This book recounts the residential schooling experience held by those who attended the school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. It discusses not only the experiences, but how such experiences have shaped the Mi’Kmaq culture in present day. It is an important piece of information for any Nova Scotian for it outlines the trials and tribulations of an entire people. In addition, it also has connections to the role of present day Aboriginal youth as noted in both the Fraser River Project and March Point Trailer as an explanation of the current state of youth.
Knockwood, Isabelle . Out of the depths: The Experiences of Mi’kmaw Childrn at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2001. Print.
This book serves as a means of filling in the blanks often found in European centric history textbooks. The book discusses an array of subjects such as religious studies, law, intellectual history, oral history, and the varying perspectives of the arrival in America by Columbus in the 15th century up to the Mi’Kmaw concordat in the 17th century. A unique perspective present in this text is the analysis of the relationship between the Mi’kmaq people and the Holy Roman Empire.
Henderson, James Youngblood. The Míkmaw concordat . Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood, 1997. Print.
This video could be used within the classroom in relation to career options for youth. It provides vignettes and actual interviews of people from various aboriginal communities who currently work within the health care system. In doing so, the video also provides youth information on courses needed at the high school level and how one would go about attaining the necessary skills. A great deal of the focus is on attaining good skills within the math and science subjects.
Health Careers – Industry in the Classroom Series from First Nation Help Desk on Vimeo.
In his book, “We were not the Savages,” Daniel Paul traces back the history of his Mi’Kmaq people in relation to pre, during and post European contact. In doing so, he speaks of the great loss suffered by his ancestors (70-100 million dead) at the hand of European invaders and how such disrespect and dishonor continues in present day Canada. In his book, Paul uses the term “pre-Columbian contact” as opposed to “pre-European contact” to describe time periods for it has been recorded that Scandinavian contact had been made in generations prior to the Columbus era. There had been many counts of blonde haired blue-eyed Natives who in fact dressed up as English and French soldiers and were able to go unnoticed!
The book continues with a description of events that followed the contact that consisted mainly of a greed for goods from the land; gold, furs, and property. A term also used for the Native people of North America were, “heathen savages” a term Paul says, was coined as a means of belittling the impact of slaughtering a nation of people.
Paul, Daniel. We were not the savages: First Nation’s History. 3rd ed. Canada: Fernwood Publishing, 2006. Print.
This presentation offers strategies for teachers as to how they can support First Nation students and families within learning environments. The presenter, Debbie Mineault, speaks about her culture and the importance of welcoming all cultural aspects as a means of promoting awareness.
She offers the generic definition of culture as “the customs, history, values and language that make up a heritage of a person or people that contributes to a person’s identity”. She emphasizes that culture is a framework and stresses the importance of culture in the educational framework.
Benefits of her heritage:
- Economy- focus on self-reliance and culture of the land (hunting, fishing, sewing, clothing, crafts, etc). They did not have a lot of money however were rich with knowledge.
- Family- Strong connections with extended family.
- Government- Ways of life were dependent upon natural resources and skills available.
When creating curricula and educational lessons, it is pertinent that educators collaborate with Aboriginal elders, community leaders, and Aboriginal educators to gain perspective and insight to assure such educational endeavors are culturally sensitive and inclusive so that all students feel valued, safe, and supported within varied learning contexts. It is apparent from my initial research that educators from the East Coast of Canada do not have a great deal of resources available to them to help scaffold Aboriginal students within current curricula (although it is important to note that in rural areas that local resources may be created onsite and are not available online due to a lack of resources).
For the purpose of my weblog, I will focus on best practices, resources, and other aids that could help scaffold an East Coast educator of Aboriginal youth. Within my current school of 850 students, we have a population of 12 students who identify as Aboriginal descent. However, as a teacher who teaches primarily students who are not Aboriginal, I do believe it is pertinent that all educators and students are equipped with a multicultural perspective. As a result, I look forward to finding such resources, or perhaps creating new resources that could serve my students, colleges and fellow educators.
The following document is a collaborative framework that represents the values and beliefs inherent in all Aboriginal cultures. I find it quite interesting for I have yet to come across such a resource in Eastern Canada. The Common Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Culture Programs: Kindergarten to Grade 12. This document is meant to scaffold schools and districts in Western provinces and the territories when developing curricula or learning resources that emphasize Aboriginal language.
This website serves as a language preservation site whereby individuals can listen to and read various Mi’kmaq stories and words. In addition, it also serves as a dictionary. I believe it could act as a good resource for students and educators who are interested in the language.
This is an initiative that was created in 1997 as an electronic tool for Mi’kmaq language preservation. Originally the goal of the non-profit organization was to create a CD-ROM that contained audio and text of songs, historical stories, and a dictionary of the Mi’kmaq language. Advances in technologies have enabled the project to go entirely online. The website hosts audio, image, and text files.
Being a well respected elder and member of the Mi’Kimaq First Nations Community in Nova Scotia, Dr. Daniel Paul has created a website that he hopes will educate all on the “history, hopes, and aspirations of First Nation’s Peoples”.
In doing so, he has collected an array of resources and historical documents and presents them in digital format. Maps, drawings, paintings, and historical recall of events are all the various types of resources that can be found on the website.