The First Thanksgiving in North America Was Not Held by Europeans

The descendants of European settlers are brought up believing that it was their ancestors who celebrated the first thanksgiving after surviving the harsh weather, and overcoming the uncertainty of ingesting unknown plants and animals of their new “home”. This is not true. But where did it begin? Here’s a brief look at its origins.

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11 Things You Should Know About Indigenous Oral Traditions

"Storyteller" by Dale Stonechild. Photo: Daryl Mitchell, flickr

Oral traditions retain the history of Indigenous Peoples by passing cultural information from one generation to the next. For Indigenous communities creation stories, connections to the land, historical accounts, traditional ecological knowledge, teachings, language, and culture stories have been kept alive through oral traditions for thousands of years. These stories and accounts have been passed from generation to generation without ever being transcribed - when you think about it, that’s a stunning amount of information that has been and continues to be retained and shared.

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11 Ways to Virtually Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

In National Indigenous Peoples Day: 10 Ways to Celebrate we have suggestions for celebrating this important day. Most of the suggestions involve attending an event or visiting a site. What a difference a year makes. National Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 celebrations are among the many events that have been cancelled due to the pandemic. We didn’t want you to miss out so we’ve compiled a list of 10 activities you can enjoy at home.

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What is an Indigenous Medicine Wheel?

By Bob Joseph

"The circle, being primary, influences how we as Aboriginal peoples view the world. In the process of how life evolves, how the natural world grows and works together, how all things are connected, and how all things move toward their destiny. Aboriginal peoples see and respond to the world in a circular fashion and are influenced by the examples of the circles of creation in our environment". [1]

There isn’t a simple answer to the question as medicine wheels (sometimes called hoops) come in more than one form, and their significance and use are culture-specific. There is, however, one fundamental similarity besides the shape - medicine wheels represent the alignment and continuous interaction of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realities. The circle shape represents the interconnectivity of all aspects of one’s being, including the connection with the natural world. Medicine wheels are frequently believed to be the circle of awareness of the individual self; the circle of knowledge that provides the power we each have over our own lives.

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National Indigenous History Month - Why It’s Important

pow wow dancing
Photo: Shutterstock

June is National Indigenous History Month - a time for all Canadians - Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers - to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. It’s important to keep in mind that First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples each have their own unique histories. And within each group, there are distinct histories.

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The Role of Indigenous Games in Culture

Photo: Shutterstock

Agility, strength, balance, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, accuracy, strategy, intuition, and patience. These are skills Indigenous hunters and fishermen relied on to feed their communities. And those skills were learned at an early age through games and maintained throughout adulthood through play.

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Debunking Misconceptions About First Nation Totem Poles

Photo: Shutterstock

There’s lots of lore and misconceptions about First Nation totem poles. In this article, we address six of the more common misconceptions.

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The Importance of Indigenous Radio

By Olivia Marie Golosky

When we think of the radio landscape in Canada, especially in the mainstream context, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) is at the forefront of everyone's mind. While having new programming that is dedicated to Indigenous issues/content (Rosanna Deerchild’s Unreserved, Candy Palmater’s The Candy Show and Jarrett Martineau's Reclaimed), there is an obvious gap and lack of Indigenous representation within our nation’s largest radio broadcaster. Delving a bit deeper into radioland, we find the Campus & Community Radio stations. One would think these are more indie less mainstream therefore surely they have more diverse representation in their boards, staff and membership etc. Unfortunately, that is not the case, especially when it comes to Indigenous content and Indigenous people being the content creators.

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Tips for Purchasing Authentic Indigenous Art

In Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important I talked about the cultural and economic impact knock-off art has on Indigenous artists and communities. In this article, I share an example of a non-Indigenous retailer profiting from “inspired’ works of a small Indigenous community and include some tips for buying authentic Indigenous art at the end of the article.

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Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important

A newsletter reader sent us a message asking if we would write something about appropriated art. The topic of cultural appropriation is increasingly making headlines, and 2017 so far has been rife with controversies. In one aspect, the fact that there is such a concentrated discussion in mainstream and social media is, I think, the silver lining to this particular cloud. The other view of the cloud is how troubling it is that this affront to Indigenous culture is ongoing despite the coverage in mainstream media.

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