Subject: Indigenous Family Literacy Circle September 2017 Newsletter

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Come Walk in My Moccasins Newsletter
September 2017

In this issue:
Books: Animal Colours. Ojibway Clans, Eagle Boy
Our Stories: Her Pride Her Story
Our Songs: Children's Lap Song (Cree)
Our Dances: Alligator Dance
Traditional Arts: Traditional Grass Basket Making
Recipe: Three Sisters  Soup
Our Words: Animal Names in Mi'kmaq
Did you know?
Some people say that the drum makes the sound of a heartbeat. 
Featured Books
Animal Colours

For infants

Animal Colors dual language board book by William Wildsmith is written in Navajo and English. This simple board book teaches both colors and animal names (i.e. pink flamingo, red parrot, orange butterfly, yellow chick, green chameleon, blue parakeet, purple fish, white swan, gray elephant, brown bear, and a black seal). (Adapted from

Ojibway Clans

For preschoolers

Ojibway Clans: Animal Totems and Spirits is a picture book about the Ojibwe Clan system by Mark Anthony Jacobson. The book presents basic information about each clan animal, its name in Ojibway and the important character attributes of the Turtle, Loon, Thunderbird, Wolf, Marten, Porcupine, Eagle, Butterfly, Sturgeon, Bear, Deer, and Crane. Each 2-page spread features the Woodland style art of the clan animal, bird, or fish, and the facing page provides simple sentences about the values and characteristics of the clan totem. (adapted from
Eagle Boy

For school-age children

When Eagle Boy is left behind by his people, the eagles, with whom he has shared his fishing catch, bring him food. This Northwest Pacific Native tale is written by Lee Christiansen. (adapted from
Our Stories
Her Pride Her Story

Jurnee, as a young girl attending camp, is invited to share her knowledge of the Mohawk language with other children. This is Jurnee's story of finding pride in her language and culture in spite of the others' disrespectful actions. (2 minute video)
This story has been created through Kingston Indigenous Language Nest and the Indigenous Health Program through Kingston Community Health Centres.
Our Songs 
Children's Lap Song

This Cree lap song is part of the Môcikan Songs for Learning Cree collection of music. The songs rhythmic words offer comfort and reassurance to young children.

This track from the Môcikan (moo-chi-gun) CD is shared with permission by musician and lyricist Art Napoleon.

Our Dances
Alligator Dance

Among Iroquoian people, social dancing plays an integral part in the life of every community. Social dances are a way of bringing the community together, and celebrating. Most activities take place in the longhouse and Iroquois or Haudenosaunee , means “People of the Longhouse”. The Mohawks have three clans: Bear, Turtle and Wolf. The Turtles and the Wolves sit on one side of the longhouse and the Bears sit on the opposite side. The men and women sit apart on their respective sides of the house.

At a social event the lead singer-water drum player and several rattle players sit in the centre on two benches, facing each other. The dancing takes place in a counter-clockwise direction around the benches. The Alligator Dance is a stomp style of dancing. Couples of men and women pair up, with men on the inside. The song begins, and when the lead singer of the bench gets to the middle of the song and sings Yo’. The dancers return with Ye. The lead dancer then takes over and continues with Yo’ ho’ followed by all male dancers with wi ha’. The lead dancer finishes that round with a holler, then carries on.

The Alligator Dance is a call and response social dance, demonstrating the power of relationships. It highlights the effect of cross-cultural contact between the Iroquois and groups from the southern part of the United States. The Seminole people of Florida, who are familiar with Alligators, may have given the dance to the Iroquois. 

Watch this 5 minute video for an engaging Alligator Dance lesson.
Traditional Arts
Traditional Grass Basket Making

Since time immemorial Inuit in Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador, Canada) have been making baskets and other things out of grass. It is not woven like other baskets but sewn. Naomi William from the community of Rigolet shows us how it's done. (2 minute video)
Indigenous Fusion Recipe
Three Sisters Soup

Three Sisters refers to corn, beans and squash. The Three Sisters have been significant to the traditional diet and early survival of the Iroquois people. There are many variations of Three Sisters Soup recipes. The recipe shared in this newsletter has been tested and shared by Angela Litchfield.

Wabano Diabetes Program shares Three Sisters Stew and Soup recipes, as well as the Iroquois Legend of the Three Sisters and nutritional information about corn, beans and squash.
Our Words
Names of Animals in Mi'kmaq
Learn the spelling and pronunciation of animal names in Mi'kmaq. (2:45 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).

Programs include: Totáhne (At Grandma's House) for preschool children, Kawenna'ón:we Primary Immersion (K-4) and  Shatiwennakará:tats, a 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
Powwow Etiquette
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 September Calendar, Kingston
Traditional Beading Workshops, Kingston
Thursdays in September
Drum Circle, Napanee
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Full Moon Ceremony, Kingston
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Drum Circle, Deseronto
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Four Trees Men's Circle, Kingston
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Katarokwi Indigenous Day of Wellness, Kingston
Friday, October 27, 2017
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
  Copyright 2016 Indigenous Family Literacy Circle 
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