EC&I 831 – Major Learning Project Summary

An Overview

My Major Digital Project for this Semester of EC&I 831 was to learn more of the Michif Language than what I already knew in order to teach my Kindergarten students. For the most part – it was a success! I can certainly speak to my students in short (3-5 word) sentences, and they can respond in 3-word sentences to some of our daily routines! I have also learned how to introduce myself in Michif – and even had the chance to practice this at parent-teacher conferences this November. That being said, I greatly underestimated what I would need to do to make those goals a reality.

In my first few blog posts, I shared the resources that I was able to create in order to try and make language a more authentic and intentional part of my classroom. Ways to use language in spontaneous moments, and as a response to student learning. These labels and cheat sheets changed my everyday practice. I am so grateful that thanks to this course I took a closer look at what was standing in my way to making the classroom atmosphere I envisioned a reality. I am equally grateful that I was pushed to try and look for resource people and resource sources outside of where I would normally search. I set out on this journey of language learning thinking there would not be a lot of sources for me to turn to when it came to my Heritage Dialect of Michif. As it turns out I learned that social media, with its casual nature, was actually a place where a lot of language work was being done, and honestly shared. I was once again reminded of the power of networked learning.

Final Thoughts

Social Media and Open Education. Two terms I did not realize would turn out to be completely integral to the reclamation of a language so rarely spoken, and so closely cherished by those who still do. I am admittedly, an extremely fortunate person. As a Michif person, I grew up in a family of Michif speakers and spent a part of my childhood listening to the language before I was even aware that Michif language was – or what it would mean to me as an adult learner. Although I was not provided with the chance to learn from language carriers in my own family – today I work in a Pilot Program with The Metis Nation of Saskatchewan and Regina Catholic schools – aimed at the reclamation and promotion of the Michif language. I have cupboards full of resources on Metis Culture and history – I have a shared drive and a network of other Michif Teachers and learners.

Most importantly – I have access to not one, but two Heritage Michif Speakers to guide my learning. I would be lost without Noohkoom Jeanne and Noohkoom Erma. Like I said, I am very fortunate.

I also acknowledge that in all of this learning I have realized something – not every prospective language speaker is nearly so fortunate.

It is with that thought, I decided on how to wrap up my Major Digital Project.

Taking all that I have learned and transferring it to a webpage, licensed with Creative Commons so that others can view resources, download and edit my work, share it with others, and complete language “lessons” I created from my learning this semester.

Visit my webpage and explore it for yourself here.

Kiishchii Maarsii for following along with me as my journey continues!

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4 thoughts on “EC&I 831 – Major Learning Project Summary”

  1. Victoria, I just spent some time perusing your Michif blog site and wow! What a fantastic job you have done! I love the PowerPoints that you have organized for teaching the language, and your bio had a few good laughs in it as well! Such meaningful work you have done and the use of social media / open education to document and share your resources and learning is quite remarkable! I’ve enjoyed seeing your journey via blog posts and our conversations over the course of this semester! It is great to participate in PD that actually benefits our classrooms and improves our pedagogy and ways of teaching! Good luck in the coming semesters!

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  2. Victoria,

    WOW. Not only have you worked incredibly hard and have grown so much throughout your learning journey, you’ve created such a wonderful resource. I appreciate the connection you’ve made to course content by licensing your website through Creative Commons. In addition, I love how you’ve linked your past major project to your current project. This speaks to your passion for Michif language reclamation.

    It resonated with me when you stated, “Social Media and Open Education. Two terms I did not realize would turn out to be completely integral to the reclamation of a language so rarely spoken, and so closely cherished by those who still do.” I didn’t think those would be synonymous either, but you’ve certainly made them so– well done!

    I agree with Dalton’s above comment– your project is incredibly meaningful and contributes to something larger than a project for a class. Look back on your journey this semester and know you’re truly making a difference!

    Best wishes for next term! πŸ™‚

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  3. Victoria, I hope you are extremely proud of the work you have done to learn the Mischif language which is a big part of Truth and Reconciliation and bringing language to the forefront. The webpage you developed is amazing and I ope many people see it and use the open resource you created. I will be passing it on to a good friend of mine to help her in her language learning journey!

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  4. Hii Victoria. This project is top notch! You should be on the education conference circuit. I love your website and will share this with a couple of Metis women I know – Helene Johnson and Liana Letendre. They are not teachers but Helene is a Metis Elder working with Cumberland College. Liana works as a home visitor supervisor for KidsFirst Nipawin. What a wonderful resource to share with your fellow Michif teachers. I also wanted to thank you for directing me to : Equity Centred Trauma Informed Teaching and Learning by Alex S. Venet. This book was exactly what I have been looking for to guide my teaching in these difficult times. Best wishes on all your future endeavors!

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