A huge thank you to the ROM and their Indigenous Voices program for the excellent webinar the SK’s attended on Tuesday. The SK’s were there along with 15,025 other students across Ontario! Students tuned in to learn about First Nations perspectives on family, art and the transformative power of dance. J’net started off the teachings with something special for Mother’s Day. She demonstrated how to sign I Love you and Mother and then walked the kids through drawing their own I Love You to send in a letter to someone they love. J’net talked about First Nations’ perspectives on family and how many people, not just mothers, take on the role of ‘mother’ in Indigenous communities.
After making some art the children were treated to a Powwow dance lesson with Deanne Hupfield. Before she got started, Deanne shared some of her family’s history with the group. Her mother was part of the 60’s ‘Scoop’ – one of several terrible times in Canadian history when Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in residential schools. Deanne’s mother lost the Anishnabwe teachings when she was taken from her mother and was unable to teach Deanne how to Powwow dance when Deanne showed interest in it as a young child. That experience inspired Deanne to make reclaiming her culture and sharing it with others her life’s work. Deanne also teaches regalia making and had lots to share about the rich cultural significance of the clothing she was wearing. The golden eagle feather she wears in her headdress took her 30 years to earn.
Milgwech/Haawa/Thank You to everyone at the ROM for an amazing morning of learning.