Families

Ilagiit

Families Workshop

This guide is intended to assist facilitators in introducing Newcomers as they begin to explore the foundational history of Indigenous nations and their historical and contemporary contributions to the development of Canada.

This exploration is centred around the traditional family structures of Indigenous peoples, placing them in both historical and contemporary contexts.

The subtitle of the guide is ‘ilagiit’ which means ‘family’ in Inuktitut. Family – which includes extended kinships, social bonds, and attachments to both community and land – are central to Indigenous ways of life.

The activities are meant to fortify Immigration Partnership Winnipeg’s mandate, which include commitments to:

  • active participation and undertaking of tasks in a participatory manner
  • and supporting the settlement and integration of immigrants.

When combined with leadership, teaching, and self-exploration, the following activities are intended to support personal growth and solidarity, and aid Newcomers in being active 21st Canadian citizens. The one-day day workshop encompasses a number of practical activities.

 “If your dad and my dad were brothers, you are not my first cousin, you are my sister, and your children are my children, they’re not my nieces and nephews.” – Kahkakew Larocque, Frog Lake Cree Nation, AB

Each activity includes an introduction, a list of outcomes, step-by-step process for delivery, and suggested essential questions meant to encourage collegial dialogue, promote active engagement, and foster a culture of collective responsibility.

The tasks offer information on Indigenous perspectives on family, kinship, care of children, and familial links between the past, present, and future. This content knowledge is fortified with the development of skills that sharpen participants’ critical thinking and self-reflection.

The activities encourage critical consideration of differing viewpoints, with an emphasis on Indigenous perspectives; they also provide openings to apply new learnings to participants’ personal identity and life experiences.

The day is broken into several activities, ranging from 30 to 60-minutes. Times allotted for each unit are approximate and may vary according to audience size, levels of interaction, English proficiency, and background knowledge.

Facilitators may build in time for collegial conversations; however, when time is limited, they are expected to guide the group so that all topics and activities are delivered.

Times are approximate — the facilitator will need to be flexible know when to determine when groups need more or less time. The decision to add more time should be based on the richness or benefits of continuing the discussion.

While this page will offer information on the workshop activities the Families Facilitator’s Guide provides a complete lesson plan with important details for each activity and information regarding supplementary materials.

Teacher’s Guide

Workshop Supply List, Checklist and Agenda
Supplies and Materials

 

Protocol
  • Tobacco and gifts for Elder and/or guest speaker
Printed Materials
  • 1 laminated copy of Agenda and Learning Outcomes
  • Facilitator’s Guide
Handouts
  • Evaluation Forms (one per participant)
Facilitator Checklist
  • Print participant handouts.

  • Arrange classroom for student discussion.

  • Set up screen and computer with projector.

  • Prepare/assemble activity supplies (legal sized sheets of unlined paper, markers, etc.)

  • Prepare table supplies (sticky notes, highlighters)

  • Art supplies: jute twine, cardstock paper, single hole punches, scissors

  • Prepare traditional territory and Treaty land acknowledgment statement.

  • Assemble gifts/tobacco for guests/Elders.

  • Do necessary pre-reading for facilitation.

  • Test internet, audio, and video

Agenda

Use this blank agenda to plan your workshop. See page 6 Facilitator’s Guide or download here

Activities

1. Opening and Introductions
Purpose

The purpose of the opening and introductions is to provide participants with an overview of the day, including the learning outcomes and essential questions.

 

Outcomes
  • Welcome participants
  • Establish expectations for the day (review agenda, and identify learning outcomes and essential questions)
  1. Welcome participants and introduce facilitators.
  2. Introduce special guests and Elders, if present.
  3. Explain housekeeping items, such as break times, restroom locations, etc.
  4. Review the agenda and comment on any flexibility in timing or content, if applicable.
  5. Share the day’s intended learning outcomes.
  6. Provide an overview of essential questions.
    1. Essential questions are intended to encourage dialogue, promote active engagement, and foster a culture of collective responsibility among participants.
  7. Encourage participants to be a learning community. One way to do this is through a shared lexicon of hand symbols.
    1. Show participants the hand symbols for ‘repeat,’ ‘slow down/stop,’ and ‘got it!’
    2. Remind students that they are a learning community and invite them to parrot other participants to ensure that the facilitators get the message.
  8. Establish group protocols for how we want to work together. These might include listening attentively, participating actively, turning cell phones off/on silent, respecting each other, etc.
Activity 1 Additional Resources
Time: 30 minutes

Families Facilitator Guide

 

2. Defining Family
Purpose

 

The purpose of this activity is to examine how family structures and perspectives of family differ between cultures and groups.

 

Outcomes
  • Define family as it relates to one’s own culture, experiences, and worldviews.
  • Explore concepts and terms related to family, e.g.: extended family, kinship, non-familial, community, etc.
  1. Introduce the activity by focussing a discussion on ‘what is family’. Capture participants’ ideas on chart paper or whiteboard.
  2. Expand the discussion by asking: What members make up a family? In what ways to family units and members support each other? What keys terms are associated with the idea of family?
  3. Distribute sheets of lined paper, one per participant. Instruct them to make a list of their own family members. Suggest they write a person’s name and their relationship.
  4. For example: Name: Obiora      Relationship: Cousin

  5. Tell the participants to define relationships as they see fit.
  6. After several minutes of independent work, invite participants to share with the whole group
  7. Display or distribute a typical family tree template.
  8. Ask: Have you seen a template like this before? If so, where? Does your list of family members fit into this template? What types of families does this template capture? What types of families does this template leave out?
  9. Invite participants to think about extended family, community, non-familial relationships, and their role in their well-being. Invite them to, if they wish, add to the list of family they wrote on the lined paper.
  10. Distribute sheets of unlined paper, one per participant. Instruct them to draw/sketch a ‘Circle of Caring’ to show their family and/or the people who make up a caring community for them. Tell them to add colour, drawings etc.
  11. Once completed, tape their ‘Circle of Caring’ images on the back of their chair. Invite participants to walk about and view each others.
Essential Questions
    • How do you define family?
    • In what ways do diverse cultures and groups define family?
    • What is the role of extended family, community, non-familial relationships in your own well-being?
Activity 2 Additional Resources
3. Kinship, Care, & Family Structures
Purpose

The purpose of this activity is to examine the role and importance of extended kinship in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit family structures and the collective responsibility in the care of children.

Outcomes

  • Examine the role and importance of extended kinship in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit family structures.
  • Appreciate the collective responsibility in the care of children in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities.
  1. Explain that First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) family structures differ from the typical nuclear family in Western culture. FNMI families have strong family values, are often extended, and share collective responsibility towards children. FNMI families may be related by blood but can also be tied by clan or other social structures. There is a collective responsibility for raising children.
  2. Distribute Do Your LAPS worksheet, one per participant. Read over and explain the process.
  3. Read aloud Part 1: Ethan’s Story. Pause and check for understanding as needed.
  4. Read aloud Part 2: Kelly’s Letter. Allow time for them to complete the LAPS activity.
  5. Invite them to share their responses with a partner.
  6. Recap the story of Ethan and Kelly. Focus on the collective responsibility towards children in FNMI families.
Essential Questions

  

  • In what ways do First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) family structures differ from the typical nuclear family in Western culture?
  • How are family and kindship defined in FNMI family structures?
  • What is the role of the community in the care of children in FNMI families?
  • How similar are these similar or different from the experiences in your own family and cultures?
Activity 3 Additional Resources

Time: 45 minutes

Materials

Facilitator Resource 3.1: Do Your LAPS – one per participant

Resources/Links

Ontario Association of Children’s Aids Societies: A letter from Kelly to her local Children’s Aid Society’s Kin Team describing the first year with her nephew Ethan

Facilitator’s Guide Resources

Facilitator Resource 3.2: The Story of Ethan and Kelly

4. Seven Generations
Purpose

The purpose of this presentation is to consolidate understandings of Indigenous concepts of family by connecting them to the teaching of Seven Generations.

Outcomes
  • Discuss the Indigenous concept of Seven Generations.
  • Connect Indigenous concepts of family and Severn Generations.
  1. Invite seven volunteers to come to the front of the room. Ask them to stand abreast/side-by-side. Point out the fourth person; they will have three people standing on either side of them.
  2. Tell the group that the fourth person represents the present. Ask: what do the people on either side represent? [The past and the future].
  3. Provide an overview of the Indigenous concept of ‘Seven Generations’. Ask: How does the concept of family fit into this concept?
  4. Read Facilitator Resource 4.1: We are Connected to a Community
  5. Invite participants to sit.
  6. Watch video: ’Seven Generations’ [2:35] 
  7. Have them take note of the ‘Circle of Caring’ graphic that they taped to the back of their chairs. Ask: Do you see yourself? Your past? Your future?
  8. Lead a group discussion and debrief.
Essential Questions
  • What are main points of the concept of Seven Generations?
  • In what ways are the concepts of Indigenous family (kinship, extended family, etc.) and Seven Generations connected?
Activity 4 Additional Resources

Time: 30 minutes

Preparation/Materials
  • Access to internet with audio and video
  • Copy of Facilitator Resource 4.1: We are Connected to a Community
Resources/Links

Academic Algonquin/’Seven Generations’ : video 2:35

Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies,Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Families Who Have Experienced Family Violence,

The Seventh Generation: Native Students Speak about Finding the Good Path

How the Healing of the Seven Generations Came to Be

 

Facilitator’s Guide Resources

We Are Connected to a Community Facilitator Resource 4.1

 

5. The Gradual Civilization Act
Purpose

The purpose of this presentation is to explore the impacts of enfranchisement on Indigenous communities brought about by the Gradual Civilization Act, 1857.

 

Outcomes
  • Identify the key points of the Gradual Civilization Act of 1857.
  • Define enfranchisement as it applies to Indigenous peoples.
  1. Provide an overview of the Gradual Civilization Act of 1857. Facilitator Resource 5.1: The Gradual Civilization Act (1857). Note that the act was a forerunner to the 1876 Indian Act.
  2. Open the floor to discussion. Check for understanding of key terms: enfranchisement, “Enfranchised Indian”, etc.
  3. Distribute copies of Facilitator Resource 5.2: The Gradual Civilization Act (1857) – one or two per table group. Allow a few minutes to read over. Encourage table discussion
  4. Instruct the participants to write 3-2-1 on a sheet of paper. Ask them to write: – 3 details or key points about the Gradual Enfranchisement Act – 2 questions they have – Tell them to leave the ‘1’ blank for the time being.
  5. After several minutes of independent work, invite participants to share their 3 details/key points and 2 questions with a partner.
  6. Guide and assist as necessary
Essential Questions
  • What were the primary aims of the Gradual Civilization Act of 1857?
  • What does the term enfranchisement mean?
  • What impacts did Gradual Civilization Act of 1857 have on Indigenous people in Canada?
Activity 5 Additional Resources

Time: 45 minutes

 

Resources/Links
Facilitator’s Guide Resources
Supplies
  • Facilitator Resource 5.2: A Foundation in Law – one per participant
6. Breaking Family Connections
Purpose

The purpose of this activity is to explore how the Indian Act has impacted Indigenous families regarding culture, ancestry, identity.

 

Outcomes
  • Explain how the Indian Act negatively affected Indigenous families.
  • Outline how family, ancestry, and identity connected.
  • Define ‘blood quantum’ as it applies to Indigenous peoples. 
  1. Reiterate that the Gradual Enfranchisement Act was a precursor to the Indian Act.
  2. Write the term “Enfranchisement” on the white board and facilitate a whole group discussion about loss of “Indian Status” based on these two terms.
  3. Show the clip ‘Club Native’ [clip, 22:48 – 26:44].
  4. Open the floor to comments and questions.
  5. Show the clip ‘Club Native’ [clip, 47:28 – 50:20].
  6. Open the floor to comments and questions.
  7. Add the term “Blood Quantum” to the white board and facilitate a whole group discussion linking it to loss of “Indian Status”.
  8. Instruct the participants to refer to their 3-2-1 sheet.
  9. Tell them to compete the ‘1’ section by writing 1 connection they made based on the topics of the Gradual Civilization Act, the Indian Act, enfranchisement, blood quantum, family, etc.
  10. After several minutes of independent work, invite participants to share their 1 connection with a partner.
  11. Bring the group together as a whole for a consolidating discussion.
  12. Ask: In what ways has the Indian Act Indigenous families regarding bloodline, ancestry, identity?
  13. Guide and assist as necessary.
Essential Questions
  • In ways did/does the Indian Act negatively affect Indigenous families?
  • What does the term ‘blood quantum’ mean?
  • How are family, ancestry, and identity connected?

 

Activity 6 Additional Resources
Time: 45 minutes

 

Resources/Links
Supplies
  • Access to internet with audio and video
  • Whiteboard
7. The Roots of Connection
Purpose

The purpose of this art activity is to apply the concept of “Seven Generations” and family ties than transcend time to their own family structures.

 

Outcomes
  • Confirm the intergenerational importance of family.
  • Link family to the ancestors of the past and the children of the future.
  • Consolidate previous understandings pertaining to Indigenous people and family.
      1. Invite participants to remove their ‘Circle of Caring’ graphics from the back of their chairs.
      2. Ask them to think about what they learned during the Seven Generations activity earlier in the day. Do they see the Seven Generations in their graphic? Do they see the past? The future?
      3. Lead a class discussion.
      4. Reinforce what they have explored by asking: What is the importance of family? How do Indigenous peoples define family? Kinship? Extended family? What is the role of ancestors? Of children? How does your family fit into this?
      5. Explain they will be doing an art activity that is meant to visually link generations. Refer to Facilitator Resource 7.1: We Are Connected to a Community That Transcends Time.
      6. Distribute art supplies. Walk through the process and significance of the activity.
      7. Have them create their ‘Generations’ rope.
      8. Re-read Facilitator Resource 4.1: We are Connected to a Community.
      9. Lead a class discussion.
      10. Optional: Invite participants to share their ‘Generations’ ropes by reading aloud what they wrote on one or more circles.

Essential Questions

    • What is the importance of family?
    • How do Indigenous peoples define family? Kinship? Extended family? What is the role of ancestors? Of children?
    • How does your family fit into this?
Activity 7 Additional Resources

Time: 60 minutes

Facilitator’s Guide Resources

 

Supplies
  • Jute twine cut into 2-foot lengths – one per participant
  • Cardstock – one per participant
  • Single hole punches
  • Scissors
8. Closing and Evaluations
Purpose

The purpose of the closing activity is to debrief on the workshop and close the day in a good way. The evaluation exercise is intended to provide participants with the opportunity to share feedback.

Outcomes
  • Identify key takeaways for participants and close the day in a good way
  1. Lead participants in a closing circle.
  2. Share the circle protocols and teachings. Model expectations for the circle
    • Be brief and to the point; say “thank you” and pass the talking stick or stone to the next person (always to the left).
  3. Introduce the reflection question or topic for discussion. Below are some examples:
    • One thing I’m taking away from the workshop…
    • One thing I’ll share with family and friends…
    • One way I’ll use (new skill/new knowledge) that I learned during the workshop…
    • How I would update my personal land acknowledgement…
  4. Once everyone has shared, thank participants for sharing as a way of closing the circle.
  5. Encourage participants to complete an evaluation before leaving.
Essential Questions
  • What purpose do urban reserves serve?
  • Is urban land Indigenous land?
  • How can you support Indigenous resurgence?
  • What does it mean to stand in solidarity with Indigenous people?
Activity 8 Additional Resources
Time: 20 minutes – additional 10 mins for evaluation

 

Resources/Links
Facilitator’s Guide Resources
Supplies
  • Talking stick or stone