Target audience: Grades K-8 Educators, Administrators, Coaches (note: Grades 9-12 Educators are also welcome)
Join us for this powerful and engaging book study series that will not only deepen your own learning around an Indigeneous Perspective, but will also prepare and support you in having authentic and meaningful dialogue within your school and community.
We are honoured to have authors and educators Charlene and Wilson Bearhead guide us through a personal tour of their children’s book series entitled, “Siha Tooskin Knows”.
During this book study Wilson and Charlene will highlight 2 books in each session as they guide us through the ways of knowing and being of an 11-year-old Nakota boy living in an urban centre in the present day. Wilson and Charlene will share some key teachings that can help us to live together in a good way. They will also offer ideas of how teachings from Siha Tooskin can be used as jumping off points to explore the ways of knowing and being of the original people where you are living, learning and teaching. We will even learn some Nakota language together!!!
Through examples offered by the authors, along with some lively dialogue among the book study participants, the books and teachings will be connected to various curricular areas and ideas will be shared for how you might relate these teachings to your own lived experiences and those of your students.
You will be invited to take an idea from each session and try it out in your own classroom to share your experiences back with the group at the beginning of the next session. Wilson and Charlene are excited to create a safe space to learn from, and share with, one another within an inviting and inspiring learning community. The authors welcome you to email your questions and insights between sessions as well and they will happily respond to you in the interim or address your inquiries at the following session as you wish
You are asked to purchase your own books, ideally, prior to Session 1, October 19, 2021. The books are not included in the registration fee.
Session 1- October 19, 2021
Session 2- November 2, 2021
Session 3- November 16, 2021
Session 4:November 30, 2021
On Overview of The Book Series
Siha Tooskin Knows is a series of 8 early chapter books that have been embraced and widely used across Turtle Island to read aloud to younger children, read with older children and teens, and to educate adults of all cultures and walks of life. Siha Tooskin, or Paul Wahasaypa as he is known to his teachers and school friends, is an 11-year-old Nakota boy living in an urban centre with his Ena (mom), Ade (dad) as well as his little brother, Danny. The family even welcomes a baby sister, Laura, in the 4th book, Siha Tooskin Knows the Catcher of Dreams. Siha Tooskin loves spending time with Mitoshin (grandpa), Mugoshin (grandma) and his Uncle Lenard as he learns so much from each of them. You will also get a glimpse into experiences in Siha Tooskin’s life where he is able to share his culture and knowledge with his non-Indigenous classmates, neighbors and even his teacher. The books do have a subtle sequence based on the seasons and times of the year that the stories occur but each book stands on its own in terms of the story and the teachings. Baby Laura joins the family in the fourth book so is not mentioned in the first three. Each book contains a glossary of Nakota terms that appear in the respective book as well as an explanation of the dialect of Nakota and the spelling used in the Siha Tooskin Knows series.
Charlene Bearheadis a mother, grandmother, community member, experienced educator and education innovator with 30 years of regional, national and international experience in the field. Most recently Charlene served as the first Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. Currently Charlene serves as the Education Coordinator for the National Inquiry in to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the Coordinator - First Nations, Métis and Inuit Relations for the Alberta School Boards Association and an Education Consultant for CASS as well as the co-chair of the Downie-Wenjack Fund Board of Directors and is a member of the Pathways to Education Canada Indigenous Education Advisory Circle.
Charlene previously served as the National Coordinator for Project of Heart, the primary focus of which is the education of Canadians on the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada, and for the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation, the primary goal of which is to educate Canadians on the legacy of federal government policy on various ethnic groups throughout Canada’s history and to promote respect and reconciliation. Ms. Bearhead coordinated the Education Days within the TRC National Events for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which focused on inspiring teachers and students to further educate themselves around the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools as well as to support and facilitate the building of positive and respectful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.
Wilson Bearheadis Nakota, a member of the Wabamun Lake First Nation in Treaty 6 territory and the co-author of the children’s book series, Siha Tooskin Knows. Wilson has served as Chief in his own community, Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty 6 as well as the Assembly of First Nations Alberta Regional Chief. Wilson was the first Elder in Residence for Edmonton Public Libraries before moving to serve as the Elder for Elk Island Public Schools for 4 years and is now the Elder in Residence at Victoria School for the Arts in Edmonton Public Schools. Wilson is the recent recipient of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation Indigenous Elder Award. Wilson’s grandmother Annie was a powerful, positive influence in his young life, teaching him all of the lessons that gave him the strength, knowledge, and skills to overcome difficult times and embrace the gifts of life.
Please remember to purchase your set of 8 books (the bundle purchase is recommended.) Books are not included in the registration fee.
Link to purchase books: https://www.portageandmainpress.com/product/siha-tooskin-knows-set-buy-together-and-save/
Note: if you are participating with a colleague you are welcome to share books