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The new Teaching Quality Standards (TQS 5) issued by Alberta Education (in September 2019) mandates the integration of Indigenous perspectives in your classrooms. As Métis educators, it is our goal to encourage and support teachers in their integration of Métis ways of knowing, being, and doing into their classrooms. One of the more thoughtful questions we hear from fellow educators is how to choose authentic resources. As community-based resources, the following set of digital stories represent authentic Métis stories created, produced, and shared by those who are either living in or who have direct family connections in the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in northeastern Alberta. Each story is as diverse as the community members themselves.
The following digital stories represent a sampling from the complete set of 19 digital stories. All stories were created in three storytelling workshops held in Sputinow (Fishing Lake Métis Settlement) during 2010 and 2011. These workshops formed the basis for an academic dissertation undertaken by Yvonne Poitras Pratt. With both parents from this small northern community, Yvonne was honoured to work in partnership with local leaders, Elders, and community members to create these small vignettes of Métis life. The community was professionally supported in this endeavour by Rob Kershaw of the StoryCenter (based in Berkeley, California) as he shared his digital storytelling expertise with a variety of community members which ultimately enabled the Métis storytellers to bring their silenced stories to voice and now to the screen.
As those who have studied our shared colonial history can tell you, the silencing and marginalization of the original occupants of Canada has been very effective. This reality is evidenced by the sheer number of Canadians who are surprised to hear about Canada’s true history and the many injustices inflicted on the original occupants of these lands. The following set of digital stories represents a move towards reclamation and revitalization of authentic Métis stories from those who can rightly claim lived experiences as Métis people in Alberta.