In this week’s activities, I have come across some wonderful sites that bring some insight into this week’s readings. The focus in this case will be close to home for me as I work in a community that is primarily Aboriginal in northeastern Ontario.
As new educators come into the community, and as new technology options become available, it is important that these be shared with students. Anecdotally, it has always been a concern of parents and students in the area that as a result of colonialization and residential schooling, much of the local culture and language has been lost. There exists a need to work to re-acquire this connection with language which in turn will help with re-acquiring culture.
Below are some sites/resources that I feel work with this along with this week’s readings:
Aboriginal Perspectives: Teacher’s Toolkit
This is a resource that was developed in 2009 by the Ministry of Education in Ontario. The focus of this toolkit is to support teachers in Ontario by providing opportunities for teachers to bring more Aboriginal teachings into their classrooms. Supports are in place to utilize technology options for creating a stronger sense of identity and positive self-image for FNMI students in the system as well as sharing some of the cultural teachings and histories with those who do not have an FNMI background.
Path of the Elders
This resource was developed for educators and students who fall into the Treaty 9 territories in Ontario. Taking on the role of a character living in the lands of the Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe Peoples, those taking part will encounter elders who will share oral histories of the area and peoples. Along the way, there will be opportunities to learn words and meanings from the Mushkegowuk Cree dialects. This game is appropriate for any level and is beneficial to learn some of the teachings that may otherwise be lost.
Moose Cree Talking Dictionary
This is a dictionary that was created by current and former members of the Moosonee and Moose Factory area. It has been in use recently by the Cree-language teachers in the area schools as a means of teaching students the proper pronunciations for the Moose-Cree dialect. This is the first time the Moose Cree language has been made available online in a manner that allows for full practice and creation of sentences. As well, not only is the language online, so are the syllabics to help write it out (despite the Moose Cree language being traditionally oral). Have a look and see.
Kanien’keha:ka – Living the Language
I apologize that this film has to be purchased, but I swear it is worth it! It was created by a filmmaker from Moose Factory into how the Mohawk community of Akwesasne is using technology and immersion as a means of preserving language. Unlike most schools that focus on grammar and practice, this school instead focuses on the true immersion into traditions and identity preservation. If you have a chance to watch it, I recommend it as it is setting a blueprint for the renewal of the Cree language in the Moosonee and Moose Factory areas.
This site is one that I have found that shows the effects of colonialism and re-discovery of aboriginal cultures is not isolated to solely Canada. In viewing this resource, which was started by an Australian teacher, it is evident that it has a wealth of resources available to Australian teachers (and those who wish to learn more about Australian Aboriginal peoples). Through the sharing of files, posts, and media, it brings a wealth of pieces that can come together to create a fuller picture of the re-discovery and preservation of Australian Aboriginal cultures.