Four Directions Teachings.
- The goal of this website was to create an engaging and interactive venue for students to learn and experience Indigenous knowledge and philosophy. It contains a collective of teachings from the 5 First Nations of Canada; Ojibwe, Mi’kmaq, Mohawk, Cree and Blackfoot. Throughout the site, there are stories related to the four directions, told by Elders and traditional teachers. This site can be both an educational tool for students in the classroom as well as an informative reference on the views and teachings of 5 distinct Indigenous cultures within Canada. This site was part of a project for the intention of the “protection and promotion of Indigenous knowledge” and took a community based approach to ensure it was respectful and accountable for the community values being presented.
Cardwell, M. (2010). The fight to revitalize Canada’s indigenous languages. University Affairs.
“Community members need to be interested and see value in their language in order to use it.”
- This article shares the purpose of the Yawenda project, a nationally funded project to revitalize the Huron-Wendat language in Quebec. The study followed a group of students, aged 15-76, that would go through classes weekly, learning the language of the Huron ancestors which had not been spoken for a century. The project highlights the importance of pairing young minds with Elders, with the goal of “raising children in bilingual environments – or nests” that will help to overcome difficulties as they progress into adulthood. Although the project was not originally expected to succeed, experts at the University of Laval have said the devotion to relearning the cultural language is what drives the project forward. This willingness is expected to help push further funding for the Huron-Wendat communities in the pursuit of language knowledge.
First Peoples’ Cultural Council
- The First Peoples’ Cultural Council is a Crown corporation run by First Nations to support language and cultural revitalization efforts in Canada. This website hosts a number of tools and resources, including language, art and cultural heritage. The Council funds several ongoing efforts of revitalization across the country. This site is a starting point when examining resources for First Nations, including news, reports, grant proposals, and teaching resources. They also run the First Voices project for language resurrection.
First Voices: Language Legacies Celebrating Indigenous Cultures
- As a resource developed by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, the First Voices language archive and teaching resources has a number of web-based tools to connect youth with technical knowledge and Elders with sacred teachings and cultural ways of knowing. The toolkit provides links to Youtube videos on how to use equipment for upload as well as a language tutor, for those wishing to learn beyond the basics. Most of the content is accessible offline, to connect those with limited access. Interactivity is at this website’s core, allowing access to knowledge from a variety of lenses. Maps, audio, dictionaries, and games are all part of what the site has to offer. For access to uploading resources, visit the FPCC page, under the Language tab.
TEDXHumberCollege – Dr. John Steckley: What if Aboriginal languages mattered? Youtube. (February 19, 2012). [Video File]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q50ZJWc1uyE
- John Steckley is a specialist in Canada’s Aboriginal People, particularly in the Huron language and culture. His video shares three little known stories about the Toronto region to illustrate that Aboriginal teachings are not valued in Western culture. He compares the English language with the Huron, in differences such as gender neutrality and a lack of superlatives in the Huron language. He emphasizes the meaning of words comes from a “psychologizing of the world” – giving words meaning through the psychology and emotional control behind them. Dr. Steckley has also written a number of books related to Huron language and culture, which is referenced on the Youtube page.