in which we live.” Scribe explains that what is needed now is for Indigenous people to create curriculums based on Indigenous knowledge that can be used within our education system. We need to invite our Knowledge Keepers into our classrooms so that traditional  knowledge is valued and honoured. As well, leaders in education need to make room for educators to try Indigenous methods and approaches to learning.

Creating Cultural Space for Change

Lonny is Traditional Knowledge Holder working to fill in what were cultural blank spaces with Indigenous dialogue and narrative to create a meaningful cultural support to the clients and staff of the Rotary House. Lonny discusses how important it is to create cultural space for not only clients but also for front line workers dealing […]

Lonny is Traditional Knowledge Holder working to fill in what were cultural blank spaces with Indigenous dialogue and narrative to create a meaningful cultural support to the clients and staff of the Rotary House. Lonny discusses how important it is to create cultural space for not only clients but also for front line workers dealing in the field of mental health. Cultural space is necessary for people to experience what is meaningful for them and to start healing steps. He shares the five components required for Indigenous Education to be truly culturally based and grounded.