Learning Story – A Visit From Lila Erasmus

Learning Story – A Visit From Lila Erasmus

The Week of January 31, 2023

What Happened? 

On our first day, we created a treaty agreement with each other based on the concept of a treaty that was made as early as 1613. We shared a picture of a Two Row Wampum Belt that was made to represent how two nations would live in relationship with each other – the Haudenosaunee peoples (Mohawk) and the Dutch. The purple beaded rows represent a European ship and an Indigenous canoe, navigating the same river and going in the same direction without impeding each other’s way of life, languages, knowledge, worldviews and cultures. Three white beaded rows represent peace, friendship and respect. The agreement of peaceful co-existence is to last forever. 

The Bushkids spent most of the day cooking (bannock, whitefish and tea made from snow) and playing on the lake (it was warm with no wind). They built and buffed a small ice rink, they wrestled and did front flips in the snow, they visited someone who was ice fishing and climbed on a tree all afternoon that fell down in a big wind storm in the fall. 

Why is this important? 

The Bushkids began developing their own agreement about how they would have relationships with each other that are friendly, peaceful and respectful forever. Everything comes from Land, peoples, cultures, knowledge and worldviews. Everyday the first thing we do is acknowledge the Land, the fire and our ancestors. All of this sets the foundation for understanding the Dene Law “Share what you have”.

What does this mean for next time? 

The Bushkids would like to make their own Two Row Wampum Belt together next week. We will bring beads and string and learn how to loom it together. Our discussions will focus on applying the concept of the Two Row Wampum Belt to Bushkids and what it means to “share what you have” at Bushkids. The Bushkids would like to share more bannock and fish together and go fishing in the lake!