Subject: Indigenous Family Literacy Circle November 2021 Newsletter

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Come Walk in My Moccasins Newsletter
November 2021

In this Issue:

Books: Learning My Rights with Mousewoman, We Give Our Thanks, The Dancing Trees, Permanent Astonishment: A Memoir
Our Music: Solider Boy 
Our Words: Ogichidaa - Ojibwe Language Lesson
Our Stories: Austin Fuller speaks with Prime Minister
Our Traditions: Garlic Planting in the Fall
Recipe: Harvest Bean Soup
Did you know?
Did you know… 

November 8th is National Aboriginal Veterans Day? A day of remembrance and commemoration of the contributions of Indigenous veterans in the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War. 

National Aboriginal Veterans Day began in Winnipeg in 1994 when Indigenous veterans were not recognized in Remembrance Day activities, and is now celebrated in many communities across Canada. Over 12,000 Indigenous people are estimated to have volunteered in all three wars, including 7,000 First Nations members, and approximately 300 died during these conflicts.

First Nations, Inuit and Metis people were not eligible for conscription because they were not citizens of Canada (they were also unable to vote), but many volunteered despite the challenges they faced, including traveling long distances from remote communities to enlist, learning a new language (English), and coping with racism against them. Indigenous people were not allowed to join the Canadian Air Force until 1942 and the Canadian Navy until 1943. Both men and women enlisted, serving as soldiers, nurses and in other roles. Many served with distinction, winning medals for bravery in action.

After the war, enlisted Indigenous people returned home to continued discrimination, including in some cases denial of benefits, loss of Indian Status, and expropriation of their land by the government for non-Indigenous veterans. It was only in 1995 that Indigenous veterans were allowed to lay wreaths commemorating their fallen comrades at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The first monument commemorating the role of Indigenous people during these three wars was dedicated in 2001 in Ottawa. It took until 2003 for the Government of Canada to provide veterans’ benefits to First Nations soldiers who had been denied them in the past, and Metis veterans have never received them.

Today, Indigenous people continue to serve in Canada’s armed forces. (excerpt from
Featured Books
Learning My Rights with Mousewoman

Infant and Toddler

The tiny but mighty Mousewoman is a legendary figure in the oral and visual practices of Northwest Coast Indigenous cultures. She is both grandmother and oracle, able to travel in and out of the spirit world. Mousewoman sits on young people’s shoulders in crucial times, whispering advice and knowledge. She protects and guides young people by helping them avoid or escape bad situations, and is never afraid to stand up to bigger beings. This book brings to life the timeless lessons of Mousewoman—lessons that embody the principles outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A first of its kind, this book empowers children to become proudly aware of their rights. (excerpt
We Give Our Thanks

Preschool and Kindergarten

We Give Our Thanks is an illustrated children’s book inspired by our inherent rights and the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. This book is written by Odadrihonyanisoh, Sara General, who belongs to the Turtle Clan and the Mohawk Nation; and illustrated by Alyssa M. General, Mohawk Nation Turtle Clan, both from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Through colourful pictures and lyrical text, the book celebrates how gratitude brings us closer to all of our relations, including the land, the waters, the medicines, and other beings in the natural world. (excerpt from
The Dancing Trees


The Dancing Trees by Masiana Kelly, an Inuk/Dene writer from Kugluktuk, NU, and illustrated by Michelle Simpson, is about Thomas who loves to tell stories. Big stories. Stories about how skilled he is on the land. But when one of his friends grows tired of his tall tales, Thomas has to prove how skilled he really is. He spends a night alone in the forest where the trees, who have heard his stories, watch him tear off their bark and litter as he goes. And so, while Thomas sleeps, they dance a dance that will leave Thomas with a very different kind of story to tell—if he can find his way home… (excerpt from
Permanent Astonishment: A Memoir


Tomson Highway was born in a snowbank on an island in the sub-Arctic, the eleventh of twelve children in a nomadic, caribou-hunting Cree family. Growing up in a land of ten thousand lakes and islands, Tomson relished being pulled by dogsled beneath a night sky alive with stars, sucking the juices from roasted muskrat tails, and singing country music songs with his impossibly beautiful older sister and her teenaged friends. Surrounded by the love of his family and the vast, mesmerizing landscape they called home, his was in many ways an idyllic far-north childhood. But five of Tomson's siblings died in childhood, and Balazee and Joe Highway, who loved their surviving children profoundly, wanted their two youngest sons, Tomson and Rene, to enjoy opportunities as big as the world. And so when Tomson was six, he was flown south by float plane to attend a residential school. A year later Rene joined him to begin the rest of their education. In 1990 Rene Highway, a world-renowned dancer, died of an AIDS-related illness. Permanent Astonishment: Growing Up in the Land of Snow and Sky is Tomson's extravagant embrace of his younger brother's final words: "Don't mourn me, be joyful." His memoir offers insights, both hilarious and profound, into the Cree experience of culture, conquest, and survival. (excerpt from
Our Music 
Soldier Boy

Algonquin drumming group, Sisters of the Drum, perform Soldier Boy. (2:50 minute video)
Our Words
Ogichidaa - Ojibwe Language Lesson

Lynda Gerow talks about the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) word "ogichidaa" which means warrior and the unfair treatment that our Indigenous veterans received when they returned home after fighting in the war. (1:14 minute video)
Our Stories
Austin Fuller speaks with Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Austin Fuller is the last surviving World War II veteran of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte-Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. In January, 2021, during virtual meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Veteran Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAuley and Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Fuller was presented with the Victory Pin and certificates for his service to his country. (2:47 minute video)

Read article published in Belleville Intelligencer here.
Our Traditions
Garlic Planting in the Fall

Garlic has many health and medicinal values. It has few calories and is highly nutritious. Garlic has been known to boost immune systems. Read about planting, growing, and harvesting your own garlic.
Indigenous Fusion Recipe
Harvest Bean Soup

Try this nutritious harvest time recipe shared by the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative in their collection of recipes "Food is Our Medicine Making it Sacred". This recipe was also shared in our November 2017 issue. It's so nice, we thought we'd share it twice.
Indigenous Language Resources
First Voices Kids
Interactive online resource for helping children learn words and phrases in 50 different Indigenous languages on Turtle Island!

Anishnaabemowin - Our Language Our Culture
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:
Treaties and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, ONLINE
Monday, November 1
Rabbit and Bear Paws Presents: Treaties, Environment and Land, ONLINE
Tuesday, November 2
Trick or Treaty? Nipissing University Partnership Event, ONLINE
Tuesday, November 2
Virtual Lecture: Treaties & Land Claims, ONLINE
Wednesday, November 3
National Gathering for Indigenous Education, ONLINE
Wednesday, November 24 - Friday, November 26
Previous Issues of Come Walk in My Moccasins
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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 
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