Subject: Indigenous Family Literacy Circle March 2023 Newsletter

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Come Walk in My Moccasins Newsletter
March 2023

In this Issue:

Books: Nibi is Water, Nibi Aawon Nbiish, Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome, Be a Good Ancestor, A Line of Driftwood: The Ada Blackjack Story
Our Music: Ziinzibaakwadaaboo Nagamowin
Our Arts: Philp Cote
Our Words: Dinner Table Words in Mohawk
Our Stories: Kwezens Makes a Lovely Discovery
Our Traditions: Baby's First Moccasins
Recipe: Pork Chops with Pears and Sweet Onions
Featured Books
Nibi is Water, Nibi aawon nbiish

Infant and Toddler

Nibi is Water, Nibi Aawon Nbiish is written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson and translated by Shirley Williams and Isadore Toulouse. Joanne Robertson is AnishinaabeKwe and author and illustrator of The Water Walker. Nibi is Water, Nibi Aawon Nbiish is for babies and toddlers and in both English and Anishinaabemowin. This book is written from an Anishinaabe water protector's perspective. There are many words associated with the importance of water - rain, snow, splashing, drinking and our role to thank, respect and protect Nibi. Nibi is water and water is life. (excerpt from
Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome

Preschool and Kindergarten

It’s a special day for Amik the beaver and her little sister, Nishiime. Their cousins are coming to visit! Amik is excited, but Nishiime feels nervous about meeting new people, and when the cousins finally arrive, Nishiime disappears.

Lively, immersive illustrations show Amik
and her cousins as they search the woods for Nishiime. Each creature they encounter, introduced to readers using their Anishinaabe names, reveals how beavers help the forest community. A fish thanks them for digging canals in the mud that they swim through. A deer thanks the beavers for cutting down trees so they can reach the tastiest leaves. None of the creatures have seen Nishiime, but keen-eyed kids will have spotted her hiding in the background throughout the story.

Eventually, Nishiime returns to the group, having overcome her shyness by learning an important lesson: despite being from different places, the beavers are all united by the ways they support the forest ecosystem. With the perfect blend of fact and fun, this salute to the industrious beaver is also an energetic celebration of Indigenous perspectives, languages, and diversity. (excerpt from

Be a Good Ancestor


Rooted in Indigenous teachings, this stunning picture book encourages readers of all ages to consider the ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and to think deeply about their behaviors.

Addressing environmental issues, animal welfare, self-esteem and self-respect, and the importance of community, the authors deliver a poignant and universal message in an accessible way: Be a good ancestor to the world around you. Thought-provoking stanzas offer a call to action for each one of us to consider how we affect future generations. Every decision we make ripples out, and we can affect the world around us by thinking deeply about those decisions. This book contains 16 Colour illustrations.
(excerpt from
A Line of Driftwood: The Ada Blackjack Story


In September 1921, a young Inupiat woman named Ada Blackjack traveled to Wrangel Island, 200 miles off the Arctic Coast of Siberia, as a cook and seamstress, along with four professional explorers. The expedition did not go as planned. When a rescue ship finally broke through the ice two years later, she was the only survivor.

Diane Glancy discovered Blackjack’s diary in the Dartmouth archives and created a new narrative based on the historical record and her vision of this woman’s extraordinary life. She tells the story of a woman facing danger, loss, and unimaginable hardship, yet surviving against the odds where four “experts” could not. Beyond the expedition, the story examines Blackjack’s childhood experiences at an Indian residential school, her struggles as a mother and wife, and the faith that enabled her to survive alone on a remote island in the Arctic Sea.

Glancy’s creative telling of this heroic tale is a high mark in her award-winning hybrid investigations of suffering, identity, and Native American history. (excerpt from

Our Music 
Ziinzibaakwadaaboo Nagamowin

Another great Anishinaabemowin song from Waking Up Ojibwe! This one is about collecting maple sap. Written and performed by Maajiigwaneyaash - Gordan Jourdain, Lac La Croix. Video by Kahwa:tsire Indigenous-Led Child & Family Programs. 
For printable lyrics and other language learning resources, visit the Waking Up Ojibwe website.
Our Arts

While in Toronto, you may come across beautiful Indigenous art murals. These murals were done by Philip Cote. Philip Cote is more than just an artist! He is a Sundancer, Pipe Carrier and Sweat Ceremony leader. Click the link above to discover more.
Our Words
Dinner Table Words in Mohawk

Learn to say Mohawk words to use around the dinner table with this video from Niwasa Hamilton. (5:56 minute video)
Our Stories
Kwezens Makes a Lovely Discovery

Learn the story of how Kwezens discovers a sweet Spring treat. This version of the story as told by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson.
(3:45 minute video)
Our Traditions
Baby's First Moccasins

Anton Treuer shares teachings from the Ojibwe culture about a baby's first pair of moccasins. (2:47 minute video)
Indigenous Fusion Recipe
Pork Chops with Pears and Sweet Onions

Apples are tradional with pork, but pears make a nice change. Sweet onions are abundant in the early spring, and are a nice addition to this dish. Recipe from the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle Recipe Collection.
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:
Waawaateg, Kingston, ON
Friday, March 10 to Friday, March 31
Author Talks with Sarah Dunkley, Deseronto, ON
Tuesday, March 14
World Water Day, Tyendinaga, ON
Wednesday, March 22
Tea with Kokum, Kingston, ON
Thursday, March 30
"Mistatim" by Red Sky Performance, Kingston, ON
Monday, April 24
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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