EDUCATION AND ACTION. INDIGENOUS TEACHINGS FOR STUDENTS ON EARTH DAY

Written by Serge Desrosiers

Earth Day is April 22 and many educators like you will be celebrating by engaging with their students on the importance of environmental protection. To help you celebrate Earth Day, we have put together a selection of titles that share traditional knowledge from Indigenous communities across North America. By celebrating Indigenous knowledge and perspectives through beautifully illustrated images and poetic prose, these titles will inspire the next generation to environmental action.

Mothers of Xsan series
for grades 5 to 7

With five books in the series so far, the Mothers of Xsan series introduces readers to the Gitxsan people and the animals within the River of Mist (Skeena River valley) in Northwestern British Columbia. Each animal mother of Xsan and their young tell a story of the interconnection of animals, people, and ecosystems.

Written by the award-winning author Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) and illustrated by Natasha Donovan, you can purchase the series here.

Stand Like a Cedar
for grades 1 to 4

 

Take a walk through the forest and explore not just the teachings from nature but learn words from the Nłe7kepmxcín and Halq’emeylem languages as well! A great book for building literacy and multilingualism, environmental appreciation, and stronger community.

Written by Nicola I. Campbell and illustrated by Carrielynn Victor, you can purchase the book here.

Watch for the teacher guide coming soon! Sign up for our eNewsletter to receive up-to-date information about this resource.

The Gift Is in the Making
for grades 5 to 9

Discover Anishinaabe language, values, and teachings and immerse your students in a wondrous world where all genders are respected, the tiniest being has influence, and unconditional love binds families and communities to each other and to their homeland. 

Written by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and illustrated by Amanda Strong, you can purchase the book and audiobook here.

Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life
Siha Tooskin Knows series
for grades 3 to 6

 

Learn with 11-year-old Siha Tooskin (Paul Wahasaypa), as his family and community share lessons from their Nakota heritage. Explore the interconnectedness of community and environment, the roots of modern conveniences, the teachings of nature, and much more in this eight-book series!

Written by Charlene Bearhead and Wilson Bearhead, illustrated by Chloe Bluebird Mustooch, these books can be purchased individually, or as a set here. An accompanying education guide is available here.

We Dream Medicine Dreams
For grades K to 3

 

Drawing on her knowledge of Dene teachings, Lisa Boivin shares this healing story of hope, dreams, and the special bond between grandfather and granddaughter. Bear, Hawk, Caribou, and Wolf all have teachings to share to help us live a good life.

Written and illustrated by Lisa Boivin, this book will be released April 20, 2021. You can pre-order the book here.

NEW Hands-On Social Studies for Ontario
for grades 4 to 6

These great educational resources explore communities at local, national, and global levels, past and present and build understanding of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.

Custom-written for the Ontario social studies curriculum (2018), you can find them here.

Hands-On Science for British Columbia
For grades K to 2 and for grades 3 to 5

 

This series focuses on scientific and technological approaches, balanced with Indigenous knowledge and perspective and is custom-written for the BC science curriculum (2016).

Browse the resources for your grade level here.

Use this selection of stories and resources to find valuable lessons of nature and community in our world to inspire you and your students on Earth Day.

You can find more books at https://www.portageandmainpress.com/

Learn more about how to get involved with Earth Day at https://www.earthday.org/

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