We are excited to offer a Cree Language program for students in Gr. 4-6, where students learn the Cree language and culture.
A typical Nehiyawewin class follows the routine below:
- Sanitation Protocol (face masks and hand sanitization)
- Daily Schedule written on whiteboard
- Calendar, Weather, Season
- Cree Sound Chart
- Words of the Day
- Nehiyawewin Language Building: oral speaking activities, listening activities, viewing opportunities, writing activities, singing, and TPR (Total Physical Response). TPR is a method of teaching language or vocabulary concepts by using physical movement to react to verbal input. The process mimics the way that infants learn their first language, and it reduces student inhibitions and lowers stress. The purpose of TPR is to create a brain link between speech and action to boost language and vocabulary learning. TPR includes actions, movements, clapping.
- Cultural Teachings
Examples of cultural teachings that will be woven into our language instruction include:
- Significance of Elders - Elders provide us with so many important teachings as they are called to lead us in prayer. They teach us about the importance of tobacco, language, storytelling, and ceremonies such as the Pipe Ceremony.
- Tobacco Offering Protocol
- Tipi Teachings
- Medicines (sage, sweetgrass, cedar, fungus)
- Métis Week
- Drum Residency
We are using the Alberta Education 9-Year Program Guide to Implementation for Cree Language and Culture Grades 4-5-6. We started the program last year so the Cree students of 2019-2020 completed Cree 4. This year’s grade 4 students will complete Cree 4, and the grades 5 and 6 students will complete Cree 5.
Other resources available to us include:
- Elders’ Council, Edmonton Catholic School Division
- Indigenous Learning Services, Edmonton Catholic School Division