SHARING THROUGH STORY focuses on the power of story, through literacy supports, literature and storytelling resources.
Indigenous cultures share stories in many ways – orally, in song, in drumming, with pictographs, and through medicine wheels and tipi rings. Traditionally, stories are told by elders – known as Knowledge Keepers or Historians in some nations – as well as community members who have earned the title of Storyteller.
In classrooms, storytelling creates a climate that is responsive to the individual needs of the classroom while making connections to prior and new learning. Through storytelling in its many varied forms, teachers provide analogies or connections to ideas that students can understand, so that learning is meaningful and transformative.
A collaborative partnership between Northlands School Division, Edmonton Public School Division and Alberta Education developed the Literacy Seed Kit. The 76-book collection was created as a travelling classroom library to support the need for culturally relevant resources. Like a seed, it is meant to grow and expand depending on local conditions. The collection contains fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of genres.
The Indigenous Literature Kit: Growing Our Collective Understanding of Truth and Reconciliation is a collaborative professional learning project developed by Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools and the St. Albert-Sturgeon Regional Collaborative Service Delivery region, and supported by the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium. This kit is a professional learning resource that supports educators to grow in their collective understanding of Truth and Reconciliation. The project started with titles from the Literacy Seed Kit and added new titles that advance First Nations, Métis and Inuit foundational knowledge.
This two part webinar series is about the book Fatty Legs, which includes meeting the author of the book and her mother-in-law (about whom the book is about) and a teacher who has used the book with her grade seven classroom. You will learn about the origin of the book and how it can be used to support student learning about the topic of residential schools.
This series was designed to help K-12 teachers delve into how they can infuse Indigenous texts in their classrooms in meaningful and respectful ways. Teachers will appreciate the Q&A format, age-appropriate literacy strategies and children’s Indigenous book recommendations. This set of materials can be used for self-study or can be used in a larger professional learning context.
In an effort to support the infusion of Foundational Knowledge across the curriculum, ARPDC consultants along with Tłı̨chǫ Dene Author, Storyteller, Educator Richard Van Camp collaborated on this project.
The Power of Storytelling
The Importance of Storytelling
Learn how storytelling, a traditional way of sharing the culture and values of a community, remains a valuable teaching tool for today.
Length: 6 minutes 5 seconds
Click here for the Learning Guide
Storytelling: Understanding Who We Are
Tap into the power of stories to engage students and help them better understand themselves and the human condition. This video explores the central role that stories hold in First Nations, Métis and Inuit world views, and how stories reflect our universal experience.
Length: 6 minutes 21 seconds
Click here for the Learning Guide
Storytelling: Its Many Forms
Learn how the different forms of storytelling give students channels for expressing their voice and connecting to culture. This video features First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists, educators and scholars sharing their perspectives of how the tradition of storytelling permeates their cultures and world views.
Length: 5 minutes 11 seconds
Click here for the Learning Guide
Find out more about Photovoice as a participatory action research method that employs photography and group dialogue as a means for marginalized individuals to deepen their understanding of a community issue or concern, as well as a student example from Edmonton Public Schools.
The Kanai Photovoice Project provides a report about a research project conducted in the spring of 2011, when representatives from Ever Active Schools and the Manitoba Institute of Child Health evaluated the voice of students in an Aboriginal community (Kaniai). The researchers used three separate qualitative methods (photovoice, focus group discussions, one on one interviews) to assess the perceived barriers and facilitators to a healthy school environment in their community. The report outlines results, key findings and recommendations.
More Resources that Share Stories
This website shares a collection that offers the opportunity to connect with real people from the past. Southesk kept a daily journal in which he wrote about people he met and places he visited. Although the journal was destroyed in a fire at the Southesk estate in 1921, the earl had published an account of his trip, Saskatchewan and the Rocky Mountains, in 1875. The book incorporates many passages from his journal and discusses some of the objects that he collected. Southesk didn’t explain where, how, or from whom he acquired each object, but he provided enough clues to allow us to link some of these objects with the individuals who made or owned them.
The “Mark of the Métis” was created to preserve the rich history and cultural traditions of the Métis people of northern Alberta. The stories of 104 elders who have lived and worked in the area are captured through interviews conducted by the Fort McMurray Métis Local 1935. The Elders tell their stories in their own terms and in their own unique meaningful ways. Storytelling is a traditional way of the Métis, passing knowledge and customs on through generations. The stories told will preserve this cultural heritage for Métis youth, providing them the opportunity to grow up confident and secure with a true sense of belonging to a strong Métis community.
This Indigenous and Northern Affairs website shares and encourages learning about Indigenous peoples, history and culture through stories and activities.
Jason Ohler explores how oral and written storytelling, as well as storytelling using digital and art skills, are involved in the creation of digital stories, and how all these literacies and forms of storytelling can reinforce each other.
The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Collection is maintained by the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education team, Edmonton Public Schools. The annotated bibliography represents the diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures across Canada and some areas of the United States. Titles are reviewed through an educational lens as well as by a member of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit community. The database includes titles published since 2002. Titles published prior to 2002 that are considered valuable additions to collections are included and therefore recommended. Titles considered popular may contain objectionable content that is laid out in the review with the recommendation to weed the title from the collection. New titles are continually added to the collection.