National Indigenous History Month: Resources and reflections

Faculty of Education
Indigenous
Indigenous History Month
Mois de l'histoire autochtone
 Decorative landscape with turtles
Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to learn about and to celebrate the diverse stories of Indigenous peoples who have made significant contributions to past and present history here on Turtle Island.

From activism, art, and film, to leadership, literature and politics, Professor Diane Campeau’s curated list of resources highlights organizations working to promote awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures and knowledges. She also invites readers to think about place—as where we live is an excellent starting point for learning. 

"Find out which First Peoples territory you are located in by visiting your local nation's website where you will find interesting information," suggests Professor Campeau. "This will allow you to learn more about your local Indigenous cultural dimensions: language, territory, stories, knowledge as well as their past and contemporary history. Also, participate in an Indigenous event during the summer; there are several across the country."  

Diane Campeau is a visiting professor in the the Faculty of Education. She holds a Doctorate degree in Education from the Université de Sherbrooke. Her research focuses on Indigenous pedagogy and the integration of Indigenous cultural dimensions into education. 

Norval Morisseau (1931-2007), is an icon of the Indigenous art movement in Canada. The Anishinabe artist, known as the "Picasso of the North", is recognized for his brightly colored works that highlight the diverse cultural, traditional and spiritual aspects of his people, but also as a means to make powerful political statements. This review of the life and work of the painter is authored by Carmen Robertson and published online by the Art Canada Institute.

"The beauty of art is that it expresses the plurality of identities and cultures." The Wapikoni mobile studio initiative offers opportunities for young Indigenous filmmakers by equipping them with the tools and training they need to master digital and audiovisual creation techniques. Their collection of cinematographic works brings the viewer into the stories of Indigenous cultural heritage and makes evident the realities of First Peoples. 

The contributions of Indigenous women to the history of this land = essential learning. Whether they are activists, artists, or resisters...these less-known women have earned their place in history by their actions and accomplishments. New Journeys honors these leaders who have made a difference in their communities and beyond. 

Tessouat, called the le Borgne de l’île, an Algonquin chief of the Allumette Island tribe (Kichesipirini) known for his intelligence and ambition, was focused on looking after the interests of his tribe located in a strategic place on the Ottawa River. In this biographical article we can learn more about his contributions to trade and diplomacy during that era.

Through a simple conversation between a little girl and her grandmother, this children's book reveals the history of residential schools in Canada. This testimony, filled with hope and courage, is a way to raise awareness and to discuss the subject with children, ages four and older. Various activities are proposed in the educational guide (in French).  

The book publisher Strong Nations supports Indigenous cultures, offering a variety of educational resources in English, French, and in several Indigenous languages. They provide access to Indigenous texts for learning about the literary and cultural heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. Explore their website for children's books for all ages.