Check what the classrooms have been doing for National Indigenous History Month
Updated: Nov 13, 2022
The Kindergarten 2 class have incorporated toys, puzzles, blocks from Native Reflections which you can find here.
Derek and Aria have also been reading informative books regarding Indigenous Tales . We will definitely provide you with Derek’s book suggestions which will be featured in “Derek’s Corner” very soon!
The Toddler 1 class have also been incorporating nature matching puzzle
The meaning behind this activity is simply humans being connected with nature; the two are equal and interdependent, even kin.
Toddler 1 is also exploring Sensory Sound Eggs/Rattles which are made with wood.
Did you know that drums and rattles are percussion instruments that were traditionally used by First Nations people? They were so resourceful and creative by using materials at hand for their instruments such as gourds, wood, shells, birchbark, antlers and animal hide. These musical instruments provide the background for songs, and the songs are the background for dances. Many traditional First Nations people consider song and dance to be sacred.
PreSchool 2 is also incorporating natural elements and animals to educate on how we must respect our earth and its animals/ species.
Indigenous traditions, animals are sometimes used to communicate the values and spiritual beliefs of their communities. Animals’ importance is also evident in the creation stories of many tribes. Animal imagery is often used to share family, clan, and personal stories.
Preschool 2 playing a game of Butterfly Hide and Seek was a quiet game. Children were taught never to hurt a butterfly. To the Ojibwa people, it was considered a gift of good luck if you stayed so quiet that a butterfly would trust you and land on you.
To play, one child covers their eyes and chants, “Butterfly, butterfly, show me where to go.” During this time, the other kids playing quietly and quickly hide. The singer repeats this chant a few times and until “the air becomes still.” Then, they must find the other players without saying a word. It’s a game of observation and skill- fun for all to play!
Here is a look at the names of a few animals, commonly found in Canada, whose roots can be traced back to Indigenous words:
Caribou One of Canada’s iconic species, caribou is derived from the Mi'kmaq word γalipu, which means “snow shoveller” because of the way the creature pushes away snow to feed on vegetation.
Coyote Often in the news for its bold foray into urban areas, coyote is derived from the Nahuatl word coyotl.
Raccoon This neighbourhood dumpster-diver’s name is derived from Powhatan word aroughcun, which means “he who scratches with his hands.”
Moose One of the first words that comes to mind when you think of Canada, moose is derived from the Eastern Abenaki word mos or the the Narragansett word moòs or moosu, variously translated as “twig eater” or “he who strips off (leaves and bark).”
Muskellunge This cool-water Ontario native, often truncated to muskie, gets it’s name from the Ojibway word maashkinoozhe, meaning “ugly pike.”
Opossum In our city, you may come across these marsupials who get their name from the Powhatan word aposoum, meaning “white beast.”
Skunk A nuisance in big cities but a help to farmers with regards to pest control, the origin of the word skunk can’t be pinned to one Algonquian language. In Mohegan it’s skonks, in Lenape it’s škakw, in Wampanoag it’s squnck, and in Abenaki it’s segankw.
Sockeye (Salmon) They get their name from the Halkomelem word suk-kegh, which means “red fish.”
Woodchuck These rotund rodents are found throughout Canada, from coast to coast. There’s some ambiguity about the origin of the word woodchuck but it’s usually attributed to the Ojibway otchig or the Cree otchok or wuchak.
As we have learned in the P2 class, an animals importance is very evident in many indigenous tales. Here is what the RAVEN means for many First Nations Peoples and what it teaches us:
Raven represents honesty
Reminds us to be ourselves and not someone we are not
Does not seek power, speed, or beauty of others
Use what you have to survive and thrive
Within some of the Native American Stories, the Raven helps the people and shapes their world for them. The raven can also sometimes be seen a trickster in some cultures.
Some of the Indigenous Spirit Names are:
Artic Raven (Eskimo-Aleut)
Dotson’sa (Alaskan Athabaskan)
Northwest Raven (Northwest Coast Tribes)