The Movie is Here in Thunder Bay. Don't Miss it.

The Movie is Here  in Thunder Bay. Don't Miss it.
Indian Horse, the movie based on the book by Richard Wagamese

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Straight from the Heart

It was standing room only at the Northern Woman's Bookstore tonight for the launch of Strength and Struggle: Perspectives from First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples in Canada. A long title for a most beautiful book.

Editor Rachel A Mishenene spoke about her education as a young Aboriginal child made invisible by the dominant culture in the classroom. She talked about her deepening understanding while  studying with Professor Brenda Small at Confederation College and her decision to become a teacher. At first, when she studied Aboriginal history she was "pissed off" by the injustice and hardship visited on her people. She mentions the long-running effects of 140 years of forced residentioal schools whose aim was "to remove the Indian from the child." But now Mishenene is an educator, chair of the Teachers' Federation of Ontario Aboriginal Education Committee as well as holding many other posts in education.  Her book is an answer to the marginalization she felt at school.

Her book, co-edited by Dr.  Pamela Rose Toulouse, is extraordinarily beautiful.  The colourful art work and the wonderful photographs enrich an amazing selection of  stories, poems, graphic stories, articles, music lyrics.  The book is intended for use in the schools but would make a great gift as well.

One of the contributors,  Elliott Doxtater-Wynn,  also spoke about his childhood and his experiences with teachers and students in education.

Elliott Doxtater-Wynn teaches art and culture.  "I was raised on the pow wow trail and taught to dance and hear the heart beat of the drums by my grandfather. I am part of a new understanding that family is important and that I must protect my beliefs, my family, my friends, my community, our world. I am part of the reclaiming of traditional knowledge. I am part of educating others. We are all connected."

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