National Indigenous History Month: Week of June 1-4

National Indigenous History Month
Jun 04

National Indigenous History Month: 

June is National Indigenous History Month. It's a time for everyone - Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers - to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. It’s important to keep in mind that First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples each have their own unique histories. And within each group, there are distinct histories. 

Throughout the month of June, Indigenous Student Services will be sharing daily facts and resources on social media, weekly film suggestions, and a guest speaker presentation for all students, faculty and staff. 

Things to know this week:

Tuesday June 1:

June is National Indigenous History Month - a time for everyone - Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers - to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. It’s important to keep in mind that First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples each have their own unique histories. And within each group, there are distinct histories. 

If you’ve ever wondered what word to use when referring to Indigenous peoples? View this short clip of The Word Indigenous – explained (for all ages).

Watch (2:26 min)

Wednesday June 2:

The Métis people spoke a language called ‘Michif’, which is a variation on the French word ‘Métis’. Michif is a mixture of both French and Cree words and grammar. It's estimated that now there's fewer than 1000 fluent Michif speakers.

Indigenous Author: Richard Wagamese (October 14, 1955 – March 10, 2017) was an Ojibwe author and journalist from the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations in northwestern Ontario. His works speak about the historical and contemporary socio-economic issues affecting Indigenous communities in Canada. They also bring attention to issues regarding Indigenous identity, culture and truth and reconciliation. He was best known for his 2012 novel Indian Horse, which was honored with multiple awards and was adapted into a 2017 feature length film, Indian Horse, released after his death.

See full catalogue of books written by Richard Wagamese: Goodminds - First Nations, Inuit, Metis Books

Thursday June 3:

Many places in Canada, both natural features and human habitations, use indigenous names. The word Canada itself derives from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian "Kanata" meaning 'village' or 'settlement'.

Indigenous people made the first syringes to inject medicines in pre-Columbian times. These hypodermic needles were originally made from animal bladders attached to a sharp, hollow cylindrical bone — such as the leg of a prairie chicken, turkey, goose or other bird — which served as the tube. Their invention was later attributed to Scotsman Alexander Wood in 1853, but our American ancestors had already developed them many centuries before. Today, the practice of medicine is unimaginable without the use of these vital utensils.

Friday June 4:

In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation, in its final report the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called on governments, educational and religious institutions, civil society groups and all Canadians to take action on the 94 calls to action it identified.

To review all 94 Calls to Action, visit: http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

Film: Indian Horse (2018)

Follows the life of Canadian First Nations boy, Saul Indian Horse, as he survives residential school and life amongst the racism of the 1970s. A talented hockey player, Saul must find his own path as he battles stereotypes and alcoholism.

At the end of the 1950s, in Ontario, the young Saul Indian Horse was torn from his family and forced to go to a Catholic boarding school. In this oppressive environment, Saul is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his Aboriginal heritage. The child finds his salvation in the favorite sport of Canadians, hockey. He will also develop unique and rare skills for this ice sport. His talent will allow him to leave misery to join an Aboriginal league in Northern Ontario and eventually, a professional epic. But, the ghosts of his past are never far away

Watch movie: Indian Horse (101 min)

To continue to learn more about National Indigenous History Month: 
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Follow us on Twitter: IESS Twitter

Questions? Contact Indigenous Awareness Programmer:
Amanda Aitchison
Phone: 905-575-1212 x4318
Email: amanda.aitchison2 [at] mohawkcollege.ca 

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