Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stickhandling: First Nations played big role in carving out hockey history

Mi'kmaq sticks known as the best-made sticks

"First Nations communities in Nova Scotia produced thousands of sticks and shipped them as far as Montreal and Kingston for the first hockey games played there. "(Mi'kmaq sticks) went all around the hockey world, and were known as the best-made sticks. That's indisputable," said David Carter, a Nova Scotia Museum curator."


Thursday, December 11, 2014

The 15 Best Indigenous Music Videos of 2014

Amazing, cinema-sonic music video moments chooses their top picks for 2014 music videos. They also list top artists on their site - check the other links. (Note: not all videos are appropriate for the classroom - preview before using.)

"Indigenous artists continued their takeover of popular culture in 2014. Here are the best Indigenous music videos of the year. First things first, if you missed our epic selections of the Best Indigenous Music of 2014, you should go read and listen to what we picked. And as though our top albums, EPs, singles and our Best of 2014 Remixtape weren't enough to satiate your hunger for Native artistry, we've also compiled our favourite Indigenous music videos of 2014. There were many amazing, cinema-sonic moments put on tape this year, but these were the videos that made the deepest, most engaging, and even funniest, impressions on us."


Short video on Mi'kmaw culture

The Mi'Kmaq Nation- A Story of Survival

Interviews and sharing from members of the Mi'kmaw community.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mi’kmaq: story of adaptation and determination

The world of Epekwitk's Mi'kmaq

"This exhibition reveals the stories of P.E.I. Mi'kmaq, from Mi'kmaq legends, oral traditions and the knowledge of Elders to politics, alliance and conflict. It explores Mi'kmaq material culture and archaeology, as well as language and arts. It also looks at Mi'kmaq religion and spirituality, and the importance of family and community."


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ancient Villages and Totem Poles of the Nisga'a - Activities and resources

Visit to the world of traditional Nisg̱a'a life and culture
"Welcome to Ancient Villages & Totem Poles of the Nisg̱a'a. This website allows you to revisit the oldest villages of the Nisg̱a'a, study their totem poles, and understand the cultural practices and ways of life that sustained this Northwest Coast people since time immemorial."


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Canadian "Native" Flag

A beautiful take on the Canadian flag - by artist Curtis Wilson.

"I created this design while sitting at my dinner table thinking about who I am and where I came from. I like to describe myself as coming from the four corners of the Kwakwaka'wakw territory. [...] Throughout my life, I have come to learn all the different relationships, interactions, hardships and struggles that First Nations people have faced in this country. This history goes back to time immemorial there have been a lot of negative impacts on both sides. I am a person that always tries to see the glass half full and even with all of the difficult situations we have faced, I still love the country I live in and am proud to call myself a Canadian…and First Nations Canadian. I wanted to create a design that represents both my cultural heritage and the country I live in."


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mi'kmaq Vocab on Quizlet

Test yourself - match the words
Quizlet lets you create stacks of cards to practice your word recognition. Use the existing cards, or modify and add your own.


The problem isn’t aboriginals as Stephen Harper suggests.

Coming to terms with Aboriginal Peoples
John Ralston Saul's new book prompts this incisive review by Haroon Siddiqui: (excerpt below)

"We are either indifferent to the indigenous peoples or sympathetic to them. But they do not want our sympathy. They want their rights — as spelled out in the treaties between them and the Crown. Those "permanent nation-to-nation agreements" are what made Canada possible on the triangular foundation of aboriginals, Francophones and Anglophones. The indigenous peoples gave massive tracts of lands in return for a permanent partnership of equals. Yet "we pretend that we do not have partnership obligations. We criticize. We insult. We complain. We weasel: Surely, these handouts have gone on long enough. But the most important handout was to us. "

What's to be done?... Read Saul's book to find out.


First Nations language learners on the rise in B.C.

An explosion of interest in the languages in the last five years
"The number of fluent First Nations language speakers in B.C. are dwindling, but a new report shows the number of people learning the languages is on the rise. "The decline of fluent speakers is not a surprise because many elders are getting on in age," said Lorna Williams, chairwoman of the First Peoples' Cultural Council, which undertook the study. The Crown corporation was created in 1990 to advocate for arts, language and culture. "But there is cause for celebration when you look at all the new learners. Everybody says it is an impossible task because of the diversity of the languages, because they're not spoken, but it's happening."

British Columbia is home to 34 First Nations languages.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Building vocab - Ntinin - My Body

Learning to speak mi'kmaw?

Hear the words pronounced for parts of the body. Note: each part is prefaced by the prefix for "my", that is "n".


Monday, November 24, 2014

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education | edX course

MOOC exploring Indigenous ways of knowing in classrooms

"This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) explores strategies, teaching exemplars, and resources that support the teaching and learning of Indigenous ways of knowing in classrooms, schools and communities. (Video intro: )"


Local organization refers to Halifax by Mi’kmaq name

It would be nice to see more local names used. (Like "Haida Gwai" did in replacing "Queen Charlote's") Maybe there's room for both.

Some say it's a sign of respect and perhaps the beginning of something larger. The Ecology Action Centre in the north end of Halifax has started to refer to the city by its original Mi'kmaq name, K'jipuktuk. (It's roughly pronounced "che-book-took.") News releases from the centre include the name "Halifax" in brackets.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

University students surveyed on knowledge of indigenous issues

What do students know about aboriginal issues?
"A Queen's University professor is studying how much [university] students know about indigenous issues, and why they might not know them. Anne Godlewska has a hunch that it goes beyond a lack of information.

"The voluntary survey, created in consultation with local indigenous peoples, was distributed among first-year students at 10 Ontario universities this fall. The same cohort will be surveyed in their fourth year."


Monday, November 10, 2014

Voices of Wisdom: Learning from Elders

History in their own words

Video produced for the Ontario College of Teachers

"In this 14-minute video, First Nations elders, an Inuit elder and a Métis senator share personal stories of tragedy, experience, wisdom and cultural identity. Their words underline the importance of understanding our Canadian history and the experiences First Nations, Inuit and Métis students bring to our classrooms."


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Aboriginal Language Initiative - Speak Mi'kmaq

Kwe, taluisin?

Some basic words and expressions for those interested in the Mi'kmaq language.


Mi'kmaq Immersion - Vimeo clip

Culture, Education, Language
Jane Meader (and others) speaks about the Mi'kmaq language program. She reflects on the importance of native languages in keeping culture alive.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Truthful Narrative - FNMI contributions to K-12

Strategies to integrate First Nations, Métis and Inuit contributions
"This article provides educators with strategies to integrate First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) contributions into the Kindergarten to Grade 12 classroom. [...] Building community with students by challenging stereotypes and providing a culturally rich lens that highlights the 500 Nations and their gifts is presented. Each level of education, from elementary to secondary, is briefly described with the appropriate FNMI terms, contributions and across-the-curriculum pedagogical opportunities. The developmental levels of students is also a critical consideration in the presenting, positioning and acquisition of a broader and more truthful narrative about FNMI nations."


Monday, November 3, 2014

How to revive an American Indian language with no native speakers

The original language of Los Angeles is Tongva
Pamela Munro writes about the challenges and rewards of revitalizing and resurrecting a North American First People's language that had lost all of its native speakers.

Our Gabrielino-Tongva Language Committee has put together a phrasebook—including everything from Chongaa'aa kukuume'a! ("Wash the dishes!") to 'Wiishmenokre ("I love you")—and a little book about animals.  We've had to figure out a lot of things using creativity, common sense, and comparison with other local languages. Now we have a Coyote story (a moral tale like those in Aesop's Fables), the Christmas story, and a version of the Aquarium of the Pacific's blue whale story.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

In Our Own Words - Bringing Authentic First Peoples Content to K-3

FNESC created support documents

"This guide has been developed in response to desire on the part of teachers for more guidance and information on how to incorporate First Peoples materials into their instruction and assessment practices. Educators and communities have long recognized a need for increased information and support in the use of culturally appropriate and meaningful First Peoples content, materials, and teaching methods.This document has been developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) with assistance from the British Columbia Ministry of Education and support from the Education Partnerships Program of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada."


#SpeakMikmaq - YouTube Channel

L'nuisi = Speak Mi'kmaq
#SpeakMikmaq is a Channel created by MsNativeWarrior which currently features 57 videos and provides great encouragement to those of us that are trying to speak our language.

L'nuisi =>  Speak Mi'kmaq !


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers

Clear information in simple language about the First Peoples in Vancouver
"First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers aims to fill the need for clear information in simple language about the First Peoples in Vancouver. It introduces newcomers to three important topics: who are Aboriginal people (or First Peoples) in Vancouver and Canada; a brief overview of the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Peoples; and current initiatives and ways for newcomers to learn more about Aboriginal people in the community."


We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneân

The story of the return of the Wampanoag language
"The Wampanoag nation of southeastern Massachusetts ensured the survival of the Pilgrims in New England, and lived to regret it. "We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneân" tells the story of the return of the Wampanoag language, the first time a language with no native speakers for many generations has been revived in this country. Spurred on by an indomitable linguist named Jessie Little Doe, the Wampanoag are bringing their language and their culture back."  47min


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stories From the Land Podcast

Indigenous Peoples share stories, worldview, philosophies & teachings

The "Stories From The Land" Podcast series is a collection of Indigenous community sourced stories that connect Indigenous Peoples to place with the aim of reinforcing worldview, philosophies & teachings. (These stories are community sourced and are shared as they are submitted.) Host Hayden King is Anishinaabeg from Beausoleil First Nation on Gchi'nme Missing in Huronia, Ontario.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Aboriginal Flag Design Gallery

APTN Aboriginal Flag Design competition
You'll find images and artist statements of flags submitted to the APTN's flag design contest by Nomad students. There are some very striking images here - it's worth taking a look! (link above.)

For more about the flag contest.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

▶ Sherman Alexie in conversation

First Nations Author shares about his life and writing

Author Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) talks to Enrique Cerna about Spokane, Washington, life on the reservation, and his life.


BBC -Native American News

Northwest Indian News - groundbreaking television
Listen to this BBC documentary about the establishing of a Native run and themed television show in Washington State.

"Lita Sheldon of the Tulalip Tribe in Washington State grew up in an age when Tonto – sidekick to The Lone Ranger – was the only Native American she had seen on television. News bulletins about Native Americans were endlessly negative, alcohol-related or concerning 'trouble on the reservations'. Traditional communication – the languages, longhouses and potlatches – had long been brutally abolished, but Lita had an idea of how to change things. It was time, she thought, for tribal people to make their own news and get it on the national networks. It was from this initial idea that Northwest Indian News began, covering everything from whaling rituals to canoe journeys and watched, at its height, by 50 million people."


Sent from my iPhone

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mikmaq honour song - words and music

Learn the words to the Honour Song
Mi'kmaq and phonetic transcriptions to make this easy!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Near Deception Pass

The story poles in place near Deception Pass tell the Samish legend of Kwekalelwt and how she came to bring prosperity to her people.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hidden Beauty

Tucked in behind the Metropolitan Tower in Vancouver is this beautiful carving by Bill Reid.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Weaving Mi’kmaq history

How can we preserve Mi'kmaq culture and language?
"Ursula Johnson's solo, nationally touring exhibit, Mi'kwite'tmn (Do You Remember), curated by the gallery's director Robin Metcalfe, challenges the way First Nations art and artifacts have been locked away in museums. "A museum is so much associated with dead things," she says in an interview in the gallery. "The culture is always living and existing and changing." She wants to create a dialogue between First Nations communities and art institutions on who preserves and converses aboriginal language and culture. "Whose responsibility is it? Who determines what is authentic? How can we preserve culture and language?"


Drew Haden Taylor On Aboriginal Humour

Drew Haden Taylor and "Me Funny."
"Drew Hayden Taylor is an Ojibway from Ontario's Curve Lake Reserve. A playwright and columnist, Taylor spent 15 years writing and researching aboriginal humour. His book, "Me Funny" is a collection of essays on humour by native writers. He believes aboriginal humour, which tends to be self-deprecating, has been an important survival tool used to help them through difficult times, such as colonization, residential schools and adoptions. (Originally aired June 2006)"

He also talks about what it means to "look Indian".


Monday, May 26, 2014

Mi’kmaq Traditional Knowledge: Eels and the Bras d’Or Lakes

The relationship of Mi'kmaq to the eel
"In order to understand how Mi'kmaq posses such knowledge, it is important to understand the relationship of Mi'kmaq to the eel. This relationship is one of reverence and holds as special place in Mi'kmaq spirituality.  Eels and all living and non-living objects posses a spirit. The eel in particular was offered to Klooscap, the Creator for a successful hunt and as thanks. The eel was not wasted or over-exploited. The Mi'kmaq practiced "take what was needed" ethic. Eels were reserved for ceremonies and feasts and are important during mid-winter feasts as an offering for surviving another harsh winter."


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Most Commonly Spoken Language in Canada Other than English or French by Province/

Hello, Bonjour, Kwe!
Check out this map of the most commonly spoken languages in Canada (other than English or French by province/territory.) There are some places in Canada where the dominant language (besides Eng or Fr) is in fact aboriginal. Mi'kmaq, Innu, Inuktitut and Tlicho (Dogrib) are all represented. Let's do all we can to encourage these and other Indigenous languages. (Visit the link for the full map.)


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mi'kmaq Schools Benefit From APTN and MusiCounts | Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey

Funds to support music for Mi'kmaw students
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), in partnership with MusiCounts, is helping to keep music alive in two Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey community schools. This afternoon MusiCounts and APTN presented Eskasoni Elementary and Middle school with a $10,000 Band Aid Grant in the form of 19 new instruments.

"We're incredibly excited," said Lisa Munroe, the school's music teacher and band program director. "Most students now are renting their instruments, and there are many more that would like to join the band program, but cannot afford the rental. This grant allows more students to participate in band, and to practice their instruments year-round."


Monday, May 5, 2014

Truth and Reconciliation | The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright

An interview with Justice Murray Sinclair on the TRC
"There is no easy way of talking about this part of Canada's legacy. For more than a century, we sent children as young as five to residential schools - 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children who had no control over their lives, and whose parents were required by law to send them away. Children were housed in gender-segregated dorms in schools, isolated from their families.  They were often victimized by the Christian clergy who ran the schools."


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Program brings Mi’kmaq culture to life for Grade 5 students

"Sharing culture with young people is important."

"Grade 5 students in Corner Brook have been studying aboriginal history and culture as part of their social studies program, but the lessons aren't just coming from a textbook.  For the past six weeks, members of the local Mi'kmaq community have been going into Humber Elementary and Sacred Heart sharing their culture and history with the students."


Monday, April 28, 2014

First Nations Peoples of British Columbia - Map

The rich diversity of the First Nations Peoples of BC
"This map is designed to illustrate the rich diversity of the First Nations Peoples of British Columbia. Like all maps, it is a rendition - a best attempt at reflecting a current reality, recognizing that "the map is not the territory"... The boundaries between territories are deliberately shown as blending into one another, in recognition of the complex territorial relationships involved."

Map is downloadable.

This site also lists names of the First Nations Peoples of BC as they are generally known today (with a phonetic guide to common pronunciation), and a reference to names they were given by explorers to the regions.


Indigenous Foundations - UBC

Explore topics that relate to Aboriginal peoples
"Welcome to Indigenous Foundations, an information resource on key topics relating to the histories, politics, and cultures of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. This website was developed to support students in their studies, and to provide instructors, researchers and the broader public with a place to begin exploring topics that relate to Aboriginal peoples, cultures, and histories. Indigenous Foundations was developed by the First Nations Studies Program at the University of British Columbia, located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people."



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wade Davis: Dreams from endangered cultures

Why we must celebrate indigenous culture
"All of these peoples teach us that there are other ways of being, other ways of thinking, other ways of orienting yourself in the Earth. And this is an idea, if you think about it, can only fill you with hope. .... And you might think of this cultural web of life as being an ethnosphere, and you might define the ethnosphere as being the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness. The ethnosphere is humanity's great legacy. It's the symbol of all that we are and all that we can be as an astonishingly inquisitive species."


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Aboriginal Clam Gardens

An ancient form of aquaculture
Listen to the Podcast.
"An ancient form of aquaculture practiced on the West Coast proves to be quite productive. Clam gardens are beach-terraces that were constructed by First Nations on the West Coast over many hundred of years before European contact, in a deceptively simple form of aquaculture. Dr. Anne Salomon, a marine ecologist from Simon Fraser University, and her group, investigated just how productive these clam gardens were."


Don Amero - We are One

Great Song, Great Message
Visit his site and buy his music!


Aboriginal Music Week - August 20 to 24

Native, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous artists
"Aboriginal Music Week is a music festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We present Native, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous artists who perform hip hop, electronic, traditional, world, folk, rock, country, and blues music. Aboriginal Music Week for 2014 is set for August 20 to 24."

Visit the site to find out about artists, albums and listen to live streaming.


Mi'kmaw tradition of making native ash baskets revived

Lost tradition brought back
"Della Maguire offered a weeklong workshop, with 10 senior Mi'kmaq women participating, recently at the Glooscap Heritage Centre... Her goal is to pass the art on to other women who will keep making baskets once the workshop is done, and can then pass it on to people in their own communities... The laborious process to make a basket takes hours. The ash strips must be cut into various widths to make the base of the basket, then the walls and finally the lid. Strips can also by dyed to add some colour. Experienced basket makers can put intricate patterns into their labours of love by bending and twisting the strips."


Resource development projects can aid First Nations: PM

PM cannot ignore underlying legal rights
[Prime Minister] Harper said resource development offers "significant economic development" in regions where aboriginal communities are dominant - and where they haven't had large-scale economic opportunities - "for the first time in Canadian history." [...] However, Edward John, Grand Chief of B.C.'s First Nations Summit, said the economic opportunities for First Nations to benefit from resource development still come from their underlying legal rights, and Harper needs to address those directly.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Reserve Judgement" - IDEAS podcast

Struggling in Old Massett
A moving podcast that helps give context for the damage done by colonial contact and the IRS system. It highlights the difficulties faced by those trying to support and transform communities.

"Katharina and Glenn Patterson decided to get a university degree and then return to their aboriginal community. It was 1998 and they wanted to help. But when they spoke out about violence and tried to take sexual abusers to court, Katharina and Glenn were met with hostility and even rage.  IDEAS chronicled their story in Reserve Judgement -- that was in 2000. Producer Mary O'Connell recently caught up with Katharina and Glenn to discover how that experience changed their lives."


Robert Munsch books to be translated for Mi'kmaq students

Bring a feeling of being at home into the classroom
"A team of Mi'kmaq educators in Cape Breton have translated seven Robert Munsch books into Mi'kmaq to distribute to First Nations students in the province. The seven translated books are Love You Forever, Thomas' Snowsuit, I'm so Embarrassed, Andrew's Loose Truth, A Promise is a Promise, Mud Puddle and I Have to Go. Janice Ciavaglia is a literacy consultant for Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, the organization that runs Mi'kmaq schools and has jurisdiction in Mi'kmaq educational matters. She said they wanted to bring a feeling of being at home into the classroom."


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Online "Idle No More" Resource

An interactive and evolving "Idle No More" textbook
Mr. Henderson: "Here is my attempt at creating an interactive and evolving Idle No More textbook for educators and students across the country. A major goal is to engage all in higher-order thinking and writing about this historic movement. As per my previous post, I find this a critical time to examine our collective history and see what we need to do to move on. With any issue, there are many perspectives and many which are ill informed. In order to think critically about any issue and to seek out what is significant, we need to have a basic understanding of the forces at work."


Wab Kinew - 5 sterotypes

Wab Kinew on the Strombo Soapbox:

"Wab Kinew, host of the Doc Zone series 8th Fire, is also a CBC News Winnipeg reporter on CBC Television, and a hip-hop artist, named by the Winnipeg Free Press as one of the top artists to watch from Manitoba. Kinew has won an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award for his hip-hop and an ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival award for his journalism work for CBC News. He was also nominated for a Future Leaders of Manitoba award in 2010."


"Graphic Education" - a tool for the classroom

Teaching Aboriginal History with Graphic Novels
"Graphic novels are an increasingly popular and effective tool for the classroom. Students love them because they're visual, engaging, and simply "cool." Teachers love them because they exercise critical thinking skills, communicate complex ideas and issues, and can engage even the most reluctant of readers. Join David Robertson, author of the bestselling books The Life of Helen Betty Osborne, Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story, and the 7 Generations series, as he discusses how his graphic novels are being used in schools across Canada and bringing Aboriginal history to new audiences."


Aboriginal History is Everyone's History - recorded webinar

Teaching about aboriginal issues for all learners

"In recent years, Canadian school curricula have started to offer high school Native studies classes focusing on Aboriginal history and culture. Ben Sichel (@bsichel), a Mi'kmaq Studies 10 teacher in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, argues that the material in these courses is important for non-Native students to learn as well, and offers tips for making it relevant to their lives. Non-native teachers can — and should — teach them how things like treaties, the Indian Act, and enduring racism and stereotypes about Aboriginal people play into the lives of all Canadians."

Transcript: LINK


Indigenous Issues 101 | âpihtawikosisân

A series of resources that address the most prevalent myths

Great reading on a number of aboriginal issues and stereotypes:
"My focus is very much on what I call "myth debunking".  I have found it very difficult over the years to have discussions about anything related to indigenous peoples because so many bizarre beliefs get in the way.  ... For me, this is a time saving device.  A series of resources for myself and anyone else who wants them, so that some of the most prevalent myths can be quickly and clearly addressed, allowing a bigger conversation to (hopefully) happen."


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Edge of the World: BC's Early Years

The events that shaped BC's early history

Watch this online at the Knowledge Network site. (50min)
"Vancouver filmmaker Erik Paulsson chronicles the events, people and places that shaped British Columbia's early history from its beginnings until the turn of the 20th century."


First Nations must turn the page on residential schools - The Globe and Mail

"We can begin to move ... from the darkness into the light"
Shawn Atleo in the Globe and Mail, commenting on the close of the TRC:

"Through the pride of our culture and the strength of our ancestors, we can begin to move out from that embedded sense of trauma, move out from the darkness into the light of confidence in our future. Through the truth, we must free ourselves from the bonds of anger and hate. We will never forget. But we must not burden another generation with anger and pain. We can give them the strength of our spirit, our songs, our languages and our cultures."


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Tyee – Aboriginal Affairs Coverage

Read interesting aboriginal-interest news stories