Indigenous content now available for Visual Arts curriculums

Sapling & Flint is proud to launch its first two books that highlight Haudenosaunee art & design. They will be on sale August 15th at www.saplingandflint.ca.

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It’s been a long time coming.

 

I’ve thought it deep inside in many different ways “I wish I saw my culture in my education.

 

I finished elementary school 20 years ago, and I haven’t seen a whole lot of change. Teachers and schoolboards craving the content, but the content just isn’t there. With my own son beginning school soon those thoughts have once again resurfaced. “What have I done to ensure change?”

 

I’m an Indigenous artist. The “content” is my culture. My culture has been seared into my psyche and has manifested itself into the art I’ve produced and sold as a professional artist for the past 5 years with Sapling & Flint.

 

I always just assumed “there is definitely content somewhere, maybe I’m just not looking in the right place…someone is probably working on it…I’m sure the provincial government has something in mind for content…”.

 

Visual arts are a part of the core curriculum of every elementary school across Ontario. I have put out into the universe this desire to see Indigenous content being used to teach basic art concepts; to have Indigenous art normalized as an important part of Art in Canada, the world, and our need to teach young people everywhere early about the importance of inclusion, authenticity, and to appreciate the work that goes into authentic art and the harm that the appropriation of it can do.

 

Sapling & Flint is launching on August 15th, two books that will do just that. A colouring book, and a teacher’s companion that can be used by any teacher, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, anywhere, to help their students learn about the core Elements of Design that make up Visual Art. These books will be available for online purchase at www.saplingandflint.ca

 

I have been sitting on designs for years knowing I wanted to author a book on art & design, but I was always unsure of myself. Who am I to speak for Haudenosaunee art? What designs or knowledge of conceptualization do I even have a right to share with the world? What designs do I have that are the RIGHT designs?

 

I finally just had to say, “THESE DESIGNS. I’M CHOOSING THESE ONES. I’M DOING IT.”

 

I hope you enjoy the selection I have made in my first two books:

 

“Haudenosaunee Culture through Art & Design: Book 1”

[ISBN: 978-1-7773156-0-3]

 

and it’s Ontario curriculum-based companion:

 

“TEACHERS EDITION: Haudenosaunee Culture through Art & Design: Book 1”  

[ISBN: 978-1-7773156-1-0]

 

Both books include insights into the culture of the Longhouse people, pages of basic knowledge on who the Haudenosaunee people are and their place in the world. Both books also guide conversation on the ultimate question, “Do I have to be Haudenosaunee to practice Haudenosaunee Art?”

 

The answer is it depends; what is your intention for the use of our Haudenosaunee Art?

 

I look forward to you checking out my new books when they launch on August 15th at www.saplingandflint.ca and to join in on the conversation.

 

FOR TEACHERS: Our TEACHERS EDITION comes with 85 unique lesson plan ideas, a lexicon of Mohawk language words, and your very own hashtag!

 

The TEACHERS EDITION has every page of the colouring book inside; along with a plethora of lesson plans that are guided by the Ontario elementary curriculum [2009 version] that are conveniently organized by Kindergarten to grade 2, grade 3 to grade 6, and grades 7 & 8.

 

I want to thank my sister Theda Brant, B.Ed. OCT, and my mother Terrylynn Brant, M.Sc., B.Ed., B.A., for their guidance in creating lesson plans that follow the Ontario curriculum’s Elements of Design.

Another important inclusion in the TEACHERS EDITION is two pages of Mohawk language, sharing words that are relevant to the designs, as well as a list of traditional place names of cities and towns across Ontario, Quebéc and New York state, along with their pronunciations, so that classrooms everywhere might see the Haudenosaunee for who they are; a people who belong in this space.

 

We know how social media has become a great place for teachers to inspire each other’s class projects and how you fulfill your curriculums throughout the year. That’s why Sapling & Flitn is excited to be able to bring the hashtag #SaplingAndFlintEducate to Instagram, where we will share the projects, artwork, and the unique tweeks that you have made to our lesson plans in your classroom to create a great learning experience for each and every one of your students!

  

I want to finish this by saying nyá:wen (thank you) to the artists who have inspired me. It has been said you can measure the strength of a culture by the strength of it’s Art; and there are a tremendous amount of culture keepers in our communities who are building on a legacy that is immemorial with its origin. Nyá:wen to you. Nyá:wen. To everyone else, I say push on with your goal to make our world a colourful place, and remember to buy local art and lift up your community’s artists no matter where you come from!

~ Dakota

2 comments

Finally, an authentic approach to teach children about our culture. I will spread the word!

Donna Sabis-Burns August 15, 2020

I am so excited to see these magnificent books. As a teacher educator, I search far and wide for “content” and this set is such an important gift to non-indigenous teachers. Thank you.

Lori-Anne Dolloff August 14, 2020

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