We were pleased to welcome First Nations presenters, Dawn and Lori, to our classroom last week. We were priviledged to hear some of their personal stories, as well as share our own. We learned that humans are given 2 eyes for looking, 2 ears for listening, but only 1 mouth for talking… because we should WATCH and LISTEN twice as often as we SPEAK! Dawn wore her beautiful button blanket coat. Her cedar bark hat had a real eagle feather on it!
Trust, Honor, and Respect are very important words… and we made the connection with our own “Nestor Pride” motto, to be eNcouraging, rEsponsible, Safe, Trustworthy, hOnest, and Respectful! We took 4 turns around the Talking Circle, each one with a different focus. In the center of the circle was a magic fire that we made burn with our imagination and by rubbing our hands really fast!
East is the color yellow signifying new beginnings. It is the time of the Child; a time of learning and fun. South is the color black. It is the time of the Young Warrior. Our teens have the hardest time in life. It is the time when you need to listen and walk with the Earth Mother. West is the color red. The time of the Warrior is a time of responsibility and a time of protection and patience. North is the color white, which honours the Elders. It is a time of humour and understanding… a time of wisdom and a time of understanding that wisdom is a gift of birth not always earned with age. (Thank you, Dawn, for emailing me this lovely explanation!)
We waited with patience for each student to speak, or to choose not to speak. Everyone got to take a special stone from the rabbit fur bag and we each got a “magic pencil” that reflected our warmth by changing color when we held it. We learned about being thankful for what you have got, and not asking for something more or something different.
At the end of our time together, Dawn even let Mrs. Boekhout wear the special button blanket and hat! Then she gave our class a REAL Talking Stick made out of rabbit fur and deer skin. Mrs. Boekhout is going to use it with her ladybug “gratitude stone” for the weekly class meeting!
THANK YOU, Dawn and Lori,
You shared your First Nations heritage with us
and we learned about the cycles of the great Earth Mother
and we learned lessons of patience and respect for others.