This year, the CDSBEO Indigenous theme will involve stories from the sky and center around
the understanding of the constellations and the important teachings that come from these
stories.
Throughout the stories we will build on our knowledge of Indigenous culture as we will discover
the interpretations of the various nations, and how the sky guided their lives. Wilfred Buck, a
noted Cree Science specialist and facilitator at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource
Centre (MFNERC) has been working towards the recognition and promotion of star stories in
classrooms all across the country. “All these ceremonies and all these so-called mythologies …
there’s a depth of knowledge involved. They’re not just quaint little stories. … Every Indigenous
culture in the world has that depth of knowledge, that intellectual capacity,” he says. “It’s just
that through the colonial process it’s been minimized, and it’s been marginalized.”
First Nations, Metis and Inuit people have many
lessons to teach us about resiliency and
perseverance and understanding of the need to
work as a community. It is important to build
our capacity by focusing on the connection to
people who lived in this province before
colonization. We need to continue to shift our
perspective and recognize the connection of
Indigenous contributions to science.
There is a growing effort to reintroduce and refamiliarize Indigenous stories, including star
stories, back to Indigenous communities. Dakota/Lakota and Ojibway astronomer, Annette Lee
states: “That’s part of what the star knowledge brings,” she says. “This sense of purpose, the
sense of hope, this lifeline, that each person is connected. To the bigger whole, the universe, the
stars. Those stars are more than just balls of gas. When we do Indigenous science, those stars
are our oldest relatives.”
Our theme this year for Indigenous education will centre
around this learning. We are so excited to be part of this
learning process, and support and agree with Wilfred Buck
when he states: “Stars are part of our lives…it’s time that
astronomers and scientists considered Indigenous
contributions and their worth.”
Stay tuned for more information as we roll out this exciting and pertinent new theme!