First Nations Storytelling

One of my literacy units was a First Nations stories unit. I introduced the purposes for storytelling to my class, engaging them through their personal experiences with stories. One of the stories we read was Totem Tale; students then wrote their own animal stories and created totem poles that represented these stories. I believe that this unit engaged my students with First Nations art and literature in a way that broadened their perspective and opened them to new ideas.

Goal 1: “The development of a clear, coherent and justified view of education demonstrates understanding of the place of education as contributing to the creation of an open, pluralistic and caring society.”

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First Peoples Principles of Learning

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GOAL 6) The development of the clear commitment to respect and celebrate students that demonstrates the understanding of how Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies create opportunities to meet the needs of all learners.

My school community in 401/402 was dedicated to integrating First Peoples traditions and ways of knowing in the classroom. This played a role in our team’s question, with our examination of how the world is kept interconnected through natural and human conflict. Classes often participated in talking circles for discussion. The school was even in the process of commissioning a totem pole to represent the school’s four animal teams.

Braiding Histories

GOAL 8) The development of the ability to create opportunities for learning that utilizes relevant learning resources and technologies.

Using Susan Dion’s Braiding Histories, our module designed a series of lessons to deepen our perspectives on Aboriginal education. My group was given the chapter entitled “Listening – But What is Being Heard?” We led a storytelling exercise to demonstrate how dominant discourse can erase different voices and perspectives. Afterwards, a graffiti activity led into a discussion about the Canadian representation of First Peoples and how that affects us as educators.

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