Monday, May 24, 2010

Elders' Stories Video Collection Lets You Share in the Oral Tradition

While you’re busy getting ready for the upcoming contest by playing the games at, don’t forget to check out some of its other features!

The Elders’ Stories video collection is one of the most valuable resources at Path of the Elders.

Honouring the oral tradition, here you have the rare opportunity to listen to Elders share their stories and memories.

Often recorded in Cree, these videos not only give you compelling glimpses into Mushkegowuk culture and history, but they are also part of our efforts to preserve and promote the Cree language.

While the Elders' Stories video collection is fascinating for its content, it’s also an important record of our country's past from an Aboriginal perspective.

Are you an educator?

Our Teachers’ Guides provide detailed information on how to integrate the Elders’ Video Collection into your lesson plans.

Here are some of my favourite videos:

1)    Staying in school - Path of the Elders

This video is a fascinating glimpse into some of the challenges Aboriginal students faced in residential schools as they struggled to maintain their traditional way of life.  Edmond Edwards describes having difficulty paying attention in class because he was thinking about getting ready for the fall hunt, and how it was difficult to learn English when his parents only spoke Cree.

2)  Life then and now - Path of the Elders

How was life different in the early 20th century? John Kataquapit describes some of the changes he's seen over his lifetime, including moving from dog teams to ski-doos, and the advent of running water.

3) Starvation - Path of the Elders 

Emile Sutherland shares some of the stories his father told him about the methods his people used to combat food shortages. He talks about how everyone used to share in the food when a caribou was killed.

4) Marriage, parents, responsibilities - Path of the Elders

What was life like from a woman's perspective? Anna Bella Solomon talks about her wedding, her experiences raising her siblings and her own children, and her duties towards her parents.

Do you have a favourite video?

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 Deschâtelets, 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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