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Learn from Inuit Elders Lizzie Irniq & Mary Kiatainaq

May 4th, 2021

Lizzie Irniq and the late Mary Kiatainaq of Kangisujuaq, Nunavik share stories of life on the land, the brilliance of dog teams and their experiences learning and teaching for the First Peoples Post-secondary Storytelling Exchange.

Watch their video! (scroll down the page to find it)

Walking Out Ceremony: Sharing Cree culture with the Dawson community through film

April 20th, 2021

Walking Out Ceremony is one of the many films you can find at, the First Peoples Post-Secondary Storytelling Exchange website.

The six-minute film follows Dawson College student Alexandrea Matthews as she and her family hold a traditional Cree ceremony on the Dawson grounds. A Walking Out ceremony is a long-held Cree tradition that honours a child's first steps and their future role.

Members of the Dawson Community were present to witness this special event and celebrate a milestone with Alex's niece and her family. For Alex, whose home community is nine hours north, she was "so happy to bring something from my home to Dawson."

Click Read More to watch it.

Dawson’s white pine and its great meaning

April 20th, 2021

For almost two years, Dawson’s white pine has stood near the Peace Garden just west of the main entrance at 3040 Sherbrooke Street West.

Click Read More to find out more about the significance of the white pine and to see a 14-minute video segment of Kanien’kehá:ka storyteller and Sub Chief Aronhiaies Herne's lecture at Dawson. This video is a suggested activity for Dawson's Earth Weeks. 

Introducing the Dawson Decolonizing and Indigenizing Community Exchange!

April 7th, 2021

Please join this MS Teams site that is a forum for discussion, resource sharing, support and inspiration.

The forum is open to all employees of Dawson (Sign in to MS365 required). Please join in!

Topics for discussion include:

  • Pedagogical Resources
  • Community Collaborations
  • Envisioning and Aspirations
  • Land-based Pedagogy
  • Research Projects and Initiatives
  • Seeking Dialogue or Specific Resources
  • Supporting Indigenous Students

Additional information can be found on this page of the Faculty Hub website.

For teachers: featured content from First Peoples’ Post-Secondary Storytelling Exchange

April 7th, 2021

Looking for resources to support you in your process of Indigenizing and decolonizing your curriculum and pedagogy?

Check out "For Educators" for a curated list of resources for teachers. You will find accessible and engaging Indigenous created media suitable for the college classroom, lesson plans on topics including Residential schools and Fashion and cultural appreciation vs appropriation

Resources also include the latest Calls to action & recommendations related to Indigenous education, websites, podcasts, readings on Indigenous pedagogy, storytelling, research & ethics. Whether starting to explore Indigenous topics, expanding your substantial knowledge base or adding to your teaching tool box, there is something here for you!

Video addressed to teachers from the First Peoples’ storytelling (FPPSE) project

March 23rd, 2021

“…as a teacher, I think you don’t have the sole responsibility of teaching a curriculum, you have the responsibility of being acquainted with your student, and knowing their strengths as well as the emotional pitfalls or whatever struggles that they’re going through. Because if you don’t, then you’re not reaching them. It just takes a bit of your time, compassion and understanding.“

“My first year I never went to see my teachers. I was too shy, I never had that role before. I never had to ask an adult for help for something so serious like school. After a year, I realized that teachers are nice. And I can actually go ask them questions.”

“Your language and how you speak, it’s the simplest things in the world that could really affect a person’s educational outcome so it’s really important that our identities are considered.”

-Quotes from First Peoples' Post-Secondary Storytelling Exchange (FPPSE) storytellers 

In this 20-minute video produced by the First Peoples' Post-Secondary Storytelling Exchange, Indigenous students and families share experiences of post-secondary education, offer suggestions for teachers and make recommendations for creating safe learning environments.

Click Read More to watch the video.

Students make earrings and learn about beading

March 23rd, 2021

The Beading Together project offered 40 students the opportunity to connect to Indigenous cultures and ways of learning through guided beading workshops with artist Cory Hunlin on March 15 and March 17.

Dawson students enrolled in the Decolonization and Indigenization Studies Certificate and those who participate in the First Peoples' Centre activities were invited. The funding was provided by SSAP and the Certificate. Students received beading kits in the mail from Nicia's Accessories in Kahnawake.

Jennifer Smith (Faculty, Anthropology and Coordinator of the Decolonization and Indigenization Certificate) reported that the students loved the workshop. "While frustrating at first (about three meters of thread are used for one earring) as knots are commonplace, students reported feeling relaxed and peaceful afterwards," she said.

Workshop leader Cory Hunlin is a Tsilhqot'in artist originally from B.C. who is now based in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal). He taught the students to make a beaded pair of earrings. Beading as a group is a common practice for many Indigenous peoples and is central to relationship and skill building. These workshops opened up a collaborative space for students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to work together and learn about beading, Jennifer said.

Student Mia Kennedy shared her experience: "This workshop showed me how accessible beading is. Anyone can bead. Also, it felt really special to explore and participate in an artform that is so fundamental to Indigenous communities. I felt like I was able to further appreciate the work of Indigenous artists by seeing how long it takes to complete a piece of beadwork. It took me three hours to complete a single earring. ... It takes a lot of skill to make beadwork as clean and beautiful as Cory can. I admire their skills and their patience. All in all, this was a wonderfully positive experience for me."

First Peoples’ Week is March 29-April 1

March 23rd, 2021

Monday, March 29:
10 a.m.: Traditional Opening with elder Otsi'tsaken:ra Patton

various time slots available for reservation: Storytelling with Sam Ojeda, Honouring the Red Road. Sam is Yoreme from the North West of Mexico. Sam is a multi-talented artist, a storyteller, a traditional dancer, a ceremonialist, a social worker, a painter, and a musician.

1 - 2:30 p.m. Indigenous Fashion and Arts, a roundtable with Ceder Eve Peters and Louisa B. Saganash. Moderated by Dayna Danger.

2:30 to 4 p.m.: Indigenous Voices in Academic Writing with Charlie O'Connor.

3 p.m.: Paint Night hosted by Carmen Joseph, a Cree artist from Big River Saskatchewan. Supplies will be provided to student participants.

March 29 (4-6 p.m.)-30 (3-5 p.m.)-31 (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.): From Trees to Weaves. "As a 19-year-old Mi’kmaq student, I am proud and thrilled to share my culture with others. I will present a 30-minute video tutorial demonstrating how to craft traditional Mi’kmaq black ash baskets, with a focus on the historical significance and the importance for young Indigenous peoples to continue their cultural practices."

Tuesday, March 30:
11:30 am to 1 p.m.: Pow Wow Dance workshop with Barbara Diabo

1 to 2:30 p.m.: Daphne Art Centre presentation featuring Lori Beavis. Daphne is the first Indigenous run art centre in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal), it is named after the late artist Daphne Odjig.

2:30 to 4 p.m.: Immigrant Settler Responsibilities to Indigenous Peoples in the time of Reconciliation hosted by the Dawson Peace Centre.

Wednesday, March 31:

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Introduction to Kanien'kehá:ka ceremonies and worldview with Aronhiaes Herne.

2:30 p.m.: Screening of Rustic Oracle in the presence of Kanienkehaka Director Sonia Bonspille Boileau and actor and Cinema | Communications student McKenzie Deer Robinson. Set in the late 90s, Rustic Oracle is a dramatic feature about Ivy, an 8-year-old girl trying to understand what happened to her big sister who has vanished from their small Mohawk community. With minimal clues, Ivy and her mother Susan embark on an unwelcome journey to find Heather which ultimately brings the pair closer together despite challenging circumstances. Behind the story of desperation, told through the eyes of a child, lies one of hope, growth, awakening and love. The film was shot in Rustic Oracle was filmed in Kanesatake.

6 - 7 p.m.: Prairie Fire is a Métis Cultural Family dance group performance. Learn the Métis jig with the dance group who shows audiences how to dance through live teaching during their performances. All of the dancers, Hunter, Riley, and Jacob are siblings, and their mother is Jaime Morse who helped them get started in the performing arts.

Thursday, April 1:

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: First Peoples' Post-Secondary Storytelling Exchange (FPPSE) presentation featuring Pasha Partridge, Alexandrea Matthews, and Kahawishon Horne.

2:30 to 4 p.m.: Traditional closing with Otsi'tsaken:ra Patton

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Virtual Comedy Show featuring Tai Leclaire (Dawson's Class of 2009, Professional Photography), a Kanienkehaka and Mi'kmaq actor, writer, comedian from Kahnawà:ke, Quebec. He is a writer for the upcoming NBC Peacock sitcom Rutherford Falls.

Click Read More to register for the events.

Recommended video and media coverage of FPPSE storytelling project

March 9th, 2021

Some media coverage of the FPPSE project:  CBC Breakaway interview with me and Concordia student Lucina Gordon: Radio Canada: Winschgaoug, CBC North Interview with Dawson student Alexandria Matthews in Cree The Link, Concordia paper: Noovo NVL Web TV Interview with Michelle at 4:12 FPPSE project website: 

Website live for First Peoples’ Post-Secondary Storytelling Exchange

February 23rd, 2021

A celebration was held online Feb. 16 to launch the new website of the First Peoples' Post-Secondary Storytelling Exchange project. About 170 people attended from all over Quebec and other parts of Canada. An elder opened the event, some of the storytellers shared their experiences, a quliq was lit, a video was premiered and the new website was shown.

There is a great amount of content to read and watch on the website. Perhaps you can begin by viewing this 10-minute video, which was premiered at the event:

City TV broadcast this report on the day of the launch:

Click Read More to visit the new website.

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Last Modified: May 4, 2021


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