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Art project helping students connect

Art project helping students connect with Ojibwe language
Posted on 05/29/2018
Ojibwe language cards

As part of TakingITGlobal's Connected North program, Rainy River District School Board students are learning about Ojibwe language and culture through art. The program recently partnered with Indigenous Artist and Visual Story Teller, Nyle Johnston at Miigizi Creations, to develop an Ojibwe Language and Education Resource Kit called "Connecting with our First Family."

The purpose of the project is to support students and educators in the process of understanding and appreciating the Anishinaabe Nation and strengthening identity, culture, Ojibwe language revitalization and community development. The collection of images, featuring different line drawings of animals, birds and insects, have been transformed into a series of educational resources, games and learning activities for classrooms and youth groups. The resources include a deck of cards featuring 40 images and a series of learning activities for educators to use in classes of different grades; a colouring book with animal descriptions prepared by Jason Jones, Ojibwe Language Coordinator at the Rainy River District School Board; games like animal Bingo; a 12-month calendar; and more.

The project was inspired by Mr. Jones, along with elders from Treat 3 Territory, who have been passing on traditional knowledge about animals and our relationship to the land to the next generation.

"It is only when we understand our relationship to the animals, birds, fish, insects and other creatures, that we can truly know ourselves and experience the beauty of our interconnectedness," said Mr. Jones.

"In a time of reconciliation, it is important for all people to know that we exist and have such a strong, beautiful legacy of stories and teachings. Our stories resonate with people across different cultures and they carry universal messages of love, kindness, fairness and care for Mother Earth," said Mr. Johnston, who recently visited and shared his knowledge with RRDSB students.

The art project is currently being featured as a Community Gallery exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario through September 30, 2018.

Press release (PDF)

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