Oki! Tansi! Taanishi! Hello!
Nanabush has arrived and brought with him the cold winter winds. Although many days were pleasant and balmy for November, the biting breeze arrived to remind us that winter, sstoyi (Blackfoot), pipon (Cree), l’ivayr (Michif) is coming. We took care to ensure that we were dressing appropriately for both learning and play outside with warm mittens, hats, boots, and coats. The gardens have turned varying shades of brown and the fall flowers have drooped over and fallen to the ground. The last few leaves that were clinging to the trees bid their final farewell and travelled away with the strong winds that blew through the fields. The skies were filled with birds flying in V-formation heading for warmer places. The rabbits are showing off their beautiful white winter coats. Our squirrel friends are busily scavenging the grounds and gardens to collect what they need to survive the winter.
We have roots, just like the plants that grow on Na’a, and these root systems connect us all. How we feel about ourselves and the kind of self-talk we engage in affects not only us, but also those around us. If we approach our days with positive intentions and an attitude of “I can,” it helps us to project positivity into the world for others to feel too. This month we spent time thinking about how we talk to ourselves and focusing on using kind words and grace to remind ourselves that we don’t have to be perfect, we just keep trying and doing our best. We need to treat others with kindness, but we also need to be kind to ourselves. We replaced statements like, “I can’t,” with statements like, “I can with some help,” or “I am learning to…”
November was an amazing month filled with opportunities for us to learn about Indigenous culture. We learned about both Indigenous Veterans’ Day and Remembrance Day, Rocked our Moccasins, and learned so much about Métis culture, traditions, and language during Métis Week.
We observed Remembrance Day on November 10th with a school-wide virtual assembly and were lucky to welcome a veteran into the school to share stories about the contributions of animals in the war. Students listened to stories, watched videos, and created artwork to remember the sacrifices made by others.
For Métis Week, we read stories, learned songs, tried jigging, listened to fiddle music, engaged in a scavenger hunt around the school, sampled some delicious Métis cuisine—including bannock—and completed several art pieces as a way to represent our understanding. We were also thrilled to spend time learning about Métis culture from Elder Kerry, listen to stories and songs with Ms. Chantal, and learn about and try some jigging.