Subject: Indigenous Family Literacy Circle February 2023 Newsletter

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly
Come Walk in My Moccasins Newsletter
February 2023

In this Issue:

Books: On Mother's Lap, Dancing in My Bones, Imaa Baawitigong/There at the Bridge, A Minor Chorus
Our Music: Naanan Ode'enswag (Five Little Hearts)
Our Arts: Métis Dot Art
Our Words: Family Names in Ojibwe
Our Stories: How the Bear Lost his Tail
Our Traditions: Métis Sash
Recipe: Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup
Did You Know...
Did You Know...

The Métis sash is one of the most recognizable symbols of Métis culture and identity. The sash is a hand-woven wool belt which is made in various lengths. Its fringed ends are both decorative and functional. Originally the sash was worn by men around their waists, tied either on the side or in front, as a belt. Today, the traditional guidelines for wearing the sash vary among Métis communities. Some Métis believe that because historically only men wore the sash, it should, in keeping with tradition, continue to remain a men’s clothing item, but today many Métis women also wear the sash. The sash was worn as an accessory, but also was a tool with a variety of uses. Here are some examples:
· as a scarf or belt
· for holding items, such as a hunting knife or fire bag
· as a tourniquet for injuries

· as a sewing kit
· as a tumpline
· as a rope to pull canoes
· as a washcloth or towel
· as a bridle/saddle blanket
· to mark buffalo as property after it was killed

Featured Books
On Mother's Lap

Infant and Toddler

On Mother's Lap is a board book that celebrates an Inuit mother's love. A young boy named Michael enjoys a special quiet time being rocked on his mother's lap in the big rocking chair. As the pair rock back and forth, Michael realizes that some of his special toys also want to be included. One by one, Michael gathers his special Inuk dolly, boat, puppy, and Caribou blanket. Mother's lap has room for all the toys and the pet dog. But when Mother hears baby sister, she says that baby wants to cuddle too. Michael is not so sure and says there is not enough room for his sister on mother's lap. Mother wisely gathers up her daughter and everyone fits nicely on mother's lap. They all snuggle together and Michael feels happy and safe. Mother gently tells him that there is always enough room on her lap. The pastel illustrations capture the gentle warmth of a modern Inuit family. Images of the Arctic winter can be glimpsed though the windows of the home. This gentle story transcends culture and celebrates the universality of a mother's love for her children. (excerpt from
Dancing in My Bones 

Preschool and Kindergarten

Dancing in My Bones, the sequel to Fiddle Dancer, returns us to the story of a young Métis boy named Nolin as he continues to discover his Métis heritage. It is lovingly written by Wilfred Burton and Anne Patton and vividly illustrated by Sherry Farrell Racette. You might feel like you have dancing in your bones once you read this story!

Dancing in My Bones (Board book edition) has been adapted by Wilfred Burton for the age-appropriate board book audience! (excerpt from
Imaa Baawitigong / There at The Bridge


The idea of this story came when Jason Jones, Ojibwe Language Coordinator in Rainy River (Fort Frances), asked a few elders about land acknowledgement in Rainy Lake Area, they may be done a bit differently in other areas. The elders seem to acknowledge a Spirit or a place that is nearby the place they’re doing an opening or land acknowledgement.

This ceremony will change as you go to different areas. This land/spirit acknowledgement happened with Nancy Jones at Fort Frances. She was told this story by her husband Johniban Jones, who was a medicine man. After Jason had gone through this lesson with Koko (Nancy Jones), she elaborated a bit to say those spirits face each other, sitting there smoking their pipes. These spirits want to protect people here because the rapids have currents that could pull them down and drown them. The spirits do not seem to protect people lately because hardly anyone has been giving food to them. This offering is more of an acknowledgement for the spirits and they would like to be appeased. The word Wemitigoozhi literally means ‘crossed stick people’. The French were the first people to bring Christianity to Rainy Lake. This is why the Anishinaabeg called them the ‘crossed stick people’. In this area, a non-native person is known as Wemitigoozhi. 
(excerpt from


An unnamed narrator abandons his unfinished thesis and returns to northern Alberta in search of what eludes him: the shape of the novel he yearns to write, an autobiography of his rural hometown, the answers to existential questions about family, love, and happiness.

What ensues is a series of conversations, connections, and disconnections that reveals the texture of life in a town literature has left unexplored, where the friction between possibility and constraint provides an insistent background score.

Whether he’s meeting with an auntie distraught over the imprisonment of her grandson, engaging in rez gossip with his cousin at a pow wow, or lingering in bed with a married man after a hotel room hookup, the narrator makes space for those in his orbit to divulge their private joys and miseries, testing the theory that storytelling can make us feel less lonely.

Populated by characters as alive and vast as the boreal forest, and culminating in a breathtaking crescendo, A Minor Chorus is a novel about how deeply entangled the sayable and unsayable can become—and about how ordinary life, when pressed, can produce hauntingly beautiful music. (excerpt from

Our Music 
Naanan Ode’enswag

Naanan Ode’enswag- Five Little Hearts. 
Practice singing along to this Ojibwe song about five little hearts - just in time for Valentine's Day! 
Song by Waking Up Ojibwe. Video by Kahwa:tsire Indigenous-Led Child & Family Programs. (.53 second video)
Our Arts
Métis Dot Art

Métis dot art is a contemporary art form that is inspired by the traditional beadwork of the Métis people. This form of art creates images using dots in a sequence to represent beads. In this way, each dot represents a single bead and together, all the dots, create a dimensional piece of art. Flowers and nature scenes are traditional choices in both beadwork and dot art, as they represent our connection to the land and our great respect for all life. (3:22 minute video)
Our Words
Family Names in Ojibwe

Learn to say family names in Ojibwe with Kahwa:tsire Indigenous-Led Child & Family Programs. (.33 second video)
Our Stories
How the Bear Lost His Tail

Diane from North Hastings Children's Services shares an Ojibwe story about how Bear lost his tail. (4:01 minute video)
Our Traditions
Métis Sash

Brigid describes the historical background of the Métis Sash. While touching on its practical uses, and sharing what it looks like and why it is so important to Métis identity.” (5:09 minutes)
Indigenous Fusion Recipe
Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup

Another delicious recipe from the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle Recipe Collection. Roasting the vegetable in the oven first gives this soup a richer flavour. 
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!
Free Anishinaabemowin printable resources, lesson plans, and videos to help learn the language
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:
Beaded Keychains & Language Learning, Kingston, ON
Thursday, February, 2
Make a Medicine Bag, Kingston, ON
Tuesday, February 7
Language & Literacy (Anishinaabemowin), Kingston, ON
Thursday, February 9
Wednesday, February 15
Indigenous Human Trafficking Awareness Conference, Ottawa, ON
Wednesday, February 22
Tea with Kokum, Kingston, ON
Thursday, February 23
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
You may unsubscribe or change your contact details at any time.