In traditional Aboriginal education, all one’s perspectives and experiences, especially those in the spiritual and emotional dimensions, are an integral part of learning. This is known as the holistic approach to learning.
Kiuna respects this principle and makes sure students benefit from a certain level of autonomy through collaborative learning in an environment that is open to the real world and where their learning is reinvested in the community. Here are a few examples.
2020-2021 Annual Report
Our Heads in the Sky
As part of the English Literature and English as a Second Language courses, the students published a book of creative writing entitled Our Heads in the Sky in the winter of 2019. They had to submit a text about dreams or nightmares, in a literary genre of their choice.
Once published, the students shared their writing project with students from Dawson College’s Journeys Program for Indigenous students.
Bianca Gill Guilbeault and Océanne Dionne-Prescott designed the book cover. Shawerim Coocoo Weizineau, Kayla Vollant, Jonah Néwashish, Sigwanis Lachapelle, Bianca Gill Guilbeault, Océanne Dionne-Prescott, Kassandra Lachapelle, Jasmine Mesténapéo, Manisishish Andrew, Kicik Ottawa, Laura Fontaine, Makue Vollant, Raphaëlle Mestenapeo-Kaltush, Jusi Ainalik-Coulombe, Joshwa Bossum, Fanny Niquay, Keziah Etienne, Gabriel Petiquay, Sue Vollant-Fontaine, Joey Labbé, Jérémy Gill-Verreault, Tiffany Guanish, Tewashón:take White all contributed to the publication.
The album Le Saint-Laurent chanté
With the help of songwriter Jonathan Harnois, the students wrote the lyrics to the song Mémoire, recorded by Elisapie. It is one of ten songs written by Quebec’s youth and recorded by artists on the album “Le Saint-Laurent chanté.” This initiative by the Fondation Cowboys Fringants in collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation allowed young people to express the relationship they hold with the St-Lawrence River. All the proceeds from the album will go to the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) for their Adopt a Beluga campaign.
Nos forets chantées
A group of students from the college known as “Le collectif de Kiuna” is proud to have contributed to making the album Nos forêts chantées with Loco Locass and Jonathan Harnois.
Chanson “Nutshimit” (in the woods)
A project initiated by the Fondation Cowboys Fringants
Voices of First Nations Young Adults
Coming together; one mind
In winter 2017, as part of their English literature or ESL courses, Kiuna students published a book of creative writing entitled Coming Together; one mind.
Students were responsible for preparing a single page of creative writing based on the themes of resistance and revitalization. Students were encouraged to think about these themes in relation to their own identity, forms of resistance or revitalization they have witnessed in their community, at school, or at home, as well as in their daily lives or the lives of others. Selective use of their respective native languages was used in some texts.
Once the book was published, students shared their creative writing with audiences at Dawson College’s Indigenous Days and The Power of Indigenous Arts: Resistance and Revitalization conference organized by McGill’s Indigenous Student Alliance.
The spectacular cover art of the book was created by Jemmy Echaquan-Dubé. The students who contributed to the publication: Danika St-Laurent-Maheux, Shenna Labbé-Grégoire, Allan Kistabish, Daren Germain, Arennenha:Wi Troy Diabo, Marie-Alex Charland, Emily Doucet, Marilou McKenzie Fontaine, Tewashontake White, Iehente Cole-Gabriel, Shawerim Coocoo Weizineau, Thayra Penosway, Kate LeBlanc, Stacy Matte, Marie-Christine Petiquay and Arennenha:we Taryn Diabo.
Our Home on Native Land
Within the context of Professor Jennifer Savard’s English literature and English as a Second Language courses, students were asked to submit a creative writing piece, in any literary genre, as part of a class publication. The theme for the publication was land, nature, and the environment. Students read and discussed work by Indigenous authors about these themes. Through class discussion, students began to see that the theme was quite vast and could span from connections to the land and the teachings, to environmental concerns, to animal rights and even to the body as land and self-discovery. Students were encouraged to think about this theme in relation to their own identity, knowledge systems, and/or concerns for the land in their communities, at school or at home.
Once the book was published, students shared their creative pieces with audiences at Dawson College’s Indigenous Days and a conference organized by McGill’s Indigenous Student Alliance.