The late Mi’kmaw elder and quillbox maker, Dianne Toney, explained that to make a ring for a circular box top, she measured three times across the circle with her wood strips and added a thumb width. She declared it makes a perfect circle every time. This conversation with Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden and Dr. David Wagner, prompted the two to consider how Mi’kmaw children might enter into such conversations with elders in their own communities. Working with teachers and elders in Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey community schools, they developed the Show Me Your Math program.
Show Me Your Math is a program that invites Aboriginal Students in Atlantic Canada to explore the mathematics that is evident in their own community and cultural practices. Through exploring aspects of counting, measuring, locating, designing, playing, and explaining, students discover that mathematics is all around them. Each year students gather for the annual math fair and celebrate the work they have done.
While this website contains samples of student SMYM projects, it also includes resources for doing culturally-based inquiry projects, research relating to decolonizing mathematics education for Indigenous students and information about a related Math Outreach program. All of this work is dedicated to transforming the experiences of Indigenous children and youth in learning mathematics and to increase both student achievement and student affinity for mathematics.