Tag Archives: First Nations

Regressing

No, not my kid.  This blog.  Th0ugh I sometimes wonder about the kids……

It has been a while – had all good intent to blog but not enough hours in the day or enough muscle strength in my back to get down the stairs (lower back injury – very boring) to my main computer.   Now that I am finally here, I have to think about what we’ve been doing.

Going back a week (maybe a little more) a saw a listing for a late-night TV show called “Cedar and Bamboo” about when the Chinese first arrived in British Columbia and how they integrated with the First Nations people that they met.  Not so surprisingly, this show was really about how the children of mixed relationships had trouble knowing which world they belonged in.  Anywho, taped it because of Mr.D.’s increasing interest in both China and First Nations.

The same night, there was an episode of “Ravens and Eagles” on CBC – Reg Davidson from Haidi Gwaii explaining how and why he became a wood sculptor and how his heritage changes his art constantly.  I knew I would be interested – part of my background being at Museum of Anthropology at UBC studying these type of issues – but I wondered about whether a 6 yr old would get into it, even a boy who loves museums and all these cultural things.

Not sure how much he took in of these programmes but he again stated his wish to be a First Nations person and we had another discussion about why that wasn’t possible.  He also wants to learn to carve cedar in First Nations style.  I spared him the conversation that asks “Which First Nation would that be – they’re not all the same, y’know” and instead, using very simple words, we discussed cultural appropriation.

Now I did not think this was a concept that he could grasp – I was just testing the waters.  Surprise.  He got it.  He doesn’t like that it limits his things he would like to do in the future but he understands about ‘stealing culture’ and why culture is important to identity and community.  Wow. 

My boy blows me away.

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Another Sunny Saturday

So why aren’t I outside?  Because my son is acting as if he has never had medication at all in his life.  He, his sister, and their carer are off to the playground right now, Daddy is still working on putting together the outside playground (carer helped, which was so nice of her) but it won’t be finished today, and I’m inside, weathering my various pains and aches but not in a very stoical manner.

We’ve done very little formal work over the last two weeks.  Mr.D. is caught up in two obsessions at present (that I know about):  one is everything Chinese, especially dating back quite a ways, and two is everything First Nations.  He is very disappointed he can’t be First Nations when he grows up but in serendipitous timing NIDES – our distance learning school that he attends one day/week – had their celebration of Firs t Nations culture on Thursday.  We skipped WildSpirit and attended that instead.  Lovely to see his interest in the salmons being filleted, then cooked using a wood brace.  Mr.D. liked the story telling and really enjoyed the drumming session; then, we all enjoyed seeing the mural the kids had worked on – all grades – that now decorates the school.  He was particularly proud of his work, the addition of some waves, and the whole work took its inspiration from the First Nations Group of Seven!  Look it up – you’ll be amazed at the vibrancy and variety of the works.

I’m also including some photos from Easter because I just didn’t get around to posting them.

My other big job at present is planning things for Mr.D. to work on over summer as his formal, interactive, school days are almost over for this year.  Bye bye Grade 1.  We’ve purchased Meet the Masters – an art programme  which can be done at our own pace.  Includes a little art history, highlights one particular technique that an artist may be famous for, has some paper and pencil work to develop technique, then has a larger art project.  I’m excited and I know Mr. D loves to paint so hopefully this will be a winner.

We’re completing a small unit of study now on the background of the Cheyenne of the Great Plains and their art (thank you, Cincinnati Art Museum for the good quality kids programming) and that should be finished this week.

Before laying out big money on any sort of language learning, we’re using Live Mocha to learn one phrase at a time.  As Mr.D. often has trouble with retention, we’ll go through four or five phrases but I only expect him to remember one.  We practice that one all week, then review, then move on to the next.  We have both French and Mandarin Chinese ready and have started on the Chinese, which he is determined to learn.  He also wants to learn characters, rather than pinyin, which is difficult but we’ve got some good books and a great app on the iPad to help with that.  So far we are looking at different salutations for different times of day .  It is a beginning.  So if Mr. D. runs up to you and says “Ni Hao” you’ll understand where he is coming from.

Okay – gotta leave the updates for now – I’ve left the salmon marinating and we need to get the BBQ happening.  Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

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