We Stand Together - Downloads & Resources - Free The Children
English - UK | Français
Menu 

 

Daily Facts


Daily Fact #1: Only half of Canadians claim a strong understanding of Aboriginal topics.

Can’t see the video? Click here to download the video

This vignette was filmed with Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children, and The Right Honourable Paul Martin, former Prime Minister and founder of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI). Free The Children and MAEI work together to bring the We Stand Together campaign to schools and young people across Canada, encouraging them to learn about Aboriginal history, cultures and traditions.

  1. Why did former Prime Minister Mr. Martin choose to work in the area of Aboriginal education? Why is it important?
  2. Some survivors of the residential schools do not trust the current school system. What impact might this be having on their children and grandchildren now?
  3. How does your school or community make everyone feel welcome, regardless of where their family comes from? How can your school or community do the same for Aboriginal Canadians?
  4. What responsibility do we have to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities in education?

For more information visit:

http://www.freethechildren.com/westandtogether/

http://www.maei-ieam.ca/about.html

Daily Fact #2: Recorded on a beaded Wampum Belt, one of the first treaties between First Nations and Europeans dates to 1645 and was called Kahswenhtha, or “Sharing the same river; steering our own boats.”

Historically, Wampum belts were often made as a way of recording an agreement or treaty between different First Nations. They were made with Wampum beads, which were carved from a valuable kind of seashell. One of the first peace treaties established between the Iroquois Nation and Europeans in the 1600s was named Kahswenhtha, and was also symbolized by a belt made using Wampum beads.

The Kahswentha belt has two parallel rows of purple Wampum beads on a background of white beads. The white beads symbolize the purity of the peace agreement, and represent “the river of life.” The two rows of purple beads represent the two groups of people involved in the agreement: namely, the First Nations Peoples and the Europeans.

Kahswenhtha embodies the concepts of peace, friendship and respect. It was created to emphasize the peaceful co-existence of the Europeans with the First Nations Peoples. “Sharing the same river; steering our own boats” refers to the two very different cultures, customs, traditions and ways of life of the two Peoples. With the signing of the treaty, both Peoples agreed to follow their respective customs without interfering with those of the other.

For more information, check out:

http://www.iroquoismuseum.org/ve11.html

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100032291/1100100032292

http://www.akwesasne.ca/tworowwampum.html

Daily Fact #3: Inuit culture and history in North America dates back over 8500 years.

People have lived in the arctic region of North America for thousands of years. Roughly 8,500 years ago, small settlements dotted the coast of the Bering land bridge. This stretch of land connected Asia and North America. As these communities grew, they travelled eastward, reaching as far as northern Greenland. The ancestors of today’s Inuit People were known as “Thule,” who originated in north-western Alaska 1,100 years ago. As they migrated across Canada over the following centuries, they replaced the region’s previous inhabitants, the Dorset people. Parts of the language, culture and even biology of today’s Inuit Peoples were passed down from the Thule.

Although the Inuit People first met European explorers in the late 1500’s, it would be 400 years before they were in constant communication with “the south.” For the fur traders, whalers, missionaries and government officials who did visit during that time, the Inuit People acted as guides and established trading relationships. One of the most significant impacts of contact with Europeans was the introduction of new diseases, such as tuberculosis and measles, which had a devastating effect on the Inuit population.

As the North became more connected to the rest of Canada, the Inuit People put modern technology to use in their homes and workplaces. Despite the evolution of their ways of life, Inuit communities have maintained the roots of their identity through language, art, customs and an oral tradition that has preserved their history across generations.

Today, the Inuit regions in Canada are known as Inuit Nunangat, meaning “homeland” in Inuktitut. These include Inuvialuit in the western Arctic (the Northwest Territories and Yukon), Nunatsiavut on the coast of Labrador, Nunavik in northern Quebec and Nunavut, which became Canada’s newest territory in 1999. Land claims negotiations led to the establishment of Nunavut and provided a framework for the region’s economic development to be driven from an Inuit perspective.

For more information, check out:

https://www.itk.ca/publication/5000-years-inuit-history-and-heritage

http://www.inuitknowledge.ca/

http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/exhibitions/aborig/inuvial/indexe.shtml

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/inuit

Daily Fact #4: Aboriginal Peoples are the youngest and fastest growing population in Canada.

Can’t see the video? Click here to download the video

This vignette was filmed with the staff and students of Nunavut Sivuniksavut, in Ottawa, Ontario. Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) is an Inuit college that helps Inuit students prepare for the opportunities and growth in Nunavut.

  1. Why is this program important? What are the benefits of having such a specialized program?
  2. How is NS similar to your school? How is it different?
  3. Why do you think NS is in Ottawa and not in Nunavut?
  4. One of the students says, “There’s a lot of confidence going on around here!” How does education play a role in helping students develop confidence and pride?
  5. Do you think that this type of training program can be used as a model for different Aboriginal communities? What about for public education in general?

For more information visit:

http://www.nstraining.ca/

http://www.tunngavik.com/about?lang=en

Daily Fact #5: In 1843, a group from Montreal became the first settlers to challenge a First Nations team in the First Nations sport of lacrosse. The Mohawk players won.

Lacrosse is one of Canada’s national sports. It was invented as early as the 12th century by First Nations Peoples and was played across North America. The game originally involved hundreds of players and would continue for several days.

The French called the game “Lacrosse,” referring to the curved wooden stick that players used. Various First Nations’ terms reflected the way the sport was played, including “Dehuntshigwa’es” in the Onondaga language, meaning “men hit a rounded object” and “Tewaarathon” in the Mohawk language, meaning “little brother of war”. Rooted in legend and spiritual tradition, the game was also used to settle arguments between tribes, to build the strength and skill of young warriors and to celebrate and give thanks to the Gods. Players would take part in a spiritual ceremony to get ready for the game. This was similar to the way they would prepare for war.

During the early 19th century, lacrosse began to draw the attention of not only the North American settlers, but Europeans as well. It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that First Nations teams were allowed to enter international competitions, beginning with the Iroquois Nationals team representing the Haudenosaunee (the Iroquois Confederacy). Today, lacrosse is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, with more than half a million players around the world.

For more info, check out:

Thomas Vennum Jr. American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War

http://www.uslacrosse.org/museum/history.phtml

http://iroquoisnationals.org

Daily Fact #6: In use since 1816, the Métis flag is one of the oldest Canadian flags.

In the 18th century, European fur traders began to marry First Nations women. Their families gave rise to a new Aboriginal People with a distinct cultural identity, language and way of life. Over time, they became known as the Métis Nation. Métis communities formed in the Great Lakes region and along fur trade routes across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, as well as in Ontario, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Throughout their history, the Métis people have come together to preserve their culture, traditions and language and to protect their rights as a nation within Canada.

The flag representing the Métis Nation has evolved over time, and was first flown in 1816 by Métis fighters during the battle of Seven Oaks, a confrontation between rival fur trade companies in what is presently Winnipeg, Manitoba. Today, the most commonly used Métis flags have either a red or a blue background and feature a white infinity symbol. This symbol is said to represent the joining of the Indigenous and European cultures, as well the continuous survival of the Métis culture. The Métis were recognized by the Canadian government as an Aboriginal People in 1983. After this, the Métis National Council was formed to represent the interests of the Métis people to the Canadian government and internationally.

For more information, check out:

http://www.metisnation.ca/

http://www.metisnation.org/

http://dev-louisrielinstitute.com/index.php/culture/the-metis-flag

http://www.metismuseum.com/main.php

Daily Fact #7: Nearly 400,000 people in Canada identify as Métis.

Can’t see the video? Click here to download the video

This vignette was filmed with the Métis Fiddler Quartet in Ontario. Fiddle music is an important part of Métis culture and tradition. The Métis Fiddler Quartet performs and teaches traditional music while educating about Métis culture.

  1. The Métis Fiddler Quartet views music as a way to tell a story and more importantly, as a connection to their traditions and history. Why is it important to pass on stories and traditions? What are different ways that cultures use to pass on their traditions and stories?
  2. What do you think Alyssa means when she says “an out-of-book perspective?” How would this be different from an Indigenous perspective, and why do you think Alyssa values the Indigenous perspective more than the out-of-book perspective?
  3. In the video, Conlin says, “When we start to close off doors because we think we don’t like something, but we’ve never given it a chance, we lose something.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  4. How could keeping an open mind and learning about various cultures and identities affect our current world?
  5. What are ways that you can “step into the circle,” as Conlin says, to find ways of bringing non-Aboriginal Canadians together with Aboriginal Canadians?

For more information visit:

http://www.metisfiddlerquartet.com/

Daily Fact #8: The First Nations population in British Columbia dropped by 75% in the 100 years following the arrival of Europeans.

Before the Europeans arrived in British Columbia, the Native Peoples of the region enjoyed an abundant lifestyle. Fishing sustained the First Nations communities on the west coast and provided almost everything the people needed. When the Europeans arrived, as primary hunters of the region, these First Nations Peoples formed several treaties with the visitors. These treaties were the basis of the very important fur-trade.
In 1870, a few centuries after the arrival of Europeans, the First Nations population in what is known today as British Columbia had declined by 75 per cent to around 23,000 people. The First Nations Peoples had been severely affected by the onset of small pox and other diseases brought by Europeans.

In addition, by 1870, some First Nations Peoples had signed several treaties that allowed Europeans to use the land. In exchange, they were given reserves, annual or other payments and select hunting and fishing rights. This change in lifestyle had an immense impact on the First Nations population.

According to the 2006 Census of Population, approximately 17.7 per cent of Canada’s First Nations Peoples live in British Columbia. British Columbia also has the largest population of First Nations Canadians living on reserve.

For more information, check out:

http://www.med.uottawa.ca/sim/data/Aboriginal_Intro_e.htm

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100032291/1100100032292

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1307460755710/1307460872523

Daily Fact #9: There are over 50 First Nations languages in Canada.

Can’t see the video? Click here to download the video

This vignette was filmed with the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) Nation, in British Columbia. Their traditional language is called SENĆOŦEN, and is endangered. The W̱SÁNEĆ School Board, together with the FirstVoices program for revitalizing Aboriginal languages, is working to teach a new generation to speak SENĆOŦEN.

  1. In the video, it is said that there are only eight people who speak SENĆOŦEN very well (there are about 1750 people living in the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation communities). Why do you think that is?
  2. The SENĆOŦEN language is endangered. What impacts would losing their language have on the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation? What would it (or does it) mean to you to no longer speak the language your parents or grandparents speak?
  3. In the video, people talk about the pride and the wisdom that go along with speaking your traditional language. What does that mean to you? How does a language help connect you to your culture?
  4. Technology is helping to keep SENĆOŦEN alive. In what ways is it helping, according to the video?
  5. At the end of the video, it is said that there are ways that we can all work together as a country to help make Canada a better place. What are some ways we can use language and technology to do that?

For more information visit:

http://www.firstvoices.com/en/SENCOTEN

http://wsanecschoolboard.ca/about-the-school

Daily Fact #10: A stained glass window on Parliament Hill, Giniigaaniimenaaning, or “Looking Ahead,” commemorates Canada’s hope for a shared future after the Residential School Apology.

In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a historic speech to all Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. On behalf of the Canadian government, he apologized for the Indian Residential Schools system. Many Aboriginal Canadians, including former students of residential schools, were in Parliament for the apology. Aboriginal leaders present at the event accepted the Prime Minister’s apology.

To commemorate this historic event, the federal government asked renowned Métis artist Christi Belcourt to design a stained glass window. Christi designed a window that tells the story of Aboriginal Peoples before, during and after the Residential School System. She explained, “The story begins in the bottom left corner of the glass, with your eye moving upwards in the left panel to the top window, and flowing down the right window to the bottom right corner. The glass design tells a story.” She called her art Giniigaaniimenaaning, which means “looking ahead” in Ojibway. Her hope is that all the people of Canada can work together now to make a brighter future.

The government installed the special stained glass artwork in Centre Block on Parliament Hill in October 2012. Now everyone who visits Parliament Hill will see the story in the window and remember the students and families impacted by residential schools.

For more information, check out:

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1339417945383/1339418457202

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100015644/1100100015649

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1332859355145/1332859433503

Daily Fact #11: We need your fact! Take action by creating an 11th Daily Fact, and join a movement of Canadians standing together to raise awareness.

You’ve spent two weeks learning about the history, cultures, and traditions of Aboriginal Canadians. Now it’s time to turn that learning into action: be creative and come up with your own Daily Fact. Share it with us to keep the learning going; we’ll be posting your Facts on the We Stand Together webpage!

Use this upload link to share your Daily Fact with us, or you can also share your Daily Fact with us on Facebook or on Twitter (@FreeTheChildren and @MAboriginalEdu) using #westandtogether

Creating a Daily Fact:

  1. Research a fact you think is important to share that hasn’t yet appeared in the 10 Daily Facts. Check out recent news stories, ask Aboriginal centres in your community, or visit websites for Aboriginal organizations.
  2. Think about ways to make the fact interesting and readable (i.e., it should not be too long). A poster, photo or video are also great ways to present your fact.
  3. Think about why this fact is important and what you want your message to convey.
  4. Don’t forget to give credit to any sources and provides links for more information.
  5. Share your fact!

 

Downloads & Resources


We Stand Together How-to Guide

Download
We Stand Together How-to Guide

We Stand Together Learning in Action Activity

Download
We Stand Together Learning in Action Activity

We Stand Together Awareness Poster

Download
We Stand Together Awareness Poster

We Stand Together One-pager

Download
We Stand Together One-pager

We Stand Together Campaign Poster

Download
We Stand Together Campaign Poster

Gr1 Language Lesson

Download
Gr1 Language Lesson

Gr1 Science and Tech Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr1 Science and Tech Lesson

Gr2 Social Studies Lesson

Download
Gr2 Social Studies Lesson

Gr2 Language Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr2 Language Lesson

Gr3 Social Studies Lesson

Download
Gr3 Social Studies Lesson

Gr3 Language Lesson

Download
Gr3 Language Lesson

Gr3 Science and Tech Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr3 Science and Tech Lesson

Gr4 Visual Arts Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr4 Visual Arts Lesson

Gr4 Social Studies Lesson

Download
Gr4 Social Studies Lesson

Gr5 Social Studies Lesson

Download
Gr5 Social Studies Lesson

Gr5 French Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr5 French Lesson

Gr6 Social Studies Lesson

Download
Gr6 Social Studies Lesson

Gr6 Language Arts Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr6 Language Arts Lesson

Gr7 History Lesson

Download
Gr7 History Lesson

Gr7 Inuit Games Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr7 Inuit Games Lesson

Gr8 Language Lesson

Download
Gr8 Language Lesson

Gr8 Geography Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr8 Geography Lesson

Gr9 Geography Lesson

Download
Gr9 Geography Lesson

Gr9 History Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr9 History Lesson

Gr10 Civics Lesson

Download
Gr10 Civics Lesson

Gr10 English Lesson

Download
Gr10 English Lesson

Gr10 Career Studies Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr10 Career Studies Lesson

Gr11 English Lesson

Download
Gr11 English Lesson

Gr11 Law Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr11 Law Lesson

Gr12 History Lesson

Download
Gr12 History Lesson

Gr12 Business Lesson

Download
NEW - Gr12 Business Lesson


Return to blog

Job listings powered by the CATS Applicant Tracking System - ©2010 CATS Software, Inc.