Mi’kmaw Language and Culture
Over the winter months, the language and culture team began a new language opportunity called L’nuisultiek Valley. The idea behind the program is that participants from Acadia, Bear River, Annapolis Valley and Glooscap First Nation communities will be able learn basic Mi’kmaq language while getting to know one another, community to community. The goal is to connect communities for language revitalization and opportunities. We had elder Dorothy Denny join us for language, wisdom, presence, and Mi’kmaw ways of our culture and traditions. We also invited three presenters to each of our language nights so that we too, as a team, were able to learn from our people in the valley. The program was led by Beverly Jeddore, with the entire language team supporting the initiative.
Over the past few months, Beverly Jeddore has been delivering the Mi’kmaw flash cards to our schools. This month she delivered 120 sets of cards to Membertou school so that there are enough for each student to take a set home. The cards include Mi’kmaw verb flash cards, body part flash cards, and animate & inanimate flash cards. These cards will be provided to our other schools and communities as well.
Ksite’taqn (precious child) our new L’nu app is out for iOS + iPadOS! This app was developed for parents to learn conversation and commands to help speak the Mi’kmaw language to their child. The child can also learn language basics with this new app. Special thanks to JR Isadore for making this come to life, Beverly Jeddore for the narration, Fox Thomas and Sinead Meader for their illustrations.
Educators from grades P-3 at our MK schools attended an online training session this month on the new Treaty Education book series and the teaching resource. The resource they worked with for this session is still in draft and our teachers will be using it as part of a pilot program. They will be providing feedback for the final draft of the document before it is released to the provincial teachers. They had an opportunity to explore the books and the teacher resource together and share feedback and ask questions. They all had some great suggestions of things to add to the series such as teaching the concept of elder, more land based books, and more. It was a very beneficial session for everyone in attendance.
Early Childhood Education
Miranda Bernard, Early Childhood Education Consultant, coordinated a very successful two day networking sessions with our Kindergarten educators – “Kindergarten Networking: Maw-luki’tk”. The two day networking took place on March 16 & 17, 2021 via Zoom. It consisted of informing the educators of the available educational and cultural resources that are available to them and what MK Early Childhood Education program will be providing for the Kindergarten classrooms. They were also introduced to the new Lnu’k Kindergarten Curriculum that was recently developed with some examples of culturally oriented lesson plans. The two day sessions also included a presentation from Gloria MacAskill-Hart, MK Community Liaison Statistician, on the MK Student Information System with the new K4 Curriculum, a presentation by Elizabeth Munroe, Faculty Lead for Master of Early Elementary Pedagogy from St. F.X. University on ‘Play-Based Learning’, Literacy by Sheila Gould, MK Elementary Literacy Consultant and Assessment of Learning from Rhoda Muller, Pre-Primary Manager, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education.
Atlantic Canada First Nation Help Desk
Some very exciting news! We recently renewed our connectivity contract with Bell, which will involve speed increases at all schools/education sites. The minimum speed across MK will now be 200mbps. For most, they’ll see their speed increase by at least double (from 75 or 100mbps), but there are a few instances that the improve will be massive (30 to 200).
A wellness webinar was held this month. Over 150 participants attended the event which had presentations from Jane Meader, Breathing Space Yoga, Michael R Denny, Rebecca Scirocco, and Buddy Young.
A new program was initiated this year for students in our MK schools through our wellness program. The hygiene program was first offered by Membertou School but because it was so well received and such an important program we wanted to give the other schools the same opportunity. The program outlines the importance of the life skill “hygiene”. Students will be taught about the products and how to use them. Each student is provided with a bag of products. It will be delivered annually to middle school students, grade may vary each year. This year it was offered to grade 5 students.
Our Post Secondary advisor coordinated a two events this month. The first was a goal setting workshop for the community post-secondary navigators. The purpose was to help the navigators assist their students in setting personal and career goals.
The second session was for Post Secondary advisors from across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The purpose of the session was to connect with the advisors to get their feedback on what is needed for L’nu college. They were asked what they think the number one priority is, their recommended first options for course development, what they think the next steps should be for an Atlantic PSE Strategy, and their wish list item for post-secondary education.
Healthy and Active Living
Our Healthy and Active Living Consultant Tex Marshall coordinated an event this month with the grade 12 Phys Ed class at ABMHS. He arranged to have Chad Denny, a teacher and athlete who grew up in Eskasoni but is currently living in New Brunswick, join the class for a zoom session to talk about 3 key points. They discussed high performance sport and his hockey career, the importance of education along with dedication to sport, and hunting safety and being mindful and respectful to animals. The students were very engaged and had some great questions for this role model.
Kyla Bernard, our Elementary math consultant, visited the LSK school to deliver math manipulatives to grade primary to grade 4. The teachers and students were very grateful for the materials and teachers could not wait to begin using the manipulative with their students. The resources are hands on, and visual for all different learning styles and engagement.