Two Short Documentaries

Two CBC documentaries caught my eye this month.

Karihwanoron: Precious Things (14:22).

This short film focuses on the Mohawk immersion program Karihwanoron located in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec. If you are interested in discussing language preservation with your students, or want to highlight contemporary images of resistance and resilience, this is a great place to start.

Young students might find the first few minutes which focus on the daily experience of Yagorihwanirats, a young Mohawk child, relatable.  

Headdress (5:45) by JJ Neepin (Fox Lake Cree Nation) reflects on the importance of the headdress to her ancestors and her identity. Also check out JJ's article Why I made the 'Headdress' for additional commentary and context. 

If you are teaching about the appropriation of the headdress in contemporary population culture, this documentary could serve as a short but powerful perspective.  

How Do I Avoid Appropriation?

One of the most frequent questions I get from teachers is about appropriation. From what I know of my own practice, I think a lot of confusion arises because non-Indigenous peoples may not be aware of elements of Indigenous cultures that are sacred and part of spiritual practice, or understand that they are asking students to recreate ancient art forms that are passed through apprenticeship relationships.

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