Our Cultural Calendar Ideas for June
Happy June! June is traditionally known as the “Hatching Moon” and referred to by the Elders as a time to learn and grow!
In the northern regions, it is the best month to set nets to fish for lake trout and to harvest fireweed!
June is still a great time to harvest cedar.
Labrador / Musk-keg tea is ready to harvest in wet boggy areas.
In the East - the Three Sisters (corn, beans, squash) are being planted to be ready in time to be harvested in the fall and it is a great time for fishing walleye.
In most parts of Canada, wild asparagus, nodding onion, and wild blueberries are ready to be picked.
The harvesting of sweetgrass begins in late June and is ready till early July. This is a great time to pay respects to one of our sacred medicines and have elders and knowledge keepers help to focus on sweetgrass teachings with children and families.
The sweetgrass braid represents the entwining of the body mind and spirit.
June is also a month of preparation of traditional items and tools for families who are getting ready to go out on the land for their annual July hunting or fish camp.
In the Western Provinces, June traditionally was the month the Metis / First Nations from the plains would set up buffalo camp for one (of two) big hunts of the year.
June is a month of celebrations for Indigenous Peoples.
“National Indigenous Peoples Day” coincides with the Summer Solstice (the day of the year with the longest light). The Summer Solstice has long been a day associated with spiritual significance for many Nations - it is a powerful day to celebrate Indigenous peoples and cultures.
Many Nations and communities across Canada will be marking the day and month with cultural celebrations that honour the Solstice.
Other events such as pow wows, Metis Jamborees, Tribal Journeys, Summer Indigenous Games, national assemblies and other outdoor Indigenous gatherings will start this month and continue until early September.
These are great activities to take the children out to in communities and to invite parents and elders to join you.
The Waceya Metis Cultural Society invites AHS sites, staff and communities in Langley and surrounding areas as honoured guests to their:
Metis Family Fair
Saturday, June 3rd, 2023
from 11 am - 4 pm
7111 252 Street Langley B.C.
The theme is “Getting into Michif” focusing on promoting the Michif language - Michif is one of the languages of the Metis people. Learn more at: Waceya's Event page
Activity and Resource Ideas for June:
Craft / Sensory ideas:
Have the children make gifts / cards for dads, uncles, grandfathers, and older brothers. Children can paint cups or mugs, shirts, BBQ aprons, or decorate a picture frame to look like a button blanket (having fishing - themed frames is also a good option!)
Have a water table full of (play) fish, red beads, or water beads (to look like fish eggs), and dip nets. Encourage the children to use the dip nets to fish and gather eggs in the nets.
If you would like to include Button Blankets in your month you can find inspiration. Button Blanket Ideas
Aboriginal Culture Kits Program: Kits available to borrow to incorporate traditional items in your classroom.
Cooking / Food Prep:
Have children be involved in the process of making pemmican, dried meat, or fish to gift in honour of Father's Day.
Invite community members, knowledge teachers, or Elders come into the center to teach the children how to make diverse types of Indigenous Celebration foods.
Post these recipes to your website and send home food with families.
Consider compiling a recipe book of Traditional Family Recipes to send home in honour of National Indigenous Day!
If you are interested in utilizing Pemmican Cakes into your June Calendar:
Topics to explore for the month of June: Summer Solstice and scientific reasons for seasonal changes.
Building Block / Construction Area:
Post pictures (at child level) of a traditional bison camp, canoes in rivers, long houses, inukshuks, red river carts and other relevant cultural items.
Add bison, logs, pieces of canvas, popsicle sticks, pieces of cardboard so children can build their own red river cart, travois, canoes, long houses, smoke house etc.
Celebrate your community by decorating your loft to represent your traditional territory or represented nation. Ie: Flag of community, symbols of community, hang posters or pictures of community landmarks and elders. If you are a beach community you can have the bottom of the loft represent the beach, a Metis community can make the bottom look like a red river cart, a mountain community can decorate the top loft to look like the mountains, a community that’s traditional food is corn could decorate top or bottom to look like a corn field etc.
Dramatic Play Area:
Have traditional clothes the children can dress up in at the center.
Traditional clothes can include ribbon skirts, shirts, regalia, button blankets, mukluks, moccasins, traditional animal stuffies, cedar hats or ribbon hats.
Display pictures or actual items to inspire children’s artistic abilities. Display items can include:
Button blankets, cedar weavings, Indigenous Artwork, beadwork, Metis Floral and First Nations Floral patterns, birch bark biting pattern, Metis sash etc.
Have a variety of materials for the children to utilize. Materials can include cardstock in black, red, and white, flannel or felt, beads, cedar, scrap pieces of hide, assorted colors of ribbon, floral stencils, easels, cedar, sinew, Alaska split leather, feathers, yarn etc.
Make a net and flannel fish to display on flannel board. Have popsicle sticks with yarn and blue flannel to look like fishing poles children can pretend to fish in a variety of ways and create their own stories.
Create an Inukshuk outside and teach about the meaning it brings in Inuit culture.
More on Inukshuks:
Create a sundial and talk about the cultural significance. Pinterest Ideas
Have the children measure their shadow with measuring sticks.
Go on walks, picnics, swimming, water play, games, gardening, jigging, and dancing outside and point out the changes that Summer has made.
Circle time area:
Have a big pow wow drum, hand drum or Qilaut, available to teach the children to drum, use at circle time to teach songs, participate as a group, and have during play time so children can be encouraged to get to know the drum on their own comfort levels. Have music and movement activities that incorporate traditional dancing methods. (Dancing with blankets, jigging, pow wow, drum and tea dancing etc.)
Invite Elders in to teach / reinforce drum protocols and give teachings to the children on the sacredness of the drum.
Elders / Knowledge keepers can teach children to drum songs and lead them in a performance for Indigenous Day / Graduation / or Father's Day events.
Invite elders to Graduation events as honoured guests, have thank you gifts to be presented and words to honour their contributions to your AHS program for the year!
Parent Involvement Ideas:
A special song at graduation dedicated to dads, grandpas / male role models to accommodate June’s busy schedule and tie both special events together.
Parent Board: Display a Map of Canada and have each family mark which community they are from. (Different colored star per family etc.)
Have a write-up and picture of each family to celebrate the uniqueness of all the families who attend the program and to celebrate the communities they come from.
Have a display of pictures to pay respects to the important male role models in the children’s lives.
Host an event in honour of the children’s dads, uncles, elders, older brothers and grandpas.
This could be a fish fry at a local park, lake or river.
A fun event such as floor hockey, swim time at a pool or local lake, mini carnival, movie and popcorn night, Bannock pizza making contest, etc.
Celebration meal such as pancake breakfast, stew and Bannock lunch, muffin and coffee breakfast to go, BBQ Bison Burgers or deer sausage in the outdoor play space etc.
Book of the Month:
An easy to read, thoughtful lullaby of reconciliation and reclamation that celebrates the ancestral relationship between Indigenous children and the land that is forever their home.
Title: Forever Our Home
Author: Tonya Simpson
Outreach / Activity Kits:
Create a kit to be sent home in honour of summer solstice / Father's Day / Indigenous day! Things to include in the kit could be:
Cultural family craft
Indigenous children’s book
Popcorn and movie night treats
Recipe and ingredients for a traditionally inspired recipe
Sunday brunch recipe and supplies
BBQ kit for families to host their own camp out (marshmallows, flashlight, glow sticks, nature guide or activities suggestions to do in nature, camping foods and snacks)
Backyard BBQ Meal supplies (smokies, bison burgers, buns, BBQ tools, BBQ sauce etc.)
Outside Activity items:
Such as card games, horseshoes, basketball, or football that are great to use anywhere!
Recipes and ingredients that could be sent home:
Other Resources and Related Articles:
Recommended Children’s Books / Resource Books:
Metis Camp Circle: A Bison Culture Way of Life Leah Marie Dorion
We Belong to the Drum Sandra LaMouche
Drum From the Heart Ren Louie
Wild Eggs Susie Napoyak
My Ittu: Biggest Best Grandpa Author Laura Deal