Monday, May 17, 2010

Learn Cree Language During a Scavenger Hunt!

The Healing Game: This Week's Feature!

One of the most popular games at, the Healing Game is modeled after an old-fashioned scavenger hunt!

It’s up to you to collect and administer 10 traditional medicinal plants. Along the way, you must avoid dangerous animals, navigate mazes, and read Cree syllabics!

Here you can see my less than successful encounter with a black bear:

One of the neat features about this game is that each plant comes with:
  1. Its Cree name and syllabics
  2. An English translation of its Cree name (which wasn't always easy to find!)
  3. An explanation of how this plant has been used in traditional bush medicine.
So, as you can see from the picture below, the Cree name for Labrador Tea is “Kakike-Pokway”, which means “Infinite Plants” – so-called because they stretch for as far as the eye can see. Labrador Tea is used for treating diarrhea, arthritic pain, chest pain, and backaches!

If you’re using Path of the Elders in the classroom, the Healing game is a great opportunity to talk about traditional bush medicinal and to discuss Aboriginal medicinal practices were affected by the new diseases brought by European settlers.

Check out our comprehensive Teachers’ Guides for innovative suggestions for integrating the Healing Game with your lesson plans!

So, are you up for the challenge? Let us know how you do!

(Oh, and be careful not to fall in the lake....)

Collette Jackson, Content and Marketing Specialist at BlackCherry Digital Media, is writing on behalf of On the Path of the Elders, a free online educational resource that explores Cree and Ojibway history and culture, and the signing of Treaty No. 9.

Check out On the Path of the Elders at

For more information, email us at Created in partnership with BlackCherry Digital Media, Archives Desch√Ętelets, the Doug Ellis Collection at Carleton University, Our Incredible World (Pinegrove Productions), the Mushkegowuk Council, Neh Naak Ko, the Archives of St. Paul University, Carleton University, and Wendy Campbell, Educational Consultant (Learning Methods Group).

This project was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy. Created with additional financial assistance from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Inukshuk Fund.


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