Saturday, April 29, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

Métis Hope 103

Beagle Coffee Bean Company Original Art Print  by DogsIncorporated, $29.00:
Beagle Coffee Bean Company Original Art Print by DogsIncorporated, $29.00
Métis Hope 103: I hope that no one ever gives a beagle near you coffee.  You are a good person and don't deserve to live through that.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Métis Hope 101

Robert Ingpen, The Wind in the Willows:
Robert Ingpen, The Wind in the Willows
Métis Hope 101: I hope you are spared the indignity of trying to fashionably clothe a toad.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Métis Hope 100

Jeff Soto:
Jeff Soto
Métis Hope 100: I hope you have whimsy and wonder on your life journey.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Métis Fear 237

bear art | Happy Bear | Wendy DeWitt
Happy Bear | Wendy DeWitt
Métis Fear 237: I will not have adequate gifts to share with the birthday bear.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Shoes and bears

I was struck by the first line of the new poem by Halfbreeds Reasoning

" my kokum used to tell me:
“if you wear your shoes on the wrong feet
a bear will eat you.”

My Mooshum always said the same thing.  It was one of those moments when you get a little insight into a person long gone.  This was not just a weird thing he said, but was a piece of a story or dialogue stretching back into the Métis community.  Did any of you have relatives who had this saying?  Do you know if there is a story related to this statement?

Lost eyes

For some reason on a walk last weekend we found two different eyes on the sidewalk.  Runa brought this one home and put it on maskwaw.  I found it quite disturbing.  There is something deep in me that fears a three eyed bear.  Does anyone have any stories of a three eyed bear?  Perhaps I will get the children to write one.

"I reclaim myself each morning"

"I reclaim myself each morning" MacBerger 2017
This is a quote from Richard Wagamese that really struck me.  To be able to let the day before go and come back to the core truths of who you are.  I have been thinking on these words for some time now.

Métis Fear 236

Wombat bike ride! I FOUND THE DEFINITIVE PIN oh well get lost lol
Métis Fear 236: Once the wombats learn to use wheels, what will become of us?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Métis Hope 95

Junji Ito, Slug Girl:
Junji Ito, Slug Girl
Métis Hope 95: I hope this is not what I need to do to receive the teachings of the slug.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Métis Hope 94

The cutest, quirkiest manners book ever. Starring a little rude cake who learns a lesson from--who else?--a cyclops. A classroom must-have: RUDE CAKES by Rowboat Watkins.:
Métis Hope 94: I hope your life is free from the scourge of rude cakes (I didn't even think to worry about this issue until now)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Métis Hope 93

Beast of the Apocalypse. La Somme le Roy, France ca. 1290-1300. British Library, Add. 28162, fol. 3v.:
Beast of the Apocalypse
Métis Hope 93: I hope that your drivers license picture is a reasonable likeness.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Métis Hope 91

Elephant protecting small elephant against a dragon. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 6838B, Folio 4v:
Elephant protecting small elephant against a dragon. 
Métis Hope 91: I hope you have someone to protect you against the dragons you face in life.

Métis Hope 90

Tribes of Redwall: Badgers by Brian Jacques
Tribes of Redwall: Badgers by Brian Jacques 
Métis Hope 90: I hope we will never need to fight well armed badgers.

Monday, April 10, 2017

"Shaking hands with the dark parts of my thoughts"

MacBerger 2017 - "Shaking hands with the dark parts of my thoughts" inspired by the lyric by 21 Pilots

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Métis Fear 233

Wish I was that kid:
Métis Fear 233: my animal relations will expect plush velvet furnishings that are just not practical for our lifestyle. 

ᒪᐦᐃᐦᑲᐣ (mahihkan - wolf)

MacBerger 2017

Wolf eye detail

Friday, April 7, 2017

Métis Fear 232

Métis Fear 232: I worry that my moose relations might be getting into hard core math.

Animals in my neighbourhood

Like Christmas, Easter seems to bring out the whimsy in the animal relations.  I found a cat ready to cook while sister raccoon got herself prettied up for the feast.

Here we see llama very confused about how to deal with carrots and turnips.  It is sad to see how lost he is to his relationship to the natural world.

Wisdom of the wolves

**A battle of two wolves inside us. Odin's wolves Geri and Freki:
Link - As I have a fair amount of Norwegian mixed into me this seemed like a reasonable inner dialogue between the ancestors. 

Teachings of brother worm (manicôs)

MacBerger 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Home learning

As I am gathering resources to use in our home learning path, I thought I would share these with you.  My philosophy for this work is based in the medicine wheel, finding balance while being conscious to decolonize and questions resources.  I will write some more on that issue later.  For the first few weeks, these are some of the resources we have been using.

10 Plants That Shook the WorldTen Plants that Shook the World - this book considers historical events and science issues through the lens of key plants.  For our inquiry we began by brainstorming what we thought the 10 plants would be.  I like what the book tried to do, but I don't think it succeeded.  The story got caught up in some weird stylistic choices and ended up being really Eurocentric even when it seemed to think it was not.  However, the book did highlight the issues of slavery and how it was tied to key commodities.  I really like the idea of telling the story from the plants point of view.  We brought in our own decolonial viewpoint as we read each section.  We complemented this text with some other plant teachings shared in circle.  We are finishing this subject, with the children doing a similar research into one of the plants that we had originally thought would be in the book but which were not covered.

One Native LifeWe also worked through some stories by Richard Wagamese.  Runa did not respond much to this writing but Qrow did and we had some good converstions about life on the streets and the experiences of indigenous peoples who were adopted.  These stories are an excellent length to read aloud.  

Mouse Woman and the Vanished Princesses
I have also been accessing resources from Teachers pay Teachers.  I have found a number of good integrated learning resrouces that pull together math, science, reasoning and writing.  I am going to adapt some of these to create some more indigenous focused resources.

We are working through "Mouse Woman and the Vanished Princesses" and these are awesome stories.  The children didn't want us to stop reading, the language and subjects are engaging and kinda gruesome in the way kids love. These are great teaching stories with much to say on a number of levels.  I would highly reccomen these as a resource.  I plan to use these to encourage the development of related stories as well as inspiration for art projects.

We also started "Maththatmatters: A Teacher Resource Linking Math and Social Justice"  which was published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and encourages kids to think about an issue and play with some of the related math.  This books has worked well for Qrow who does not like math worksheets and gives the graphing and algebra some context.  Runa does not seem to follow these lessons much at all so I found her some math worksheets with animals instead.

I have been exploring the concept of "two eyed seeing" and so far we have done an introduction to this material which weaves together indigenous and scientific viewpoints.  There are a number of materials on this web site and I will bring those into the curriculum in the next few weeks.

The real issue I am facing is realizing how slow everyone still is.  Until people get healthier and more interested in learning, I need to be patient.  

Buffalo wonders about ident(it)y

MacBerger - started this at the Daniel's Symposium and I listen to the conversation around identity.  What would buffalo be?

Métis Fear 231

We're amost there kid!:
Métis Fear 231: I am not learning all the parenting lessons from bear I should be. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Postmodern Vulture

MacBerger - looking up post modern culture and reading things wrong as usual, I ended up with the inspiration for a postmodern vulture.

Métis Fear 229

Salmon Doubts by Adam Sacks
Salmon Doubts by Adam Sacks
Métis Fear 229: I fear that I am not sufficiently attuned to the emotional life of my swimming relatives.

New voices

I was digging around on Red Rising Magazine and wanted to share a couple of things that struck me.

Tree by Jackie Traverse
"Red Waters" by Yollanda Bonnell which begins with the line

"There are those days when I open my eyes and I don’t feel as red as I ought to.
I don’t feel as human as I ought to.
I don’t feel as alive as I ought to."

"Filling up Empty" by Autumn Bernhardt which ends with the words

"Office tigers hoping side gigs will take us on the Red Road"

"The Invisible Indian" by Shelley Lisk engaging on the dialogue about "authentic Indians"

A short meditation on "Land as Healer, Land as Helper" by Tabitha Martens.

Nanaskomowin to all those who share their talents.  You inspire all of us to keep creating and keep the dialogue going. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Introducing a new relation

As part of our lessons looking at sharks, the children were asked to think of a hybrid shark animal that could go on land.  Qrow (Sophie) created a hammer head squirrel.  They told us that this squirrel was one of the traditional tools used to build the long houses.

This led to a long conversation about how the squirrels would feel about being used in this way, the comedy of trying to hammer with a squirrel, plus the issues of a squirrel who could get through your walls or threaten your children to steal your food.

Reflections Part 4

I had a look at my postings in May 2015 and wanted to share my highlights

  • I wrote about "Halfbreed" by Maria Campbell and the different ideas of work in different cultures.  I was reminded that I need to finish this book, but I am also struck that we continue to be challenged by this idea of what is work as we are homeschooling.  Often the teachings that seem to be the best are the ones where we are not "doing school work" but just hanging out or walking.  I am having trouble totally letting go of my ideas about learning and trusting that these informal way will get us through, but I am working on it.
  • I was very proud to finish Sophie's first moon time dress.  I learned a lot about the history of these dresses and their construction by creating this dress and felt very close to all the women before me making dresses for their children.
  • I worked to learn a lesson from salmon eggs which I was happy to be reminded of.
  • I still struggle with the balance between creative disorder and mess.  We spent yesterday afternoon in the sun making a fake river for fairies and did not do any housework.  This balance or lack of is always on my mind.  On the other hand, here we are, two years later, still alive despite all the dishes that didn't get done on the right time table.  Balance is a lesson I need to keep learning.

Métis Fear 228

Hating Mondays doesn't seem to work. Time to take a gentler path.:

Métis Fear 228: Cuddling marshmallows will leave me sticky and attractive to bears.