Subject: Indigenous Family Literacy Circle December 2022 Newsletter

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Come Walk in My Moccasins Newsletter
December 2022

In this Issue:

Books: My Star Blanket, I Sang You Down From the Stars, The Honour Drum, Wabanag: An Anishinaabe Granddaughter's Search for the Truth
Our Music: Scooby Doo at the Pow Wow
Our Words: Mohawk Language Lesson
Our Stories: The Fox and the Stars 
Our Traditions: Star Blanket Making
Recipe: Butternut Squash Bannock Pizza
Featured Books
My Star Blanket

Infant & Toddler

Little Ocean has a special blanket made just for her. In this picture book, Ocean shows us how her Star Blanket is special to her. (excerpt from
I Sang You Down From the Stars

Preschool & Kindergarten

Drawing from Indigenous creation stories and traditional teachings and illustrated in dazzling watercolors, I Sang You Down from the Stars is a tribute to the bond between mother and child.

The narrator gathers gifts for a medicine bundle in anticipation of her baby’s birth; a fluffy white eagle plume, bunches of cedar and sage, a quilted star blanket, and a small stone from the river. When the baby arrives, the mother shares the bundle with her child and reveals the importance of each item inside. But when her family comes to meet the new arrival, she realizes the baby arrived with gifts of its own and that the baby is also a sacred bundle: a baby bundle.
(excerpt from
The Honour Drum


Honour Drum: Sharing the Beauty of Canada's Indigenous People with Children, Families and Classrooms is written by Nadleh Whut'en First Nation author Cheryl Bear and social-justice worker Tim Huff. Written as a simple rhyming poem for elementary students in primary level grades partnered with teacher notes and suggested activities this book offers parents and teachers the opportunity to introduce children to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis living in Canada. 
In 40 pages the coauthors use alternating pages to present the poem with colour cartoon-like drawings on the left page and facing page presents brief directions and explanations for infusing Indigenous cultural knowledge for beginners. The colourful illustrations by Tim Huff provide a light, non-threatening approach to a current topics such as who are First Nations, what is powwow, music, dance, Elders, storytelling, symbols and colours, Creator, Mother Earth, compassion and respect, and the importance of listening, and working together. 
Readers should be aware that the text for teachers on occasion shifts from terms such as Indigenous culture to Indigenous cultures. Readers may find this inconsistency confusing. There are numerous First Nation cultures in Canada and each Nation has its own unique history, culture and language. Terminology and the use of singular and plural when discussing Indigenous Peoples in Canada are important and all authors and publishers should strive for consistency and accuracy. Another minor issue is the illustration of the Haudenosaunee turtle shell rattle is used in the context of ceremonies and other healing matters. An illustrated horn rattle would be more appropriate as an illustration. Overall the simple text and the teacher guide information are excellent for establishing a dialogue in terms of,reconciliation and discussion. (excerpt from
Wabanang : An Anishinaabe Granddaughter's Search for the Truth


In the winter of 1876, a baby is born to Anishinaabe parents along the trapline in the northern Ontario wilderness. Seventy five years later, her granddaughter is seeking information about her grandmother's life, why her family is so fractured, and what part the residential school played in the dysfunction and estrangement which has shaped her own life. To that end, twenty—two year old Janey enlists the help of a hypnotist who regresses Janey back to a time when Indigenous people in Canada lived off the land, supported each other and raised their children without outside interference. But when settlers began to arrive and residential schools were established, all that changed.

In her hypnotic state, Janey is able to follow her grandmother, Wabanang (Morning Star) as a child, as a residential school student and as a medicine woman for her people. But the seeds of distrust and fear sown along the way are destroying her family. Estranged from her mother and living with her only relative, Janey must find her own way through the smoke of confusion to discover who she is.

Although this is a work of fiction. The author has drawn on her own family's history, Ceremonies and Visions from her own life, stories shared with her by respected elders, as well as many years of researching her own and other families. (excerpt from

Our Music 
Scooby Doo at the Pow Wow

Sing along with Théo to one of the children's favourite circle time song, Scooby Doo at the Pow Wow. (2:33 minute video)
Our Words
Mohawk Language Lesson

Practice saying winter words in Mohawk with Jennie & Ryan. 
(.21 second video)
Our Stories
The Fox and the Stars

This animation tells the Chippewa story describing how Ojishanda, the ruler of Starland, and his mischievous pet fox scattered the stars across the sky. (2:01 minute video)
Our Traditions
Star Blanket Making

Learn about the traditional teachings and cultural skills of star blanket making that are powerful anchors to First Nation culture and health in this video by Sagkeeng Child and Family Services in Sagkeeng First Nation and Winnipeg, Manitoba. (6:22 minite video)
Indigenous Fusion Recipe
Butternut Squash Bannock Pizza

This bannock pizza crust recipe is by Christa Bruneau-Guenther of Feast Café Bistro. It is layered with mouth-watering roasted butternut squash, lots of cheese and a maple chipotle white sauce. 
Indigenous Language Resources
Ojibwa language booklet
Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na provides Mohawk language and culture programming at the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory (the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte). They run several programs, including Totáhne (At Grandma's House) for preschool children, Kawenna'ón:we Primary Immersion (K-4) and Shatiwennakará:tats, a year long program for Adults.
Kingston Indigenous Language Nest invites you to engage in language revitalization with Dibajimowin: Urban Indigenous Languages Revitalization Project. The centerpiece of this website is a collection of thirty digital stories about culture and language made by community members. Each personal story shares insights into the barriers to language learning and cultural connection as well as the many ways we are resilient and relentless. For each story, we pulled out key themes to create new language learning resources such as vocabulary lessons, creative activities and cultural teachings. We have sorted the stories in different ways: by digital story, by language and by cultural teachings. Explore and Enjoy!
Courses and Resources
Toronto Zoo- Turtle Island Conservation
Toronto Zoo's Turtle Island Conservation programme (TIC) respectfully shares the hopes and goals of First Nation partners in our committment to the preservation of biodiversity. TIC partners with First Nation communities to preserve community knowledge and significant natural and cultural landscapes.
Resources available in Ojibwe and Mohawk. 
Resource website for Anishinaabe culture, history and language
Resource for Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Practitioners
Guide for Evaluating Indigenous Children's Books
Beauty in Movement: An Indigenous Guide to Physical Activity 
Pamphlet about the importance of physical activity and ideas to get children moving
Gathering Communities Making Connections
A list of resources and services for people of Indigenous Ancestry, and for those who work with them
Sources for Indigenous books:
Indigenous Book Lending:
KILN Youth Connections, Kingston, ON
Winter Plant Walk, Kingston, ON
Saturday, December 10
Tea with Kokum, Kingston, ON
Thursday, December 15
Holiday Gifts in a Jar Workshop, Kingston, ON
Thursday, December 15
Previous Issues of Come Walk in My Moccasins
We need YOU!
Help us become more inclusive of the many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples among our readership. Share an Indigenous recipe, song, or traditional art through Come Walk in My Moccasins. Contact if you are interested in becoming a guest contributor.

Indigenous Family Literacy Circle Partners:
Come Walk in My Moccasins is created by the Indigenous Family Literacy Circle and sponsored by Journey Together through Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. 
Click here to download or print the Come Walk in My Moccasins pamphlet.
  Copyright 2016 Indigenous Family Literacy Circle 
 465 Advance Avenue, Napanee, Canada
8064 Old Hwy #2, K0K 1X0, Deseronto, Canada
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