The Two Row Wampum Belt – Brochure

two row wampum



The Two Row Wampum Belt (Kas-wen-tha) symbolizes the agreement and conditions under which the Haudenosaunee (People of the Long House, Iroquois Six Nations) welcomed the white Europeans to Turtle Island (North America). Historically the Haudenosaunee were nations of people who practiced very sophisticated, yet simple diplomatic principles in their dealings with other nations. Because the cultures, world views and lifeways of the European nations were so different, it was essential that a relationship be established based on mutual respect.

This brochure was created by the Durham District School Board

The Origins of Culture: An Exploration of the Ktunaxa Creation Stories – Video

Source: youtube user T. Gahr
Category: Education
Video Description: This video was created as part of a thesis project for a master’s degree in professional communication, and represents an exploration of the Ktunaxa Nation’s creation stories in order to understand the significance of these narratives in the formation and maintenance of the Ktunaxa (also known as the Kutenai/Kootenay in Canada, or the Ksanka or Kootenai in the U.S.) culture. These stories inform and support the Ktunaxa ways of knowing, their worldviews, their history pre- and post-contact, and their connection to the geography of the Ktunaxa territory. Themes that emerged through the ceremony of storytelling include life lessons, communal understandings about characters and landscapes, and the experience of reclaiming culture following residential school trauma as well as the ways that Ktunaxa elders say these stories relate to and support the culture of the Ktunaxa, past and present.

The central creation story describes the preparations for the newest inhabitants of the earth—the First Nations people—by the spirit world’s great chiefs, as well as the events that led to the creation and naming of the landmarks within the Ktunaxa territory. One of the many purposes of the creation story is to map the boundaries of the territory. The creation story is part of a larger tapestry of stories that are interwoven throughout the central narrative; many of these describe the formation of the land while others provide lessons on how to live upon it and how to interact with all things—the earth and its elements, the creatures and plants that inhabit it, the people one will meet in their life’s journey, and our responsibilities to those who came before and will follow behind. Traditionally, the creation stories could take three to six days to tell.

Cultural touchstones such as creation stories are important ways in which traditional knowledge is shared, and this knowledge is threatened within numerous Aboriginal cultures, including the Ktunaxa. For 10,000-14,000 years the Ktunaxa have lived in southeastern B.C., northern Idaho, and northern Montana. The Ktunaxa language is an isolate—there are no related language families in the world, and only 22 fluent speakers of the language remain. With the loss of language, there is the very real concern about the loss of traditional knowledge. Work that examines Indigenous stories and traditional knowledge is critical, especially as those cultures have been threatened by historic (and arguably current) governmental policies of assimilation both in Canada and the U.S., and indeed, throughout the world. If these touchstones are extinguished in an Indigenous culture such as that of the Ktunaxa people, the entirety of that nation’s traditional knowledge and ways of knowing will also be lost. The loss of language within a culture has the further effect of negative self-worth on the individual, poverty, failure of family systems, and limiting collective potential to solve problems.

The legacy of the residential school system, migration between Aboriginal communities and cities, linguistic intermarriage, and the dominance of English and French in the overarching Canadian culture have all contributed to the erosion of Aboriginal languages; this loss has effect of diminishing access to traditional knowledge embedded in stories told in these languages. Currently, it is expected that the next decade will mean the loss of the last generation of fluent speakers and the stories embedded in those languages.


Mi’kmaw Seven Sacred Teachings Resource Guide

Picture 106
Authors: Dorene Bernard and Gordon Pictou

This guide was originally created for Pre-school aged children and Maternal Child Health visits with new families. The 7 Teachings are the core values that have always been key to developing healthy adults and healthy communities in our First Nations. The authors fully believe they still are but that with all the distractions of technology, contemporary work patterns and emphasis on contemporary models of education the Seven Sacred Teachings are not being as explicitly taught and reinforced as they would have been in the recent past. (read more)

The Early Nicola Valley Unit Plan – Grade 4

The Early Nicola Valley – Grade 4

The areas of study will be on exploring First Nations families of the Nicola
Valley. This will include Okanagan and Nle?kepmx families: Pre-contact as well as the present day families.

OBJECTIVES: at the end of the unit the students will be able to:

• witness and be involved with a traditional Nle?kepmx and Okanagan approach to
teaching; recognize multiple meanings in a story
• “oral history is an extremely popular method for study of the past. Its use of the
actual words and voices of those who lived and witnessed history and its ability to
document people and subjects previously absent from the historical record” (Voices,
Prov. of BC, Provincial Archives).
• recognize different family roles of the Nle?kepmx and Okanagan peoples.
• recognize the distribution of labor amongst the Nle?kepmx and Okanagan people.

G4 TGuide complete.pdf (application/pdf Object).

Booklet #1

Kinoomaagewin Mzinigas (Little Teaching Books)

Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways – Kinoomaagewin Mzinigas
(Little Teaching Books)

(Source: Ziibiwing Center Little Teaching Books)


Seven Grandfathers Teachings

View part 1 of a series Kinoomaagewin Mzinigas (Little Teaching Books). We need to know the teachings of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers to give us direction and balance. teaching book

Clan Systems Teachings

View part 2 of a series Kinoomaagewin Mzinigas (Little Teaching Books). Anishinabek family groups were assigned the role and responsibilities of a particular animal that lived in their region. This then became their clan.