If you’ve been in the OISE library recently, you’ve probably noticed the new puppets we’ve recently acquired (take a look at them here). Among these many puppets are a group designed by Native artists to teach about Aboriginal folklore. In addition to these puppets, OISE has a continually growing collection of books on teaching, learning, and exploring various indigenous cultures. This month’s book display features works written and created by aboriginal people of North America.
We have several resource guides and kits about aboriginal education. Take a look at the Six Nations Iroquois clans program, which integrates learning about aboriginal studies with character development and supports all elements of the Ontario Curriculum. While Circle of Life: Learning from an Elder, created by the Indigenous Educations Coalition and Nelson Education for Grades K-12 is an introduction to traditional First Nations themes, lessons, values, and cultural celebrations.
Trickster : Native American tales : a graphic collection is a gorgeous look at the trickster in Native American traditions. The anthology contains 21 folktales by aboriginal storytellers. In one story, Dayton Edmonds of the Caddo Nation tells of how the stars were created. In another, by Michael Thompson of the Muvskoke Creek, tells of a hare tricking a pair of bison. The beautiful artwork and storytelling is a fantastic way to introduce Indigenous culture into your classroom.
Bridging cultures : scientific and indigenous ways of knowing nature by Glen Aikenhead and Heman Mitchell, is designed for science teachers and teacher candidates to build a cultural bridge between aboriginal and scientific ways of knowing nature. It explores the similarities and differences between these two systems and emphasizes the practical aspects of teaching Indigenous knowledge and incorporating multiple ways of understanding in a science curriculum.
Nokum is my teacher, by David Bouchard, with hand-brushed paintings by Cree Artist Allen Sapp is a dual-language book in Cree and English. The book follows the story of a boy searching for guidance from his grandmother (Nokum). The book is accompanied by an audio CD of the book read in both languages accompanied by singing and drumming by Northern Cree. You can also find a video reading of the book here.
For more resources on Aboriginal issues take a look at these two past posts: Aboriginal Issues in Education, and “Our Tribal Nations: Our Own Names and Original Locations.”
For guidance on finding Aboriginal resources in the library, check out these helpful guides: How to find Aboriginal books and Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives in K-12 Teaching. In addition, be sure to take a look at the Deepening Knowledge Project, which includes a wealth of resources helping teachers to integrate Aboriginal peoples’ knowledge into their practice.