Dec. 2016 Vol 3 #2

Our Forefathers' Teachings   Hot Topics

The Year of Truth (Sacred Teaching)

Perhaps one of the most important things we do as teachers and Aboriginal Liaisons in concert with parents, is to guide our students towards becoming themselves, towards creating a life balance true to themselves and the people in their lives. This 2016-2017 school year has been declared ‘The Year of Truth” by our Aboriginal Advisory Committee.  Each year will focus on a new teaching, last year’s focus being on the teaching of Courage.

swsw-turtleThis logo was created specifically for Siwal Si’wes by Eva Wieczorek (MPSD Intermediate Teacher and Aboriginal Mentor Teacher).  Daina Bonner-Cornell of Bear Image Productions created the artistic rendering of the logo.  Diana is Sto:lo and a member of the Tzeachten First Nations which is part of the Ts’elxweyeqw (pronounced Chilkwayuck) Tribe.

Turtle represents the sacred teaching of Truth. The centre circle holds a full year of 13 moons, with a female Elder keeping the wisdom inherent in the seven teachings. Surrounding them are images representing the other six teachings, the turtle’s shell encompassing and protecting them.   28 sections in the outer portion of the shell represent each day within each month.

Here’s an SWSW Digital Library  link about the Sacred Teaching of Truth.  Scroll down to the title. “The Seven Sacred Teachings”.

Curriculum Connections

Elementary Resource

The  Seven Sacred Teachings Unit created by an MPSD Teacher (Includes student booklet, teacher booklet and bibliographies of books for each of the seven teachings.)

Middle School and High School

The Quilt of Belonging :  SWSW Digital Library Link.  Scroll down until you come to the title.  After clicking on the link, choose “First Peoples in Canada”.  You can search any of the 70+ indigenous language groups of Canada.

Book Club

 The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King.  (2014 Governor General’s Award for Fiction)    Globe and Mail Review

“In The Back of the Turtle, Gabriel returns to Smoke River, the reserve where his mother grew up and to which she returned with Gabriel’s sister. The reserve is deserted after an environmental disaster killed the population, including Gabriel’s family, and the wildlife……Filled with brilliant characters, trademark wit, wordplay and a thorough knowledge of native myth and story-telling, this novel is a masterpiece by one of our most important writers.” –HarperCollins Canada

     A Sto:lo Coast Salish Historical Atlas, edited by Keith ThorCarlson.

“This superbly researched, groundbreaking historical atlas presents a history of the civilization and territory of the Stó:lo, a First Nations people. Through words, archival photographs, and 86 full-color maps, the book details the mythic beginnings of the Stó:lo people and how white settlement turned their homeland into the bustling metropolis of Vancouver. An important document packed with fascinating information, the atlas also makes a significant contribution to cross-cultural understanding.” —GoodReads

Professional Development Opportunities

SWSW Digital Library link to “Indigenous People’s Worldviews vs Western Worldviews”