Our hope is that with this Indigenous Peoples Day (coming up on Monday, October 11th), we can work to bring about more inclusion and diversity of perspective and experience within our small school community. Exploring ways to bring relevant additions to a curriculum is a never-ending endeavor; admittedly, this process is a long one, in conjunction with constantly shedding light on our implicit biases and acknowledging that we are not yet experts in teaching these concepts. Ideally, together as educators and parents, we can join the process of learning alongside students, and the additions we invest in each year will bring about learning long after a Monday in October.
In this effort, we are excited to announce that EFDM will be the host of a traveling exhibit from the University of Maine Hudson Museum
called, “People of the Dawn: Past and Present”. This made-for-school exhibit includes display panels showcasing drawings and photographs illustrating traditional life from 1600 to the present for members of the Wabanaki tribes (the five tribes of Maine: Mik’maq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Abenaki).
Also included are many hands-on materials: examples of traditional artistry in baskets, birch bark work, and other tools. Reference books, videos, and CDs also come with this traveling trunk of knowledge. English classes will be taking charge of preparing this exhibit in La Maison, and it will be available for all classes to tour and explore. We plan to also open up this temporary “gallery” for families during certain after-school hours so that the learning can continue at home. Please check back once we have received and prepared the exhibit for specified viewing times! “People of the Dawn: Past and Present” will be visiting us from the end of October into early November.
You might also wish to check out more about the Hudson Museum
, including their online gallery tours and contemporary artist and Wabanaki elder video interviews.
Also, we recently added new additions to our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion section of our school library. The following list of books will be available to each age group at L’Ecole, to introduce concepts and inspire discussions about Indigenous cultures, peoples, and the complicated history of this land, Maine, and the United States at large. Many of these children’s stories focus on themes of inclusion, empathy, and kindness. These books will soon join the options to take-home library selections, so you’ll be able to read and enjoy them too!