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Monday, February 13, 2017

Meet Kelly Ironstand

Teaching Early Years from a First Nations Perspective

Reclaiming language and culture is reclaiming the spirit of First Nations.
Kelly Ironstand – Early Years Teacher


Kelly Ironstand, nursery and kindergarten teacher, strongly believes in this maxim.

A visit to her classroom at the Chief Clifford Lynxleg Anishinabe School, in the Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation, reveals various aspects of First Nations language and culture.

From her hand made rabbit traps, life-size teepee and furniture, to her collection of animal bones used for hunting, Kelly’s students are learning the traditional way of life; and they love it.

Even at this age level, the students are taught how to make animal traps so that they can develop an appreciation and respect for the land, in keeping with First Nations practices. You might even find them making bannock and rabbit stew for lunch, on any given day.

“The children need to get a good grasp of their culture at this level, because they need to know who they are,” says Ironstand.

As someone who attended residential school as a child,  she understands the personal conflicts that many First Nations people deal with when they lose that connection to their culture.

“I don’t want them to feel like how I did as an adult,” she explains. “I don’t want them to feel lost. I want them to know who they are and where they came from.”

Ironstand also believes in developing strong relationships within the community. Because of the busy schedules of some parents, it’s sometimes difficult for them to attend meetings at the school. On Report Card day, Ironstand gives parents the option of scheduling home visits to discuss their children’s progress.

She appreciates the the services offered by Early Learning facilitators at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) especially opportunities for professional development like the recently concluded Early Learning conference.

Kelly Ironstand is just one of many amazing teachers helping students to develop a First Nations identity. MFNERC is pleased to be working along with these educators.

Learn more about Kelly Ironstand in this video. 

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Every. Day.
adoptees take back adoption narrative and reject propaganda

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Three Years already

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Customer Review

Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

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ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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