Tag Archives: story telling

Texts in the classroom. What’s appropriate and where to find them? (Mod 1-Post 3)

B.C. teaching exercises that references ‘squaw’ 39 times pulled

Recently published in the Canadian News was a mothers outrage over the use of the term “Squaw” used 39 times in the book “Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush,” printed by Second Story Press which was being used in the classroom and included teaching materials.  The teacher gave students a test that had students matching the derogatory terms to correct “definitions or appropriate language”. Being able to see a few questions above, you can tell that this test is discussing the prejudice and background of when or why these terms were used.  One can hope that further discussion was implemented about such content. But this raised a few questions for me:

Was the teacher in the wrong for using the resource, despite it being an approved teaching material?

Was this content appropriate for 14 year olds?  If not, what age is?

Assuming the teacher did her due diligence in both prepping and unpacking such topics, are there certain topics teachers should not address, that are too controversial?

This book was published in 1852.  Is it considered a classic or are our reading lists that outdated (most likely due to budget cuts in recent years)?

How easy/difficult is it for teachers/districts to get new reading materials in that perhaps might be more appropriate as well as more engaging for students both from indigenous and non-indigenous communities.

I’d like to share some resources that I and my colleagues have used recently in the classroom that have been well received. I would also like to open it up and ask for more suggestions of any books/audio books that you have used or come across.  Additionally, after speaking with an Aboriginal Success Teacher for one of the nearby school districts, she directed me to the Canadian Aboriginal Books for School list which has quite an extensive list.

“Secret Path”  by Gord Downie, Illustrated by Jeff Lemire

“Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden

“Trudy’s Rock Story” by Trudy Spiller, Illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner

“Wenjack”by Joseph Boyden

“Three Feathers” by Richard Van Camp

Module 3 | Post 2 New Fire CBC program

This is from the new program on CBC Radio One.  This program is described on the website as follows:

From remote reserves to bustling big cities, join Urban Native Girl Lisa Charleyboy as she brings you to the surprising heart of the conversations important to Aboriginal youth. Drop in as they reveal the complexities, challenges and contradictions of what it means to be young and Indigenous today.

The program plays on Tuesday mornings at 9:30 am and on Thursday evenings at 7:30.  I heard the episode this week and it fits very well with Module 3 and with the videos we watched last week.  The title is “What happens when you leave home?”  The link to this episode is at http://www.cbc.ca/radio/newfire/what-happens-when-you-leave-home-1.3138068.

This resource is a link that I will share with my own students as it is an accessible and weekly contact and link to current issues and youth in indigenous communities in Canada (and from where ever their travels may take them).

Module 3 | Post 1 A Journey into Time Immemorial

In my own research for my final project, I have been directed to this site  by staff in the aboriginal services office at BCIT.  It is a ‘research project’ that resulted in an interactive story told by first nations and developed by people who worked closely with or who are first nation members themselves.  It is a beautiful site and gives a sense of the richness and depth of the culture that existed and exists in the Mission, BC area.   Note:  This site is flash based so will not work well on an iPad or iPhone as it relies on the Flash application.

A Journey into Time Immemorial http://www.sfu.museum/time/en/flash/