Goal #2: The school has an environment that is respectful of and appreciates First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures, history and world-view. Theme 7: Understanding FNMI Worldviews Activity: Visual Synectics Look at the pictures related to FNMI worldview (e.g., traditional artwork, patterns) and finish the sentence: ____________ is like ____________ because … You have three minutes to brainstorm around your tables and then one person from each table must describe one of your ideas. Then finish the sentence: __________ is not like ___________ because … You have three minutes to brainstorm and then one person from each table describes one of your ideas. Understanding FNMI Worldviews Name: Dancer Artist: D J Tapaquon www.firstartcanada.com Understanding FNMI Worldviews Name: Mountain Eagle Artist: Paulo www.firstartcanada.com Understanding FNMI Worldviews Name: The Sacred Journey www.firstartcanada.com Artist: Bluesky Crowe Activity: Sharing Circle Sit in a sharing circle and discuss: “What does worldview mean to you?” Understanding FNMI Worldviews (continued) Worldview People from different cultures have different ways of seeing, explaining and living within the world. A culture’s worldview is influenced by its values, beliefs and behaviours. Values: What things are important? Beliefs: How does the world work? What is your role in the world? Behaviours: What behaviours are desirable? What behaviours are unacceptable? “All things are connected like the blood that unites us. We did not weave the web of life. We are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.” Chief Seattle, Suquamish Nation, 1854 The Importance of Oral Tradition Oral tradition is fundamental to FNMI cultures. Transmission of information in an oral culture is a social process that reinforces relationships – those between young and old, those between ancestors and the living, and those between the living and future generations. Understanding FNMI Worldviews (continued) Laws of Sacred Life 1. Each person is born sacred and complete. 2. Each person is given the gift of body with the choice to care for it and use it with respect. 3. Each person is given the capacity and the choice to learn to live in respectful relationships. 4. Each person is given strengths or talents to be discovered, nurtured, and shared for the benefit of all. Laws of Mutual Support 1. People in groups of mutual support are strong. Alone, a person will not survive. 2. Identity comes from belonging in respectful relationships with others. 3. Agreement on rules enables cooperation and group strength. Understanding FNMI Worldviews (continued) Laws of Nature 1. The natural world provides the gifts of life and place. 2. A people’s sense of place and identity is tied to the land and sea that has given the people life. 3. The natural world provides people with the necessities of life. 4. People must live in harmony with the laws of nature in order to be sustained by it. Activity: FNMI Youth Perspectives Divide into groups and have volunteers read the stories “Live One Day with Me” and “Instead of Just Pumping Gas” from The Seventh Generation to the rest of the group. Take turns and record your answers to the following questions: • What did you learn about FNMI worldviews from these stories? • What challenges do FNMI students face in schools today? • How do FNMI youths’ worldviews differ from non-FNMI youths? The groups then share what they learned. Remember that life experiences impact human potential. Activity: The Laws of Relationships Divide into groups and create a short skit that illustrates one (or more) of the laws of relationships. Use the Story/Skit Planner graphic organizer to plan your skit. Each group then presents its skit to the others. Activity: Oral Teaching Divide into partners or groups and choose a curricular objective from any subject and take turns “teaching” the objective, using only oral communication, to your partner or rest of the group. Afterwards, share your thoughts on the experience, for example: • What challenges are there with oral teaching? • What advantages are there with oral teaching? FNMI Values and Beliefs Note: FNMI values and beliefs vary from tribe to tribe and community to community. A People-centred, Group-centred Society • Life and thought are centred around people, not things • There is great loyalty to close friends and respect for one another as people • People are respected for their contributions to the group rather than individual accomplishments • Expect that education should make students more able to contribute to the group • Close trust and reliance on others is important FNMI Values and Beliefs (continued) Cooperation and Sharing • Generosity (with things, time and effort), sharing and helpfulness are considered the most important character traits • People should be willing to share rather than work to get ahead or save for the future • Helping the community is motivation for education Respect for People, Especially the Elderly • Respect for people and their feelings is very important in FNMI societies • Personal relationships are based on mutual respect • Are careful not to be disrespectful toward others • Seniors are given great respect because wisdom comes with age FNMI Values and Beliefs (continued) Courtesy, Privacy and Autonomy • Are taught not to interfere in other people’s affairs or their rights as individuals • Believe people are not meant to be controlled • Almost never give advice unless asked • All opinions should be valued The Extended Family • Kinship is identified with even the most remote family tie – all clan members are considered family • Aunts and uncles are often considered parents • Grandparents are often very involved in the raising of their grandchildren Silence and Concise Expression • May not be comfortable or used to expressing their own opinions • Are not used to long discussions or explanations – prefer concise, short explanations • Silence is never “uncomfortable” and companionship does not require conversation FNMI Values and Beliefs (continued) Nonverbal Communication and Eye Contact • Nonverbal communication is often used to control the back and forth of conversation • Includes head nods, gesticulations, gaze, proximity, voice pitch, loudness, utterance length, and turn-taking pause duration • Turn-taking pauses, tone of voice and eye contact differences between FNMI people and Anglo-Canadians often causes misunderstandings Time for Thought • Talk less than Anglo-Canadians and also pause for a longer time between speakers during a conversation (1 to 4 minutes is normal) • This pause shows that that you have thought about what the other person has said before responding • Even if you have an answer right away, you wait before responding FNMI Values and Beliefs (continued) Lack of Pressure from Time • Many FNMI people believe that life should be easy going – EuropeanCanadians say “Time flies”, Mexicans say “Time walks” and FNMI people say “Time is with us”. • Many FNMI languages have no word for time • Believe things should be done when the need arises, not at a particular time Valuing Leisure • For many FNMI cultures there is no distinct line between work and play – they both will bring happiness if in harmony with nature • Traditionally, FNMI cultures only took from nature what they needed and did not work to gather more than they could use, so there was more leisure time • They do not feel guilty, as European cultures do, about doing “nothing” FNMI Values and Beliefs (continued) Sense of Humour • FNMI people have always had a deep sense of humour related to life and inner feelings • The humour of a culture is often the last thing that is understood Harmony with Nature and the Environment • FNMI people have a deep understanding of ecology because their existence depended on it • Are not masters of their environment – do not conquer land and are not concerned with storing, saving, controlling and changing the land • Chief Seattle said: “Whatever happens to the earth, happens to the children of the earth. The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth.” Spirituality and Health • Value spirituality, emotions and feelings as much as logic, science and reason • See the world around them as spiritual • Harmony with nature and spirituality are necessary to good health • Spiritual beliefs can vary from tribe to tribe FNMI Values and Beliefs (continued) Respect for Ceremonies • Dances, pow-pows and sweat lodges are very important to many FNMI people • Many ceremonies are sacred and should be respected in the same way as other religious events or holidays Honesty • Telling the truth and keeping one’s word is one of the most important human characteristics Bravery, Independence and Emotional Control • Bravery is a highly honoured trait • Is often considered inappropriate to express strong feelings in public Activity: FNMI Values and Beliefs Divide into groups and review the values and beliefs described on summary sheet 2 and discuss: • Ideas that are new to you. • Examples from your own experience that illustrate these values and beliefs. • Other FNMI beliefs and values found in your own community. Also discuss what difficulties you would have if you were immersed in the FNMI culture of their community. The tree drops berries every fall on my car, which is ruining the paint. Also, the shade from the tree makes it impossible to grow anything on that side of the yard. Looking at Perspectives I love to watch the birds that eat the berries on that tree throughout the fall and winter. That tree turns bright orange and then red in the fall. It’s the only tree on the block that turns red – it’s beautiful! I remember when that tree was planted. The previous owner planted it when his son passed away. It has grown so big and strong. I climb that tree and can see all the way down the block. My friends and I play games in that tree. Issue: A man wants to cut down a tree that is between his yard and his neighbour’s. I sit in the shade of that tree during the summer and read. There’s no other shade in the yard. That tree is a gift of nature and should be appreciated for its beauty and grace. There’s a family of squirrels that live in that tree – I’ve watched them over the years. Activity: Valuing All Perspectives Review the diagram on summary sheet 3 and discuss the FNMI community approach as compared to the individualism of EuropeanCanadian society. In FNMI culture, all perspectives have value – this is based on the belief of the interdependence of all things. Then discuss the importance of listening to and valuing different perspectives. Activity: Circle, Triangle, Square Reflect on the following: What learning will stay with you? What stood out for you in this workshop? What learning affirmed what you already knew?