Indigenous Resurgence

Students learn about the ability of Indigenous resurgence to revitalize Indigenous lifeways and engender empowerment within community. Students engage in a beading project as an example of Indigenous resurgence.

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Indigenous Resurgence


•Video: Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) by Leanne Simpson •CBC Article on Beadwork as Indigenous Resurgence.pdf •Video Beads, Brit Ellis, TVO Indigenous •Beadwork as Indigenous Resurgence.pdf • Wampum Infographic • Wampum Inspired Art Activity

An Indigenous community member should be invited into your classroom to help provide the cultural teachings surrounding beadwork.

  • Teacher introduces students to the concept of Indigenous resurgence. Indigenous resurgence is generated by community members refusing to have their life ways and connections to the land erased by colonization. Instead, Indigenous community members are engaging in Indigenous land-based practices to revitalize their life ways, seek empowerment, and exist outside of the structures provided by the government. This could link to a larger discussion of how the institutions and structures provided by the government have not always operated with the best interests of Indigenous communities in mind. An example all students will recognize is residential school. Accordingly, it makes sense for Indigenous people to want to work to thrive outside of the confines of government institutions.
  • It is important that this conversation focuses on Indigenous joy, strength and resiliency as opposed to narratives of Indigenous pain and victimization. 
  • Teacher shows the following video: Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) by Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, artist, and activist Leanne Simpson:
  • Teacher asks students how the video depicts Indigenous resurgence.
  • This can be connected to a discussion regarding the ongoing importance of many cultural activities including beading. Many Indigenous peoples are continuing to bead to reclaim a connection to their culture eroded by colonization. While many beading techniques remain the same materials and designs are changing to reflect cultural change. This is reflected in the article found in CBC Article on Beadwork as Indigenous Resurgence.pdf and in the video: Beads, Brit Ellis, TVO Indigenous: How Indigenous beading is a lifeline for this artist | TVO Today
  • Teacher can teach Indigenous inspired beadwork to students. Indigenous inspired beadwork is one way integrate math and patterning connections into science learning.
  • Look at the CBC article titled Beadwork as Indigenous Resurgence.pdf, the Wampum Infographic.pdfand the Wampum Inspired Art Activity.pdf for insight into how to facilitate beading with your students. To learn more, you can also refer to Learning Activity 10: Two-Row Wampum in the Indigenous Knowledge Learning Bundle. Please note that an Indigenous community member must be invited into the learning environment to deliver beadwork teachings.