Subject: Indigenous Family Literacy Circle October 2017 Newsletter

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Come Walk in My Moccasins Newsletter
October 2017

In this issue:
Books: Baby's First Laugh, Owls See Clearly at Night,When We Were Alone
Our Stories: Laura Maracle: Tewayenthos
Our Songs: The Greeting Song in Salish
Our Dances: Fancy Shawl Dance
Traditional Arts: Moosehair Tufting
Recipe: Three Sister Spaghetti Squash 
Our Words: Colours in Mohawk
Did you know?
A traditional message of thankfulness (Natural Playscapes by Rusty Keeler)
"We thank you:
Grandfather Sun – who warms our hearts;
Grandmother Moon – who goes by night in the river of stars;
Mother Earth – who carries all life upon her back;
The Waters – lifeblood of Mother Earth;
The Rocks – bones of Mother Earth;
The Animals – who creep and crawl upon the Earth;
The Fish – who swim in the lakes, rivers, and seas;
The Birds – who fly high in the sky;
The Flowering Plants and Herbs – who bring medicine and beauty;
The Trees – who stand tall for us;
The Crops – so that we may live;
Our Ancestors – those who came before us;
And Creator – within all things;
We are thankful!"

Featured Books
Baby's First Laugh

For Infants

Baby's First Laugh is a bilingual board book set in the Southwest among the contemporary Navajo Nation. Colourful illustrations show an infant in a cradleboard. The reader is told this is Baby. Next we meet her parents and family members. Each person introduced tries to make Baby laugh. But Baby finds nothing funny and simply cries when her father tickles her, mother sings to her, older sister plays with her, older brother makes faces at her, and grandfather bounces Baby on his knee. No one can make Baby laugh it seems. The final person to try is grandmother. She succeeds in making Baby laugh by reading Baby a story. The simple sentences use repetition effectively by asking which family member will make Baby laugh and repeating the question for each relative. The text is written in English and Navajo. (Excerpt from
Owls See Clearly at Night

For preschoolers

This picture book is a small glimpse, from A to Z, of some of the sights and sounds of the Michif language and its speakers. The language of the Métis, Michif is a combination of French and Cree with a trace of other regional languages. Once spoken by thousands of people across the prairies of Canada and the northern United States, Michif is now so little spoken that it might disappear within a generation. This alphabet book is part of a resurgence to celebrate and preserve the traditions of the Métis people. Here Michif and English words combine with images from Métis culture to introduce all generations to the unique Michif language. The book even includes a brief introduction to the language's history, a pronunciation guide, and a list of references for those interested in learning more about Michif. (Excerpt from
When We Were Alone

For school-age children

When We Were Alone by David Robertson and Julie Flett, is a touching account of a Cree child helping her Kokum (grandmother) around her home. The curious young girl asks her grandmother about Kokum's brightly coloured dresses, long braided hair, Cree language, and about the time when her grandmother was her age. Grandmother's gentle account is well suited for her granddaughter's understanding. It turns out that as a child, Kokum attended a residential school. The powerful yet gentle conversation between grandchild and grandparent provides a safe and reassuring space for the students listening to the question and answer format of this approach to explaining a difficult and current concern for all Canadians. The child frames the residential school topic through her questions and her wise Kokum explains honestly and truthfully about her personal experiences. The importance of family relationships is highlighted in this simple and effective picture book. This title is highly recommended for the primary and junior levels. (Excerpts from
Our Stories
Tewayenthos by Laura Maracle

The responsibility of learning and keeping the Mohawk language alive weighs heavily on Laura Maracle. Her identity and the identity of her daughter is held within this language. How can she ensure that their Mohawk language grows and thrives? Laura shares teachings from her garden that helps her on this journey. (4 minute video)
This story has been created through Kingston Indigenous Language Nest and the Indigenous Health Program through Kingston Community Health Centres.
Our Songs 
The Greeting Song in Salish

Three children share a song of greeting in Salish. Their joy in sharing their words, culture and identity through this Salish song is delightful. (30 second video)

Our Dances
Fancy Shawl  Dance

The Fancy Shawl Dance is an exciting, high-spirited dance that shows off a woman's grace, endurance and athletic abilities. It is a newcomer to pow-wow dancing, having originated in the 1950's as a competition dance. The dancer wears a beautiful decorated shawl with long ribbons or fringe. On her feet are high beaded moccasins, or short moccasins with colourful leggings. The dance involves kicks, spins and fast movement, while the dancer holds the end of her shawl out so that it looks like she has butterfly wings. (Source)

Watch a Fancy Shawl Dance in the 1:50 minute video.
Traditional Arts
Moosehair Tufting

The unique process of ‘tufting’ requires intricate precision, skill and patience with each flower taking approximately 6-8 hours to create. Using moose or caribou hairs harvested from hides, artists create beautiful designs, or ‘tuftings’. Once cleaned and sorted, a small group of natural or dyed hairs are gathered to form a bundle, which is then laid out on a backing material of hide, fabric or birchbark. Thread is passed up through the backing, around the bundle of hair and back down through the backing. Once the thread is pulled tight and knotted, the bundle of hair stand up in a bristly tuft. The bundles are placed close together and the ends of the tufts are trimmed until the desired shape has been sculpted. (Source)

Learn more about traditional tufting in the Northwest Territory Arts video (2 minutes)
Indigenous Fusion Recipe
Three Sister Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese

This recipe by Angela Litchfield first appeared in our October 2015 edition of Come Walk in My Moccasins. Back by popular demand, this recipe combines Indigenous ingredients in a tasty, gluten-free, harvest-time dish.
Our Words

This video, offered in English and Mohawk by Rathahonni from Grand River Six Nations, teaches colour names. His language lesson breaks these words visually and aurally into syllables, repeats pronunciation and spelling and challenges the viewer to remember and say the colours too. (7:30 minute video)
Indigenous Language Resources
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.
Morning and Drop-in Programs
Kawenna'on:we Primary Immersion, Tyendinaga
Mohawk Words and Phrases
Translations in print and audio formats

Michif Language Resource
Translations in audio, video and print formats

Anishnaabemowin - Our Language Our Culture
Ojibwa language booklet

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
Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis 
Available in Inuktitut, Ojibwe, Plains Cree, and Woods Cree languages
Gathering Communities Making Connections
A list of resources and services for people of Indigenous Ancestry, and for those who work with them
Canoe Kids
A family book for readers of all ages that explores Indigenous cultures through authentic Indigenous voices

Sources for Indigenous books:
Indigenous Book Lending:
Metis Nation Ontario October Calendar, Kingston
Sisters in Spirit, Tyendinaga
Wednesday, October 4
Indigenous Family Network: An Indigenous Family Gathering, Kingston
Thursday, October 5
Full Moon Ceremony, Kingston
Thursday, October 5
Drumstick Making Workshop, Kingston
Tuesday, October 24
Indigenous Family Social, Napanee
Wednesday, October 25
Katarokwi Indigenous Day of Wellness, Kingston
Friday, October 27
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 Hastings-Prince Edward Children Youth Services Network
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