Water

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Name: Jessica Naziel | Johanna Sam

Hadïh! Si sozï Jessica Naziel.  I am Witsuwit’en and I from Witset, BC (formerly known as Moricetown).  This curriculum bundle will be discussing the importance of water including Indigenous perspective and teachings of water.

Making Space

How might teachers prepare their students to work with this content? What background knowledge might be required?

How might teachers prepare their students to work with this content? What background knowledge might be required?

Educators should understand how deeply entwined the importance of water is we even see  some nation names relate to water or topography.

For instance, some nation names that relate to water:

  • “Witsuwit’en” refers to “people of the drainage.”
  • “Gitxsan” refers to “people of the river mist.”
  • Tsimshian refers to “inside the skeena river.”

Historical importance of water for Indigenous people (place names or hydronyms and their historical ties) – many teachings discuss the relationships between people and water

  • Sacredness of water as life-giving
  • Interrelatedness in everything we do
  • Asking students to consider how they use water? Access to water?

Practice Humility

How might non-Indigenous teachers sensitively work with this subject? What might they need to consider in their own positionality?

Not all Indigenous communities have access to safe drinking water within Canada.

  • Educators need to consider their access to water.
  • Issues that surround not having clean water.
  • Loss of traditional ways of knowing that come from loss of clean water

Water is a valuable and vital resource and also a part of Canada’s economy.

  • Educators should consider why Indigenous people have lost access to water.
  • How would lack of access to water affect a community- spiritually, economically, physically

It’s important to understand how water is seen within Indigenous perspectives and worldviews:

  • Water Song
  • Creation stories regarding how we got rivers, lakes and oceans
  • Story about place names. For example: Tasdliz Bin “Hot boiling Lake” also known as Lake Kathlyn in Smithers, BC.
  • Water as needed for ceremony
  • Everyday needs
  • Traditional ways of transportation: canoeing

Acknowledge Sources

What can teachers do to find good supporting resources? How should they be cited, especially when it comes to Indigenous knowledges?

  • What can teachers do to find good supporting resources? How should they be cited, especially when it comes to Indigenous Knowledge?
  • It is important to acknowledge Indigenous people by their nations. When citing resources, it is important to consider asking an elder first. Always cite and an Indigenous Elder and Knowledge keeper as part of the reference.
  • For help with citing educators can refer to https://guides.library.ubc.ca/aboriginalstudies/citing

 

Online Resources

Online Resources

It’s important to acknowledge the territory that you are on, Lake Kathlyn resides on Gidimt’en (Bear and Wolf clan) territory. Originally, it’s best to have someone from that clan and house to specifically welcome you onto that territory.

Booklets:

  • Book can be bought at the Widzin Kwah Canyon House Museum for $5 in Witset, BC – seasonal, opened during the summer or you can purchase it directly from School District#54, send an email to Terri.brain@sd54.bc.ca or pick up at their office located at: 3603 – 3rd ave. Smithers, BC V0J-2N0.
  • Contacting Local First Nation – educators can use https://native-land.ca/ to find local nations.

BC Curriculum Connections

How does it relate to BC Curriculum?

Click on the subject area below to expand the section.

Earth Science

Big Idea(s):

  • You can discuss water as a unique resource (freshwater, saltwater, lakes, rivers, oceans, glaciers, aquifers).
  • The Hydrologic cycle (precipitation, evaporation).
  • Climate change – Acid rain as a result from sulphuric or nitric acid. Carbonic acid found in lakes and oceans as a result from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolving in the water.

Curricular Competencies:

  • Questioning and predicting
    • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal, local, or global interest
    • Make observations aimed at identifying their own questions, including increasingly abstract ones, about the natural world
  • Processing and analyzing data and information
    • Experience and interpret the local environment
    • Apply First Peoples perspectives and knowledge, other ways of knowing, and local knowledge as sources of information
    • Seek and analyze patterns, trends, and connections in data, including describing relationships between variables, performing calculations, and identifying inconsistencies

Concepts & Content:

  • Changes in the composition of the atmosphere due to natural and human causes
  • Evidence of climate change
  • First Peoples knowledge of climate change and interconnectedness as related to environmental systems water as a unique resource
    First Peoples knowledge and perspectives of water resources and processes
  • Properties of the ocean and the ocean floor
  • Local and global ocean currents
  • Influences of large bodies of water on local and global climates
  • Effects of climate change on water sources

Big Idea(s):

  • The exploration of text and story deepens our understanding of diverse, complex ideas about identity, others and the world
  • Oral and other texts are socially, geographically, and historically constructed
  • First Peoples texts and stories provide insight into key aspects of Canada’s past, present and future.

Curricular Competencies:

  • Analyze how First Peoples languages and texts reflect their cultures, knowledge, histories and worldviews
  • Demonstrate understanding of the role of story and oral traditions in expressing First Peoples perspectives, values and points of view.
  • Analyze the influence of land/place in First Peoples texts

Concepts & Content:

  • A wide variety of BC, and global First Peoples texts
  • First peoples oral traditions
  • The relationship between oral tradition and land/place

Protocols:

  • Acknowledgment of territory
  • Protocols related to ownership and use of First Peoples oral texts

Texts features and structures:

  • Narrative structures, including those found in First Peoples texts

Strategies and processes:

  • Oral language strategies

Content:

  • natural resource use and local, regional, national, or global development (adapted from Human Geography 12)
  • fundamental nature of knowledge, existence, and reality (adapted from Philosophy 12)
  • sacred texts, traditions, and narratives of cultures (from Comparative World Religions 12)

Kindergarten:

  • Through stories of water we address the language art curricular concept of Explore oral storytelling processes

Grade 1 Science:

  •  Recognize First Peoples stories (including oral and written narratives), songs, and art, as ways to share knowledge

Grade 2 Science:

  • Recognize First Peoples stories (including oral and written narratives), songs, and art, as ways to share knowledge

Grade 3 Science:

  • Recognize First Peoples stories (including oral and written narratives), songs, and art, as ways to share knowledge

Grade 4 science:

  • Energy can be transformed

Grade 5 Science:

  • First Peoples concepts of interconnectedness in the environment. The nature of sustainable practices around BC’s resources. First peoples knowledge of sustainable resources.

 

First Peoples’ Principles of Learning

Which First Peoples’ Principles of Learning apply?

  • Learning is embedded in memory, history and story.
    • This principle connects with the topic of Barkerville’s Indigenous Celebrations because Barkerville is based on history and stories. Although it took some time and patience, Indigenous people are now rightfully added to this history and are being acknowledged for their contribution and sufferings.

Inviting Community

What is one way that teachers could work with community members for this project?

Discussing Lake Kathlyn and its place name.
Birdy Markert, Aboriginal District Principal of SD#54
Work: (250) 847-5517
Email: Birdy.Markert@sd54.bc.ca

Additional Resources & Comments

SOURCES:
Lake Kathlyn Picture – https://www.vrbo.com/en-ca/cottage-rental/p412526vb?preferlocale=true&vgdc=HACA