Saturday, December 17, 2016

U'mista Cultural Society - Creation Stories

S​tories from the people who speak Kwakʼwala

​"​In this exhibit, the legends of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw are presented along with photographs of the original villages, where these are available. The photographs are arranged in traditional rank order as recorded by George Hunt in consultation with knowledgeable people of his time. The fact that consensus as to this order no longer exists is evidence that our culture is still alive and changing."​


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Learn Cree syllabics in virtual reality

New program teaches syllabics inside immersive world

​"​The Cree School Board launched its Cree Syllabics Virtual Reality project on Nov. 2, which it says is the first of its kind in Indigenous Canada.
​ ​
Students put on headsets to enter a virtual camp setting where they meet a little girl named Niipiish and her dog Achimush. Using hand movements and buttons to move around within the camp, they go on a journey to prepare for Niipiish's little brother's walking-out ceremony, all the while identifying Cree words that describe the seasons, the environment and Cree traditions.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Redpatch Comic – First Nations soldiers in WWI

ownloadable Comic in PDF format

On August 4th, 1914 England declared war on Germany. As a member of the British Empire, Canada was obliged to join the war. Many First Nations men had to lie about their heritage in order to join the Canadian Forces. First Nations soldiers proved to be some of Canada's greatest warriors. Many achieved near-legendary status as scouts, trench-raiders and snipers.


Remembrance Moments: Canada's Indigenous Veterans

Indigenous men & women who served bravely & well

"Indigenous people have a long and proud tradition of military service in Canada. From the earliest days before Canada was even a country of its own, through the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, post-war peace support efforts, Afghanistan and on to the present day, thousands of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other Indigenous men and women have served bravely and well in uniform."

​=========================== ​

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

“The Feather”, our AbEd memo

​Links from our Tuesday AbEd memo "The Feather"

Featured Five
Our Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC) is seeing more interest recently with the addition of the weekly "Featured Five" email that goes out to Teacher-Librarians and helping teachers. We are encouraging teachers to contact Cathy Norton to borrow titles. Our catalog can be viewed online at :

First Voices
"First Voices" offers word lists and phrase books for a number of BC First Languages. Follow this link to access Halq'eméylem phrasebooks:


Halloween book displays and respectful representation.

Trick or Treat!

As October 31st draws near, the conversation often turns to the question of appropriate costumes, which includes issues of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation. This is especially true of “Aboriginal costumes.”

As you select books for your Halloween display, you might want to consider if those books have respectful images of Indigenous people.

Typically, these costumes take elements from various Nations (i.e. Native designs or symbols, head dresses, medicine bags, etc.) and weave them together in a mishmash meant to be “Indian.” However, regalia has specific and often spiritual significance. Wearing it in a haphazard or inappropriate way trivializes its meaning. In addition, because Indigenous culture has a history of being eroded and repressed in mainstream society, treating identity as a “costume” is simply another form of that erosion. Just as wearing a grab-bag of liturgical vestments from a variety of religions would be seen as bad taste, so too is wearing an “Aboriginal” costume.

--  Food for thought as we get ready for the Trick-or-treaters.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

First Nations Innovation and Decolonization using ICT - Rob McMahon

​Lecture Series on Aboriginal Issues​

Across Canada, expressions of Indigenous resurgence are taking place in a range of fields, including culture and language revitalization, economic development, and education. My postdoctoral research with the First Nations Innovation project at the University of New Brunswick studies these initiatives in the area of information and communication technology (ICT). Partnering with regional non-profit First Nations broadband organizations in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, we are researching how First Nations people are shaping and using ICT. Many people reading this will know about Idle No More, which is one example of how Indigenous peoples use digital ICT. The First Mile website showcases other ways that First Nations are appropriating these tools. In this presentation, we provide an introduction to some of this work.

Other resources: 


Aboriginal-Canadian Veterans Day

Remembering those who served

Elders and Aboriginal soldiers in the uniform of the
Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. 

(Photo: Library and Archives Canada PA-041366)

November 8th is recognized by Aboriginal groups across the country as "Aboriginal Veterans' Day." While schools would not likely choose to observe this day separately, Socials teachers may want to highlight some of the information provided below in the lead up to Remembrance Day observances in their school. Some of the sites are available in French and English and are indicated with a (FR).

Aboriginal-Canadian Veterans
Anciens combattants canadiens autochtones (FR)

Learn about Indigenous Veterans (FR)

Aboriginal Veterans' Day

Indigenous Inquiry Kit on Aboriginal veteran​s​

Aboriginal People in the Canadian Military (FR)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Grade 7 Métis Cross-Curricular Teacher Guide

essons that focus on the Métis people 

The Grade 7 Métis Cross-Curricular Teacher Guide was created to assist teachers in delivering lessons that focus on the Métis people of British Columbia. There are almost 70,000 Métis people in British Columbia and of that over 21,000 are of elementary school age. Métis people settled in B.C. over the last two hundred years and are a large part of the Aboriginal population in British Columbia.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

N'we Jinan Artists - "IMPORTANT TO US"

​Students from ​
 Trudeau Elementary
​ sing​

​This video was created by ​N'we Jinan, a nonprofit organization that brings a mobile recording studio into schools and community centres across North America. (The program is aimed to create an environment where youth can express themselves musically and creatively under the guidance of a professional music producer.)

Hello hello 
s anybody listening?
Bonjour bonjour 
o everybody living here
Wachiya wachiya 
ur home is filled with col
ur and love
Kwe-Kwe, Kwe-Kwe 
..these are things important to us


Words to Live by

"All my relations" 
Richard Wagamese reflects on the meaning of this phrase:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Lesson Plans and Resources for Orange Shirt Day – The Manitoba Teachers' Society

Lesson ideas by grade band

​A good selection of activities by grade band to introduce (or support) Orange Shirt Day in your school. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

Florent Vollant • Tout est lié

Florent Vollant : le langage du cœur

U​ne belle chanson (en français) qui nous rappelle qu'il y a des connexions partout, et nous sommes vraiment liés les uns aux autres.

Le refrain est facile à chanter, et exprime une vérité autochtone qui est importante pour tous. (​Paroles/lyrics​)​

​Entrevue avec Florent


Friday, September 2, 2016

Orange Shirt Day Resources

​Raising Awareness of Our Shared History​

September 30 has been designated as the day we remember all of those children and families who were affected by this dark chapter in Canada's history. We can begin by acknowledging the harms of the past and embark upon a new relationship between Canada and Aboriginal people that embodies mutual care and respect.
​...] I
t is important for us all to learn and understand our shared history so we can become healthier by respecting each other and eliminating racism and discrimination.

​See also:


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Aboriginal Resource Centre

Explore our Resource Centre - either virtually ( or in person (call one of our helping teachers to arrange a visit.)

View district online resources here:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sixties Scoop Survivors Take Canada to Court

Indigenous child removal 
​- an interview with Raven Sinclair​

The so-called 'Sixties Scoop' removed thousands of Aboriginal kids from a number of provinces over that decade and beyond. But, this week, it was an Ontario court that heard the latest phase of a class action suit seeking compensation for what survivors say Canada denied them: rightful access to "Aboriginal customs, traditions and practices." Our guest is Raven Sinclair, associate professor of social work at the University of Regina, and a Scoop survivor herself.


Raven's Children IV: Aboriginal Youth Health in BC

A comprehensive picture of the health of Aboriginal youth

​"​Raven's Children IV provides a comprehensive picture of the health of Aboriginal youth in BC using data from the 2013 BC AHS. The report was overseen by an advisory committee of experts in Aboriginal youth health, and reviewed by Elders, youth and other Aboriginal community members across the province."


Slahal - An aboriginal stick game

Bring a cultural game to your classroom

 (or Lahal) is a gambling game of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, also known as stickgame, bonegame, bloodless war game, handgame, or a name specific to each language. It is played throughout the western United States and Canada by indigenous peoples. Traditionally, the game uses the shin bones from the foreleg of a deer or other animal.
The name of the game is a 
Chinook Jargon word.

​Watch these videos that explain more:​

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fwd: First Peoples Resources (K-9) - FNESC

Authentic First Peoples content that supports all students

"The annotated listings provided in this guide identify currently available authentic First Peoples texts that students can work with to meet provincial standards related to literacy as well as a variety of specific subject areas."

"The guide is intended to help BC educators introduce resources that reflect First Peoples knowledge and perspectives into classrooms in respective ways. The inclusion of authentic First Peoples content into classrooms supports all students in developing an understanding of the significant place of First Peoples within the historical and contemporary fabric of this province and provides culturally relevant materials for Indigenous learners in British Columbia."


Monday, July 18, 2016

CMEC Aboriginal Education Symposium (June 2015)

Discussing relevant issues and sharing information on successful practices

    "The CMEC Aboriginal Education Symposium brought together new and experienced educators and Elders of Aboriginal ancestry from across Canada to discuss:
  •         how best to attract more people to teaching careers;
  •         how to encourage existing educators to remain in the profession;
  •         how to support students entering the field of education; and
  •         how to support all educators in their training and career development.

    For two full days, participants discussed their challenges and successes in relation to education, teacher training, and professional development. They also provided innovative advice on how to support Aboriginal post secondary students entering the field of education and ongoing support for experienced Aboriginal educators.

    Each province and territory was invited to send a delegation of six new or experienced educators of Aboriginal descent, as well as one Elder, to discuss relevant issues and share information on successful practices. On the final day, delegates met with education ministers and CMEC officials to participate in culminating activities, share innovative ideas, and listen to final thoughts.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Métis dancer Graham Kotowich

From jigging to ballet

Listen to this interview from CBC Radio:

"Graham Kotowich is a Métis ballet dancer who has enjoyed success on European stages and is now back in Canada to attend an Indigenous dance residency at Banff Centre. He started dancing at age seven and hasn't taken more than two weeks off since then. While he is classically trained, he's also taking the time to explore his love of Metis jigging. For him, the experience is about more than dancing: he's grateful he's been given an opportunity to express his personal creativity."


Monday, July 11, 2016

"All Our Relations" - Study

Phase 1 of the Surrey Urban Aboriginal Social Innovation Strategy


"The title of this report - All Our Relations - emphasizes a relational worldview shared by many Indigenous peoples and points to the many relationships that need to be created, strengthened or expanded in Surrey. The objective of the Surrey Urban Aboriginal Social Innovation Strategy is to build and strengthen relationships at all levels of the community so as to improve the economic participation, educational attainment, and health outcomes for the Aboriginal population in Surrey. Phase I of the project has helped to shine a light on the urban Aboriginal community in Surrey and some of the barriers or challenges that impede a positive experience of city life. Phase II of the project will be an opportunity to build on the findings and conclusions contained in this report in two significant ways."