Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cedar Bark Weaving Videos

The Art of Cedar Weaving

A nice collection of videos that focus on cedar weaving:
"Cedar bark textile was used by indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest region of modern-day Canada and the United States. Historically, most items of clothing were made of this material."


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Getting started in Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓

Vocab and phrases to get you speaking

From the webpage: "Our language teacher is Mrs. Josephine Good. Her native name is Laha. She lives at Snuneymuxw First Nation, in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She was born on July 14, 1914, in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. The language she speaks is called Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓. This is the dialect that is spoken in the Lower Mainland in the vicinity of Vancouver. We enjoy studying Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ with her and we hope you will too."


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Coast Salish Artwork at the Mall

Tsawwassen Mills features Indigenous Art

Of the 22 artworks present in the mall, the majority feature Coast Salish artists from the region. The link above will let you view images of each piece and learn more about the artists. After viewing them virtually, why not head over to the mall to see them in person?


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Why do we acknowledge territory?


A personal reflection:

Why do we acknowledge territory? It has become a common practice at the start of official events in schools, municipalities and at community cultural celebrations. While some may say that the acknowledgment statement has become a simple formality, it is also an important opportunity to advance the cause of Reconciliation, and give us all a context for the work we do our everyday lives.


I think the more we can personalize what this means, the easier it is for students and staff to understand how important acknowledgement statements can be.


When we think about the history of a place, the city we live in, our province or the country as a whole, I am reminded that the colonial history is not very deep. We think of Canada as being established in 1867, but even that date only refers to the smaller, initial group of provinces. 

When my parents, who were both born in Newfoundland, and who moved to the BC coast later in life met people new to Canada, and the conversation turned to who was not born here, my parents both raised their hands. And when asked where they are from, they responded "Newfoundland!" When someone invariably pointed out that Newfoundland is in fact part of Canada, they loved to say "Not when we were born there it wasn't." 


My parents loved to have a bit of fun with this, but for me, it is a very real reminder of the short history of the country we live in.  It means that Canada, with its 10 provinces including Newfoundland, is younger than my mother! (pause for effect!)


The Canadian history that lies upon this land is very young, and the roots are really not that deep. Imagine, a country that is younger than my mother! But the archeological digs done recently in Pitt Meadows (ancient Wapato Gardens) tell us about infrastructure work done by the Katzie people 3800 years ago, and discoveries on Triquet Island (ancient firepits) testify to 14,000 years of repeated occupation by the Heiltsuk. 


The roots of Indigenous people stretch back thousands of years, and acknowledgement of territory is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the depth of that history and to remember that those people (myself included) are still here today. And so, when I take a moment at my job site in Surrey BC to acknowledge that we are meeting, working and learning, on the shared traditional territory of the Katzie, Semiahmoo and Kwantlen First Nations, a land with deep roots and a unique culture, it helps provide an important context for the ongoing educational work that I do.



Friday, September 20, 2019

Cindy Blackstock - interview with Peter Mansbridge

On the relationship between Indigenous & non-indigenous Canadians.

Mansbridge One on One: Cindy Blackstock, one of Canada's leading Aboriginal voices and a passionate advocate for repairing the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Classroom Technologies and First Peoples Principles of Learning

A blend of new and old

"This course explores examples and strategies of ways teachers can use technology-based projects aligned with the First Peoples Principles of Learning to begin infusing a First People's perspective into their classroom environment and community."


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mohawk artist (re-)creates stories with graphic arts

I'm inspired by the struggles in our legends

"I graduated from Syracuse University in 2017 with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Indigenous Studies. I'm always trying to improve my art, as well as learning each variation of our Haudenosaunee legends. For the past two years I've been traveling around and educating people about the Haudenosaunee culture and teachings while funding my art and myself, as they're one in the same," said David.


Land acknowledgment is the start of action

"A verbal memorial in honor of Indigenous peoples"

Chip Colwell is a lecturer on Anthropology, from the University of Colorado Denver. In this article (see excerpt below) he speaks about why he believes territorial acknowledgement is an important part of the reconciliation process:. (Visit link for complete post.)

"...But, in recent months I have come to believe land acknowledgment is the start of action – a concrete step to bring forgotten histories into present consciousness. Land acknowledgment is a recognition of a truth, a kind of verbal memorial that we erect in honor of indigenous peoples. Like a memorial, land acknowledgment pays respect to indigenous peoples by recognizing where they came from and affirming who they are today. And like a memorial, land acknowledgment is an education – enlisting speakers and audiences to learn about a region's indigenous history.

Reconciliation with indigenous peoples will require work: improving education, creating economic opportunities, protecting sacred places and much more. Confronting the past in all its beauties and horrors does not replace these efforts, but helps animate them."


Friday, June 28, 2019

Indigenous Renaissance: 10 to Watch at the NFB

Reshaping Canada's cultural landscape and national self-image

"The National Film Board is now two years into its Indigenous Action Plan, a plan that commits to putting no less than 15% of production funds into Indigenous projects, and there are currently over thirty Indigenous-driven projects in the works in English Program alone. The filmmakers mentioned below represent different communities across Canada, and their work ranges from classic linear storytelling to community-engaged doc projects and experimental forays into Augmented Reality."