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Learning to be Dene in Black Lake First Nation “We have very little, but we have everything” Quote from the late, respected Elder Leon Cook, Black lake.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning to be Dene in Black Lake First Nation “We have very little, but we have everything” Quote from the late, respected Elder Leon Cook, Black lake."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning to be Dene in Black Lake First Nation “We have very little, but we have everything” Quote from the late, respected Elder Leon Cook, Black lake Denesuline First Nation

2 The elders, Joseph Toutsaint, John Toutsaint, Martin Broussie, Senator Simon Robllard, are opening the graduation ceremony at Father Porte Memorial School. The community was involved in the ceremony where the students were honored for their success. As part of the Dene culture, the drum is respected and used for ceremonial purposes. The elders come to community events and are respected.

3 At our First Nations University Culture Camp at Middle Lake in 2011, we are showing appreciation to our community Elder, Joe Renie, with a gift from us, presented by Val Toutsaint, for teaching us and sharing knowledge of our culture and language.

4 This is the official opening the new Joe Cook Memorial Youth Centre in Black Lake in the summer of An Elder, (Lucy Robillard) child (Cherelle Cook) and newly elected Chief (Ricky Robillard) and Councillors were involved in the event. The child is learning to be a role model as she is observing and participating. They are demonstrating respect and appreciation for Elders and children. In sharing this special moment they are showing love and caring for their community. The councillors are demonstrating team work.

5 The Elders and Youth are drumming as a group welcoming the people from all around Saskatchewan to the “Dene Gathering” in Black Lake in Elders, adults and young teenagers were involved. The children are learning the skill of drumming and singing (chanting). The purpose for drumming is to start any kind of ceremonies or other celebrations. It brings children together with elders and young adults. Traditional Drumming teaches about respect and creating love and friendship.

6 The people are having a “Tea Dance” in Lac Brochet in The Elders, adults and young teenagers and children were involved. The children are learning the skill to dance and hold hands as they are dancing. The purpose for this activity is to continue a life-long tradition. Traditional Dancing brings all people together. It is about bonding and celebrating being Dene. Traditionally people would give a gift to ask a person to hold their hand while you danced with them. You were expected to accept the gift and the offer to dance.

7 This is the Drum dance at the culture camp located just outside of Black Lake where everyone joins hands bonding together as one. The children learn to sing along with the beat, drumming and dancing. Children are also learning how Dene people celebrate an event in the old days. The fire clears your mind so you know how to find your way. As Denesuline people, the dance shows respect, honoring, caring, keeping the culture and language alive as people speak to each other, to make them laugh, to make it fun.

8 The adult is getting the community Easter Egg hunt ready for the children. Celebration is an event that the Dene people share as a community. The children are learning that community people are involved in different events. The adults are modeling how to communicate with other people and children learn to interact with one another while having fun together and celebrating their religious beliefs.

9 The elder is teaching his grandson how to hunt moose in the fall by the Fond Du Lac River. Grandpa, Freddie Throassie, is teaching his grandson, Casey Throassie, how to cut up moose and take the moose out of the water. The child is learning to have respect for animals, and to value the traditional culture of hunting and survival skills of the Dene.

10 People go hunting to prepare food for the summer north of Black Lake on NWT border. Only men can go hunting in the cold winter season. The children learn how to hunt, cut up caribou and survival skills in the wilderness. The adult is demonstrating how to cut up caribou meat. The adults are sharing their knowledge on hunting, sharing meat with others, helping and respect by collecting all the food. Delbert and Darwin Bouvier

11 Every year Father Porte Memorial Dene School has a school hunting trip in North West Territories. The elders are showing students how to cut up the caribou and the name of the different parts that are all used. The elders also taught them where to hunt for caribou in the winter time. The students are learning that they are Denesuline by respecting what the elders are teaching them, by living of the land. This culture education has been taught by the elders from generation to generation.

12 On Father’s day; Ashton Sayasie (Bebe Deneyu) went fishing with his parents on Black Lake. He was so excited about catching the fish because it was his first time. He asked too many questions about the fish. His parents taught him how to catch the fish using the fishing rod. This is our way of teaching children how to go fishing and teach them how to respect the traditional food that people live off and enjoy sharing the fish with others. When you go on the lake you give the lake a gift for safe travel.

13 The children, Darnea and Darnen (Hislo) Bouvier, are learning how to pick berries by watching what the parents are doing. The children also learn that they should not leave their spots for their safety. So children listen and stay where they were supposed to be. The elders showed the children how to pick the berries without the leaves. The children were asking why they were picking berries and the elders where teaching them about the values of berry picking and making blue berry jam, blue berry muffins and blue berry pies.

14 Ashlynn Cook is picking blueberries near Elizabeth Falls. She is learning the difference between picking wild blueberries and buying blueberries. The adults are teaching her that blueberries are free and how the Dene people are live off the land. Blueberries are an important part of Dene diet.

15 The Dene people help each other make the fire and prepare the food to share with one another. The traditional food comes from the land and includes caribou head, fried fish, baked fish and caribou ribs cooked over an open fire.

16 The children, Tyler Sandypoint and Jacob Beavereye, are learning the oral history of how the Dene people used to hunt using bow and arrows. The elders shared stories on how in the past as children, their Grandparents showed how to make their own miniature bow and arrow with materials such as willows, caribou sinew for the string, and sharp rock or bone to puncture through the flesh. Motor skills and independence are developed at a young age to get them prepared to hunt by themselves. The Elders demonstrate safety precautions’ how to aim and shoot the arrow away from others. The students are learning to be respectful when using their traditional hunting tools and when killing an animal. The students have a sense of pride showing their family and friends the bows and arrows they have made.

17 The people involved are a group of Elders because this activity takes team work and is time consuming. During the activity the Elders shared stories. The children are learning Dene words as Enaltthi (scraper made from caribou bone). The Elders, Nelda Cook and William Bouvier, are demonstrating how to prepare moose hide that was used to make clothing in the past. They demonstrate and advise of safety precautions such as not to cut yourself or rip the moose hide. The Dene people always had lots to do in a day; they were hard workers who valued and depended on each other for survival.

18 Drawing of life experience on the land This experience was in Pine Channel where Black Lake people and the surrounding communities gather to pray. The parents, grand-parents, elders, and friends work together to prepare the area and set up tents for homes, in the traditional way of living for the Dene people. The child’s (Shaylee Echodh) drawing in the sand reflects her observations and appreciation of the experience of how the Dene people come together with each other.

19 This pilgrimage for the Athabaska Dene people is at Pine Channel between Stony Rapids and Fond Du Lac where there is no technology and people live off the land. They gather on an annual basis for spiritual strength. The Eucharist ministers, bishop, priest, elder, parents and teenage girls and boys and children are all involved in preparing the youth for their confirmation. The adults are supporting the youth to be strong catholic followers by leading in prayer and song. Mass is conducted twice a day. The children learn how to get along with other communities, how to sing gospel songs in Dene, and to be strong Catholic and Denesuline. The values they learn are to work together to enjoy their time together as one people

20 LOVE: CELEBRATING NEW LIFE; STARTING A NEW PATH IN LIFE In our community we celebrate baptism to welcome new life in the community of Catholic faith. Rodney Joseph Kkallther, 17 days old

21 In our community we: Respect our Dene language and cultural identity Respect our Elders and traditional knowledge Share laughter and celebrations that bond us together as families and as a community Value independence and team work Take pride in our hard work and accomplishments Value our Catholic faith and Dene traditions Respect our surroundings: the land, water, animals, air Love and care for ourselves and others

22 Prepared by the Black Lake Denesuline Teacher Education Students EIND 305 class Alphonse, Tina Benoanie, Rita Bouvier, Rhonda Bouvier, Rose Cook, Darcey Cook, Tracy Echodh, Jacqueline Mercredi, Marilyn Renie, Colleen Robillard, Maggie Sandypoint, Shirley Sayazie, Albertine Sayazie, Margie Toutsaint, Carrie With Linda Goulet


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