Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! is a series of inquiry projects that draw on Mi’kmaw community culture. The ideas for these projects have come from students’ Show Me Your Math submissions and from conversations with elders in Mi’kmaw communities. While the projects are designed to emphasize the mathematics learning, they are cross curricular and are designed to engage students in collaborative inquiry into relevant topics.
Resources for Supporting Inquiry
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! Kataq/ Eels
This page includes resources and materials for inquiring into eels and eel fishing for grades primary to 6. Follow the link above. This project was inspired by students at Rankin School who chose to explore eels for their 2014-2015 Show Me Your Math Project. It also aims to honour the legacy of Donald Marshall Jr. who’s arrest while eel fishing lead to a supreme court case that recognized the Mi’kmaw inherent treaty rights to a commercial fishery.
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! Quill Boxes and Quill Work
The late Dianne Toney was a Mi’kmaw elder who made quill boxes. During a conversation with her about mathematics in the Mi’kmaw community, she explained that she made quill boxes by beginning with a circle top and starting her pattern in the centre. She then explained that she made the ring for the top from strips of wood. To ensure the ring was the right size, Dianne said she would measure three times across the circular top and add a thumb. She claimed this would make a perfect ring every time. Follow the link above to access inquiry units that focus on the mathematics of quill boxes and quill work.
This unit will explore the mathematics associated with bead work. Beadwork has long been a practice in Mi’kmaq communities and continues to be practiced by many MI’kmaq people today who use beadwork to make jewelry such as earrings and pendants, as well as using beadwork for strip patterns to decorate regalia.
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! Birch Bark Biting
These projects were developed following a conversation with Mi’kmaw Elder Josephine Peck. As a young girl Josephine and her siblings were often challenged by their mother to take a thin strip of birch bark from a piece of firewood and try to fold it and bite shapes into it. From Josephine’s story, several inquiry units were developed. The projects explore the geometry of shapes and the mathematics of making traditional dyes. Click the link to see more about these projects and access the teaching materials that will help you to do this inquiry unit.
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! Indigenous Languages
Inspired by numerous projects done by students looking at data from their communities, the following projects examine the role of language in preserving Mi’kmaw culture and encourage students to examine data relating to Indigenous language loss on a global level.
This inquiry project allows students to engage in the process of making a canoe paddle by hand, allowing them to learn about the paddle making craft as well as the history, culture and art found within the canoe and the canoe paddle.
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! SnowShoes
This project focuses on making traditional snowshoes and the role of these snowshoes in helping Mi’kmaq people navigate the land. Coming soon…
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! Basket Making
Making baskets from strips of wood is a traditional practice in Mi’kma’ki. This unit is dedicated to the many basket makers who have passed to the spirit world. May their knowledge live on in the future generations. Coming soon…
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! Maple Syrup
This project focuses on the traditional practice of Maple Syrup making. For many years Pictou Landing First Nation School has been tapping trees and making maple syrup with their 5/6 class. This project honours their work. Coming soon…
Mawkina’masultinej: Let’s Learn Together! Bees
This project explores the role of bees in our environment. Coming soon…
Please check back for more projects to come, including: Bead work, Wampum Belts, Canoe Building, Archery, Mi’kmaw games, building a Wi’kwam and more…