Sunday, April 1, 2012

the raven's call

This past week, all the intermediate classes (divisions 1-5) were introduced to some foundational concepts and language regarding aboriginal peoples and culture in Canada, particularly in BC. This is going to be a school-wide focus in the library this spring and will address learning outcomes in Social Studies, Science, Language Arts and Fine Arts.

After discussing the terms "aboriginal", "First Nations" and "Metis", I had the students share what they knew about aboriginal peoples and culture in BC.  We talked about the Coast Salish First Nation of which Musqueam is the group of aboriginal peoples that is most closely associated with area we live in. I talked about some of my experiences visiting and working in Haida Gwaii and shared some information about the Haida artist Bill Reid.

Each class viewed the a short video which is an animation based on a story written by Bill Reid. It is called The Raven's Call but is also called The Unfinished Story, as Bill Reid intentionally left it unfinished so that the reader would think about possible different endings, as seen from different perspectives. It raised some social justice issues for the students to think about (a totem is taken away from Haida Gwaii by "strangers and put in a museum) and introduced the students to some key elements in aboriginal stories  - the inter-relatedness of animals, people and the environments, spiritual beings and transformation.

You can view the video HERE.

There is currently a new exhibit about Haida language at the Bill Reid Gallery (click for link) in Vancouver that the students might be interested in visiting.

~Ms Novakowski

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