Treaty 7 - day 5 land acknowledgement

Acknowledging the land helps us remember that this was and is Indigenous land, and people's homes.

These activities can be done alone, but work best with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.

​Grades K-3

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: Michif is the traditional language of the Metis peoples in the Canadian _____. It is a mainly a mixture of Cree and French.

a) Prairies
b) Mountains
c) Lakes

Mindfulness Activity:

  • Imagine that your pointer finger is a candle.
  • Hold up your candle, take a deep breath in, then blow out the candle on your finger for as long as you can.
  • Notice how your breath fills up your belly when you breathe in.

Exploring the Blackfoot Language

Have your child practice saying the greetings below with your family.

  • Good Morning – ah siks ka no to ni
  • Nice Day – ii ta mi ksi tsi ko
  • It's snowing – oo poo ta

Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes Song

Learn how to say different body parts in Blackfoot.

  • Head – moo ta kaan
  • Shoulder – ottsiki
  • Knee – moot to ksis
  • Toe – mookitsis
  • Eye – mo waaps pa
  • Ear- moh to kis
  • Mouth – moo yi
  • Nose – mooh ksi sis

Now use the same melody from the song: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes to practice the Blackfoot words:

Moo ta kaan and ottsiki, moot to ksis and mookitsis
Moot to ksis and mookitsis, Moot to ksis and mookitsis,
Moo ta kaan and ottsiki, moot to ksis, mookitsis
Mo waaps pa, moh to kis, moo yi, mooh ksi sis.

For more information on the Blackfoot language and help on pronouncing the words, visit the Blackfoot Crossing website and the Blackfoot online dictionary.

Giving Thanks Nature Walk

Supplies:

  • Birdseeds, sunflower seeds or peanuts

Watch the Giving Thanks Nature walk video

Traditionally, Indigenous people in Southern Alberta have strong knowledge about the land and are respectful of the gifts that it gives.

Have your child go to their favourite places to play outside and practice giving thanks to nature. Ask them to plant seeds at those places. It could be a favourite rock they like to jump off or a favourite tree. Walk around to your favourite spots and give thanks to all of the magic of nature.

Let's Dance!

Powwows are celebrations that highlight Indigenous music, dances, regalia, food and crafts. Many Indigenous groups in Southern Alberta and across Canada have powwows. Every year, the Calgary Stampede hosts a Powwow celebrating the singing, drumming and dancing of Indigenous culture. Watch this video of a jingle dress dance to see what it’s like.

The songs below are by Indigenous music artists. Listen to three or more of these songs and dance freely. While you’re dancing, think about moving like the animals that traditionally lived on this land like bison, deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, owls, goose, bear and wolves.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • How does it feel to express yourself by dancing?
  • Why do you showing gratitude and giving thanks to nature is important?
  • What other things can you do to show appreciation to nature?

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: Prairies

Grades 4-6

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: True or False: When pitching a new camp, the Blackfoot build their teepees with the entrance facing east.

Mindfulness Activity:

  • "Just right" is a feeling in our bodies. When we are "just right," we feel calm and able to connect with others.
  • Think of one of your best memories.
  • In that memory, how close to “just right’ did you feel? How calm did you feel? How connected?

Land Acknowledgement

Supplies:

  • Pen/pencil
  • Paper

For Indigenous people, the land is important because that’s where their laws and practices come from. The land teaches and provides for the people and it is important to be grateful for that. Acknowledging the land helps us remember that this was and is Indigenous land, and people’s homes. Guiding values for land acknowledgement are humility, respect, and inclusion.

Have your child practice saying the Treaty 7 Nations' names:

  • Siksika – sig(k)siga
  • Piikuni – begun-ee
  • Kainai – gain-uh(wah)
  • Stoney Nakoda – Iyahe Nakoda (the “h” in Iyahe is a soft guttural. This is how to say Stoney Nakoda in the Nakoda language)
  • Tsuut'ina – sue-tin-uh
  • Metis – may-tea

Read the City of Calgary’s land acknowledgement out loud:

We acknowledge the traditional territories of the peoples of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot First Nation tribes of Siksika, the Piikuni, the Kainai; the Stoney Nakoda First Nation tribes of Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley; and the Tsuut'ina First Nation. The City of Calgary is also homeland to the historic Northwest Metis and to Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.

Now, write your own Land Acknowledgement. Here are some questions to consider when you are writing:

  • What do you know about Land Acknowledgement?
  • Why do you think it is meaningful?
  • What do you know about the history of the land your school/house is on?
  • What do you know about the Nations of Treaty 7 that you can say in your Land Acknowledgement?

Treaty 7 Zine

Supplies:

  • Blank paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Magazines/
  • Newspapers
  • Glue
  • Colored pencils, markers, or crayons

A zine is a homemade publication that can be about anything – it's about self-expression and creativity. The idea is to create images and have fun with texts, fonts, and decorations.

Have your child choose 4-6 things they learned about Treaty 7, and the people who live here, through this week’s activities. It can be anything they think is important.

  • Fold a piece of paper in half. Fold it again into quarters, then one more time so that it is folded into eighths. Open your paper so that it is folded in half.
  • Cut halfway across the middle from the fold. When you open your paper, it should have a slit in the middle.
  • Fold your paper lengthwise (along the crease that has the slit).
  • Hold the paper at either end, then push the ends in toward each other. The sections should fold into each other to form an eight-page booklet.
  • Fill in your blank booklet and turn it into a fun and creative zine.

*Photos taken by Calgary Neighbourhoods (Serenella Argueta)

Describing a Place from Childhood

For Indigenous people, the land shapes culture, identity and sense of belonging. There is a spiritual relationship with the land, which is often referred to as Mother Earth.

Have your child reflect on the idea that where you live shapes who you are. Create a relaxing environment. You can add music, scents or dim the lights. Have your child think back to when they were very young. Ask them to use their imagination to go back to a place that was very special to them. Answer the following questions:

  • Where are you? How does it look? Sound? Smell?
  • How does it make you feel to be here?
  • What does this place mean to you?
  • How do you connect to this place?
  • What meaning does this place have for your identity?

For more activities related to connecting to the land, visit the Alberta government website.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • What is it like to feel connected to the land you live on?
  • What do you think about Land Acknowledgements?
  • How can you be respectful of the land you live on?

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Trivia answer: True

Grades 7+

Mindfulness Activity:

Note: These activities are designed to support calming and self-regulation. They use trivia questions to capture focus, then use that focus to complete a mindfulness activity that supports mental health and resiliency.

Question: What is the fastest animal in Alberta? (See answer below).

A: Buffalo
B: Bear
C: Pronghorn antelope

Mindfulness Activity:

Pretend to be mad. Really, really mad. Put your hands on your jaw. Notice how it feels on the inside and outside. Now, slowly smile. Notice your muscles moving. Relax.

Land Acknowledgement

Spanning generations, acknowledgement of the land is a traditional custom of Indigenous people when welcoming outsiders onto their land and into their homes. To build respectful relationships, acknowledging the land is an important part of reconciliation. It honours the authentic history of North America, its original people and tells the story of the creation of this country.

Supplies:

  • Pen
  • Paper

Watch this video from The Calgary Foundation

Why are land acknowledgements important? Who should do land acknowledgements?

Look at the land around your home. You can look out the window, or go to your yard or a park (make sure to respect physical distancing guidelines) and notice the features. Write down as many features of the land as you can. How many can you come up with? 10? 20? 30? If you are having trouble thinking of features, try identifying important places on your street. They could be rocks in a garden, trees in a yard, bird nests, or berry bushes.

Languages of Treaty 7

Language is an important aspect of culture. You communicate, share your feelings, tell stories, pass on learnings, and express yourself through language. Practice the common words below.

Say Hello

  • "Oki" (BLACKFOOT)
  • "Danit'ada" (TSUUT’INA)
  • "Âba Wathtech" (ÎYÂXE NAKODA)
  • "TANSI" (CREE)

Say Buffalo

  • "Iinii" (BLACKFOOT)
  • "Tatonka" (NAKODA)
  • "Hanate" (TSUU T'INA)

Traditional names of the landscape now known as Calgary

  • "Moh-kins-tsis" (BLACKFOOT)
  • "Guts'ists'i" (TSUU T'INA)
  • "Wîchîspa" (STONEY)
  • "Siksikaitsitapi" (BLACKFOOT CONFEDERACY)

On your piece of paper, write down all the different ways, you know how to say hello and the language you are saying it in. When are you finished share them (while staying safe) with your family and see if they can guess which language you are speaking in.

Creating Your Own Land Acknowledgement

Supplies:

  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Plastic Cup
  • Paper

For Indigenous people, the land is important because that's where their laws and practices come from. The land teaches and provides for the people and it is important to be grateful for that. Acknowledging the land helps us remember that this was and is Indigenous land, and people's homes. Guiding values for land acknowledgement are humility, respect, and inclusion.

Use this pronunciation guide to practice saying the Nations of Treaty 7:

  • Siksika - sig(k)siga
  • Piikuni - begun-ee
  • Kainai - gain-uh(wah)
  • Stoney Nakoda - Iyahe Nakoda (the "h" in Iyahe is a soft guttural. This is how to say Stoney Nakoda in the Nakoda language)
  • Tsuut'ina - sue-tin-uh
  • Metis - may-tea

After you have practiced the pronunciation of each nations, write down each nation down without the pronunciation on a piece of paper. Cut out each nation separately and put into the cup. Try this activity with you family or have a virtual call with some friends. Pull out one of the nations written on the paper and present it to your family or friends and see who can say the nations with the proper pronunciations. This is a good opportunity to lead a conversation and help your family and friends learn about the Treaty 7 nations.

Review Questions

  • Why do you think it is important to do a land/territory acknowledgement?
  • How did you feel doing something new such as a land/territory acknowledgement? Excited? Nervous? Unsure? Confused?
  • When was the last time you tried something new and how did you feel then?

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: C: Pronghorn antelope

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