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Deepening Knowledge.

Science

 

Books, Fiction

The Elders are Watcing

by David Bouchard & Roy Henry Vickers, 2003 (illustrated).

From Google Books: “The Elders Are Watching is a plea to respect the natural treasures of the environment and a message of concern from aboriginal leaders of the past.”

As Long as the Rivers Flow

by Larry Loyie , 2002.

A short chapter book that explores one boy’s experience learning about the environment and his culture through an Aboriginal worldview. Some illustrations. 

 

Books, Non-Fiction

Bridging Cultures: Indigenous and Scientific Ways of Knowing Nature

By Glen Aikenhead and Herman Michell, 2012.

A great resource for teachers of science who want to explore ways of incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing the natural world into their science curriculum.

Iroquois Medical Botany

From the website:  "The world view of the Iroquois League is based on a strong cosmological belief system. This is the first book to provide a guide to understanding the use of herbal medicines in traditional Iroquois culture. "

Kiumajut (Talking Back): Game Management and Inuit Rights, 1950-70

From the website:  "It is commonly stated that few groups of people in the world have attracted more attention than circumpolar Inuit. Yet, in all the reading and research we have done, we have been impressed not only by what is missing from the historical record but also by the importance of intimate details about the complex movement of Inuit, as a camp-based hunting culture, to settlement living and, in Canada, a form of self-government. "

 

Film & Video

Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change

By Iglookik Isuma Productions and Kunuk Cohn Producations, 2010.  (54:07 mins)

Synopsis from the Isuma website:  "Nunavut-based director Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat The Fast Runner) and researcher and filmmaker Dr. Ian Mauro (Seeds of Change) have teamed up with Inuit communities to document their knowledge and experience regarding climate change. This new documentary, the world’s first Inuktitut language film on the topic, takes the viewer “on the land” with elders and hunters to explore the social and ecological impacts of a warming Arctic. This unforgettable film helps us to appreciate Inuit culture and expertise regarding environmental change and indigenous ways of adapting to it."

Buffy

By John Walker, National Film Board, 2010.  (6:16 mins)

Synopsis from the NFB website:  "Folk music icon Buffy Sainte-Marie became internationally renowned with her protest song "Universal Soldier." In this short documentary, she candidly discusses her hopes, creative vision and songwriting skills, as well as her role as an Aboriginal activist. Still a vibrant artist fifty years into her career, she keeps her eyes set on the future." In this film, Buffy Sainte-Marie expresses her thoughts on several topics, including science related issues such as environmental destruction.

Something That Happened Within Our Generation

Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill’s video about the Lubicon Lake Cree.

A video documenting how the Oil Sands in Alberta are hurting the First Nation of Lubicon Lake. (1:24 mins) 

Laxwesa Wa: Strength of the River

National Film Board of Canada, 1995. (54 mins)

From the NFB website: “As distinct fishing societies of great spiritual, cultural and economic wealth, First Nations peoples have always respected the resources of their rivers and oceans. But within their own lifetime, they have watched governments "manage" the fishery into a state of crisis. Now it's time for people to listen to what Natives have to say.”

César's Bark Canoe

National Film Board of Canada, 1971. (57:55 mins)

From the NFB website:  "This documentary shows how a canoe is built the old way. César Newashish, a 67-year-old Attikamek of the Manawan Reserve north of Montreal, uses only birchbark, cedar splints, spruce roots and gum. Building a canoe solely from the materials that the forest provides may become a lost art, even among the Native peoples whose traditional craft it is. The film is without commentary but text frames appear on the screen in Cree, French and English."

 

Lesson Plans

Turtle Island Conservation:  Curriculum-based Educational Bundle

(Grades 4-6; Level Junior)  Additional Strands:  The Arts, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics, Social Studies.

Four Directions and Medicine Wheel Learning Activity

Ojibwe Nation Lesson Plan
(Grades 1-6; Level Primary/Junior) Additional Subject Strands: Geography, Natural Science, Astronomy.

The Medicine Wheel and Seven Stages of Life

Ojibwe Nation Lesson Plan
(Grades 7-9; Level Intermediate) Additional Strands: Geography, Natural Science, Botany, Astronomy, Art.

Mi'kmaq Creation Story

Mi'kmaq Nation Lesson Plan
(Grades 10-12; Level Senior) Subject Strands: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Space Science, Philosophy.

Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Weather Perspectives

From the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation. From the website: "This series of lessons incorporates four of the foundational objectives from the unit entitled Earth and Space Science: Weather Dynamics (WD) in the Science 10 Curriculum Guide. These lessons examine cultural perspectives on weather and weather predictions, and are designed to be an introduction to the topic of weather."  (Level Senior)

Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage: Making Do with What You Have

From the Canadian Museum of Civilization. From the website: "Students learn about the history and cultures of aboriginal peoples by identifying plant and animal materials used to make everyday objects, completing the Match the Object to the Material Activity Sheet, and engaging in a classroom discussion about materials people use to make objects."  Website includes pdf file of lesson plan and activity sheets.  (Level Primary)

The Night Sky (Unit plan)

From the University of Saskatchewan College of Education. Astronomy is contextualized with Aboriginal cosmology, providing a framework for learning both Western Science concepts and Aboriginal Ways of Knowing.  (Level Intermediate/Senior)

Walking with the Earth - Pimohtiwin

From the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation. A field-trip based unit on looking at biodiversity in natural systems and exploring cultural perspectives on sustainability.  (Level Intermediate/Senior)

Model Teaching Units Science K-8

Level:  (primary/junior/intermediate).  Association:  Montana Ministry of Education. Description/Keywords:  Science, Unit plans, Stories, Salish, Pend d'Oreille.

Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence

by Gregory Cajete, 2000.

 

Websites

Ecokids.ca - First Nations, Inuit People and the Environment

From the website:  "First Nations and Inuit people have lived in Canada for thousands of years. For generations, they depended on their surroundings to provide their food and shelter. To survive, they had to understand how each part of the environment was connected to the other and to their own lives. Treating nature with respect was their way of life. It was a part of who they were; how they worked and played together, their traditions and their spiritual beliefs.

Many of us today live in big cities and get our food from far away places, which makes it seem like we don’t have very much to do with our natural surroundings. Instead of understanding and working with nature to survive, we have tried to control it. Often we do things to take care of the environment only after we have already damaged it!

First Nations and Inuit people have believed that humans are a part of the environment, not separate from it, and that all living creatures are equal and deserve respect. They made sure that they took care of the environment in everything that they did. For example, when they hunted, they didn’t kill any more than they needed and they didn’t waste any part of the animal so that there would be plenty of wildlife for the future."

Noopemig

From the website: A Blog about "The Forest" (Noopemig in Oji-Cree) and the People who live there. John Cutfeet has returned in a new position with Wildlands League as its Aboriginal Watershed Program Coordinator or Anishinini’ow Niipii’ow Anokiinakun in Oji Cree. John's focus is to be a resource to communities in Ontario's Far North on watershed protection and on resource proposals that may impact those watersheds.

The First, Second, and Third Nations

A blog post about recent work positing the existence of three distinct immigrations in the pre-colonial history of North America.  (The host collection of blogs I found this in, Discovery Magazine's Human Origins, doesn't focus specifically on North American Aboriginal populations, but they do feature occasionally).

Tree Identification: Resources, Cultural Traditions and Scientific Categorization

From the website: "It is important to be able to identify trees that have been traditionally a necessity in the Ojibwe culture and have been used as a basic resource, such as birch trees.  The birch is a significant tree of the Great Lakes, all parts of the tree; the bark, sap, roots, wood, and leaves offer valuable resources. Ojibwe communities have long recognized the value of birch and hold it in high esteem."  (Level Junior)

Bridging Languages

Part of the education missive of the Rosetta Project at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The language section seeks to translate scientific concepts into Aboriginal languages (Navajo, Hawaiian, Ojibwe).  (Level Junior/Intermediate)

Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Weather Perspectives

From the website: "This series of lessons incorporates four of the foundational objectives from the unit entitled Earth and Space Science: Weather Dynamics (WD) in the Science 10 Curriculum Guide. These lessons examine cultural perspectives on weather and weather predictions, and are designed to be an introduction to the topic of weather."  (Level Senior; from Saskatchewan)

Institute for Integrative Science & Health (IISH)

The IISH follows the guiding principle of Two-Eyed Seeing, a co-learning principle journey brought by Mi'kmaw Elder Albert Marshall.  The IISH's website provides ways to bring together Indigenous ways of knowing and Western scientific knowledge.   Integrative science and health activities are provided.

Words That Come Before All Else:  Environmental Philosophies of the Haudenosaunee

From the website: "Varioius members of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) that belong to the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force have contributed to each chapter of this book, which takes their Thanksgiving Address (Words Before All Else) and incorporate it into an understanding of the Haudenosaunee peoples philosophies on environmental concern."

Project Caribou

A website containing information, lesson plans and on the various herds of caribou of the North.

Inuit Knowledge Centre

From the Website: "The goal of the newly established Inuit Qaujisarvingat (kow-yee-sar-ving-at), Inuit Knowledge Centre, is to bridge the gap between Inuit knowledge and western science and build capacity among Inuit to respond to global interests in Arctic issues." Suitable for Junior High and High School levels.

 

Resources

Lessons From the Earth: Storytelling, Art & Indigenous Knowledge Teacher Resource Kit - Primary Grades

"Lessons From the Earth is a resource guide for educators that provides a practical application of Indigenous Knowledge into the classroom. The focus of learning is grounded in a traditional Anishinaabe story...Included are sample lessons and video modules that support the traditional teachings embedded within the story." Also ties into First Peoples of Canada, Science, Social Studies, Art, as well as important concepts such as love, respect and balance.

Available for your MAC or iOS device. 

Towards a First Nations Cross-Cultural Science and Technology Curriculum for Economic Development, Environmental Responsibility, and Cultural Survival

By Glen S. Aikenhead, 1996.

This paper examines the balance between Western science and First Nations teachings, especially with regard to three main topics important to First Nations communities: Economic Development, Environmental Responsibility, and Cultural Survival.  The author suggests understanding Western science is necessary in order for First Nations students to stay current in an increasingly technological world, however, there is a responsibility to balance that information with First Nations teachings.

Articles

Aboriginal legends reveal ancient secrets to science

BBC News, By Myles Gough, May 19, 2015

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