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Land as Our First Teacher: Exploring Relationships between Indigenous Storytelling and Pedagogical Documentation

February 15 @ 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

The Oral Tradition of Ojibwe storytelling maintains a continuous relationship with 40 000 years of Land-based Knowledge of living in harmony and balance with Mother Earth and each other. Since the mid 20th century, storytelling through pedagogical documentation has emerged from Reggio Emilia, Italy as a way to build relationships in early learning. The intention for the day will be to explore the relationships between these different approaches to storytelling as they relate to the Land as our first teacher.

In keeping with Ojibwe protocol, our day will begin with Opening Ceremony and Traditional Storytelling by Gokoomis (Grandmother) Jacque(line) Lavalley, Marten Clan, Shawanaga First Nation. Following that Traditional Opening, we will take a walking tour exploring and documenting the story of the Land currently in the care of the Mississaugas of the Credit and Kortright Centre for Conservation.

After lunch, a panel of pedagogical leaders including Suzanne Axelsson from Sweden, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Picher from Storypark, Nicole Comrie-Bain from St. Veronica Children’s Centre, Brenda Simon from Natural Curiosity and Hopi Martin who is studying the relationship between Ojibwe methodology and Ontario Early Years Pedagogy (How Does Learning Happen?) will discuss Land-based pedagogical documentation using the online platform of Storypark.

Our day will end with a Closing Ceremony led by Gokoomis Jacque Lavalley.

Also featured — Natural Curiosity (whose pedagogy will be featured throughout the day) will have a booth set up throughout the day. Parentbooks will be selling books from Reggio Children, children’s books and other relevant publications. Rosalba Bortolotti, consultant and pedagogist will be sharing documentation panels.

By purchasing a ticket to this event you will be contributing to the Land as First Teacher fund designed to make conservation lands accessible to urban Indigenous children and their families by helping with transportation costs, honariums for Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and other material costs that support Land based Indigenous Education. All proceeds of additional donations purchased at checkout will go directly to the Indigenous Education Fund.


8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 to 10:00 Lighting the Fire: Opening Ceremony

10:00 to 11:30 Sending Out Roots: Walking and Documenting the Story of the Land

11:30 to 12:30 Lunch

12:30 to 3:30 The Flow of Knowledge: Storypark Panel Discussion on Pedagogical Documentation

3:30 to 4:00 Breathing with the World: Closing Ceremony