On October 26th, we had some very special guests come into our classroom and discuss with First Nations content, integration into classrooms and proper protocol. This was an excellent, engaging and intriguing presentation. To start off the evening, we had Allison Kimberly speak to us about stereotypes. This was an interesting experience for myself as I felt awkward to say stereotypes out loud, especially the ones that I do not believe. I thought that Allison’s information was very informative as it opened my eyes to the different stereotypes that are prevalent in many stories, toys and games especially for children. As terrible as the different items in the “poison box” were, I felt that it showed us how there are stereotypes in every aspect of our lives. I really enjoyed the poison box activity also because it sparked meaningful and interesting conversations between myself and my classmates.
After class, I was exploring our ESST class blog and I found a link to Allison’s Aboriginal Perspectives Website. This website is a resource focused on providing a well rounded idea of aboriginal perspectives for teachers and students. I really enjoy the different videos that are on this website, as it provides a multimedia way to learn about these perspectives. I think that this is important for educators as it can help develop an stronger understanding for teaching about aboriginal perspectives.
The next portion of our presentation was focused around the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and how this is a problem that is impacting our world today. Although the government does not seem to think that this is an important topic, I think that it is because it shows of Indigenous Women are viewed as less than other women in the world. For my future students sake, I want to ensure that this issue is talked about and that all of my students feel valued and represented in our classroom. I think that our society will never changed unless we as educators ensure that these issue are discussed and that students formulate their own understandings and opinions. We must educate our students to see the potential and equality in everyone no matter their gender, race, religion or cultural belief system. I found this portion of the presentation very significant for my future teaching.
When it comes to practicality, the last portion of the presentation provided me with extremely important information for my future classroom. Vic Starr presented on cultural protocol. When we tool Treaty Training, I always wondered about the process to create a tobacco pouch or gather tobacco to give to an elder upon their entrance to your classroom. This presentation helped me realize that there is not correct way to gather the tobacco, but the most important part is to present it to the elder in a kind and respectful way. In my future teaching, I want to make sure that I use professional development pieces such as this presentation to help myself understand other worldviews and traditions with an open mind. When we got to make tobacco pouches, I was very excited because I felt that I was gaining knowledge that I could directly see how it would benefit me in the future. As a university student, moments of clarity such as that one are extremely important.
From this presentation, I am taking away a stronger understanding of my role in incorporating First Nations and Metis content in my everyday lessons.
Until next time, thank you for reading my blog!