On a chilly fall weekend in the middle of October, Red Road alumni along with several teachers from across Mi’kma’ki attended the first of many workshops as part of the Master Cultural Apprentice program.
The goal of this Education Partnerships Program (EPP) is to help teachers from both MK schools and Provincial Public schools learning ways to infuse Mi’kmaq language and Culture into the classroom. These teachers will learn along with our Red Road Alumni and elders how to make Netuklimk and Jenita’simk (Mi’kmaw Mindfulness) come alive in the classrooms. The other focus of this EPP is to look at education in a holistic and inclusive matter to be able to adapt lessons to meet the needs and interests of students across this province. It is to help break down the walls of the classroom and what curriculum can look like and how it can be inclusive to all.
“My hope for this project is two fold, first I hope that every participant sees themselves as being a Treaty person and that they are called to bring Mi’kmaw teachings into their communities and classrooms,” Said Janean Marshall, Students Services Consultant. “The second is that the participants see themselves as a way to practice Netukllimk, Jenita’simk and inclusion of all learners is seamless. Its a tall order but the potential in these participants is amazing and the willingness for our knowledge keepers to share has been the most humbling and rewarding work. The first weekend was a powerful weekend of ceremony, sharing , learning, and laughter.”
Over the weekend, the focus for the camp was on Harvesting or Netukulimk. Topics covered included harvesting, ceremonies, history, language, Mi’kmaq culture, trapping, tanning, furs, traditional medicines, traditional knowledge, waltes and much more.
Many of our L’nu traditional knowledge holders such as Elder Lottie Johnson, Elder Lawrence Wells, Terry Denny, Luke Denny, Elder Danny Paul, Sugar Poulette, Michelle Marshall-Johnson (for Elder Albert Marshall), and Elders Ernest and Miney Johnson came out to share their knowledge and stories. They all led cultural workshops which left all of the participants with so much appreciation for our culture. “We all learned so much,” said Michael R Denny, Red Road Project Coordinator. “We also know that this was only the surface of a part of our culture and we hope to learn so much more.”
Future camps are currently being planned and the next one will focus on the preparation for and creation of traditional Mi’kmaq baskets.