Wisdom: Not just reading, writing and recreation, but also reflection and reconciliation


Greenstone District Graduate Schools is offering students a variety of fun knowledge-building activities for National Indigenous History Month.

GREENSTONE – Superior – Greenstone students will have the benefit of participating in various programs during National Aboriginal Month. The program will focus on First Nations, Inuit and Métis history, health care, technology, art and cuisine, as well as fun activities that promote the cultural diversity of Indigenous peoples.

From stories of Indigenous authors to introducing students to Indigenous engineering, the programs offer something for all school ages.

“When you’re looking at National Indigenous History Month, we really need to make sure we’re connected to the story somewhere in there,” said Indigenous Education Director Shy-Anne Bartlett. “So it’s not just about learning opportunities, and it’s not just the one-off kind of stuff. For people to have a chance, teachers, students, and staff have the opportunity to engage in a variety of different opportunities that bring different kinds of learning and understanding.

Students will not just be sitting in the classroom reading and writing. There are many opportunities to interact with content outside of the traditional classroom setting.

However, many younger grades (K-4) will still need to be required to participate in many workshops that promote literacy skills. Superior-Greenstone Schools programming goes beyond retention skills.

Superior-Greenstone students will explore Indigenous knowledge systems by learning holistic medicinal practices through the use of plant life, athletic exercises by learning and playing lacrosse (a sport invented by Indigenous peoples), Indigenous leadership skills by discussing how to build bridges with neighbors, and technology and engineering skills by learning about the many ways birch bark is used to make items like canoes and baskets with l special guest Mary Magiskan.

“With Mary, she’s going to come and talk about the importance of birch bark and the fact that the canoe is basically a Canadian icon, but it’s an aboriginal invention,” admits Bartlett. “And how birch bark is used for so much more than canoes.”

Younger students can make a birchbark offering basket, while older students (grades 5-8) will take on the project of creating smaller-scale birchbark canoes.

These birchbark vessels were used for cooking, gathering berries, carrying water and storing food, as well as offering an offering to the Earth.

Students will actively engage with the material by learning about Aboriginal history through hands-on activities.

“We also really wanted to look at the programs and see what we cover that meets the emotional needs of students, the physical needs of students, the intellectual needs of students, and the spiritual needs of students.”

Once this exercise will cover Kairo.

“You basically go through colonization as a group of Native people, and so the two hosts, one is the European population and the other host talks about the Native effects,” Bartlett said. “As you go through the exercise, you can see how rich Turtle Island is with Indigenous people all the way, up there with the Inuit, the Métis came in a bit later but they are also mentioned and how it affects the culture as well. And you see the native populations shrinking, breaking apart and breaking apart.

The Kairo Blanket exercise is based on the use of Indigenous methodologies and the goal is to build an understanding of our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Students (grades 4-8) will journey through the history of European settlement through several historical stages, including pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization, and resistance.

The student will be actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land and in the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples.

It’s one thing to read about colonization in a textbook, but it’s another thing to interact with the effects of colonization through the Kairo Blanket exercise.

Bartlett remarks, “There’s all this hands-on experience. In fact, you go through it, you go through it, you experience it, and when you are asked to leave your house now, get out of the blanket, you died of smallpox and join the ancestors, people will say “oh dammit” and will think they are part of it. »

By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the blanket exercise effectively educates and increases empathy and provides further impact on the horrific history of Indigenous peoples.

Each week, Superior-Greenstone will host special guests who will engage with students. The Marathon area will be treated to a live performance by Juno nominee Leonard Sumner on June 9.

Art and culture go hand in hand through traditional dance and song. As the beating of the drum simulates the beating of the heart, the dance exemplifies the expression of spirituality, history and culture. Traditional dance is interpretive and tells a story through movement.

On June 6, regional high schools in Nipigon, Red Rock and Dorion joined in a language powwow focused on language revitalization. Throughout the powwow, students were tasked with engaging in Anishinaabe Boodawe languages ​​while attending the powwow celebration.

For younger students, virtual presentations will also provide more opportunities to engage in dance.

Angela Miracle Gladue, professional choreographer for A Trible Called Red, will engage the student with a mix of Native dance and hip-hop. She will also educate students on the difference between appreciating and appropriating cultural traditions.

Therefore, Superior-Greenstone District School is offering its students a rich history of Indigenous knowledge through its programming this month in celebration of National Indigenous History Month.

Join them in researching and using the many resources that National Indigenous History Month has to offer.


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