Questions received during our Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Livestream

Big Bear/Culture questions:

From the Gr. 3&4 classes at James Ardiel Elementary School in Surrey, BC:

1. Did they ever find the bones of Big Bear?
~ Yes they did. Big Bear is buried in the Poundmaker cemetary.

http://treaty6education.lskysd.ca/bigbear

2. How come Big Bear is called a bear?
~ Big Bear was named after the Bear Spirit. Muskwa is bear in Cree.

3. Was Big Bear a person or a bear? Does he still live?
~ Big Bear was a great Cree leader. He died in 1888.


From Ms. Edwards class:

1. Did they find the body of Big Bear?
~ Yes they did. (please see link in above answer #1)

2. How long did Big Bear live?
~ Big Bear lived until he was 63 years old.


From. Ms. T. Thero-Soto:

1. Can you share the importance of animal & nature symbols in your culture?
~ Each of the Creator's gifts, particularly animals and humans, possess a Spirit.
The Bear and Buffalo are examples of spiritual animals. We show great respect to spiritual animals.

From Ms. Beards Class:

1. My students would like to know why do you need Elders at your school?
~ We need Elders at our school to show support, encouragement, and be a positive role model to the students at our school.
They are also important to speak to if we want to learn from them. Their teachings are very important to us.

From the Grade 3-4 Bears in Alberta:

1. What is a Medicine Wheel?
~ A Medicine Wheel traditionally belonged to the Elders. A great deal of medicine passed through Elders generation by generation.
Another Elder explained it as Cree people were given the gift of being named for the four parts of human beings. "Nehiyawak" means
being balanced in the four parts that are found in the four directions of the Medicine Wheel. These four parts for human beings are the spiritual,
physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the self. The fire or self is the centre of the Medicine Wheel. You start from self and as you look
out, you make your circle. This is how the Medicine Wheel represents the journey of people.

2. Who can be an elder?
~ An Elder is a person in the community who is usually over the age of 60. They are different from "senior citizens".
Elders are taught by other Elders how to be an Elder. They are taught to never refuse tobacco. The knowledge of teachings are passed on
and the respectfulness in ceremonial teachings. Most times, if an Elder is in the family, one or more of the next generation will also become
an Elder (example Grandmother Elder passes on knowledge to her daughter who becomes an Elder who then passes knowledge on to her son who becomes an Elder)

3. What is a pow wow? (also asked by Ms. Cassidy's class)
~ A pow wow is a time for First Nations people to get together to join in dancing, visiting, renewing old friendships and making new ones.
They are also for non First Nation people to visit and learn about the First Nation culture.

4. How often do you have a pow wow?
~ We usually host one pow wow a year at our school. Our students (dancers/singers) will attend 2-3 pow wows between April and June at other schools.
Some students will spend all summer traveling with their families to pow wow's all over North America.

5. What is the importance of a pow wow? (also asked by Ms. Cassidy's class)

~ Pow wows are a celebration and a sharing of First Nations culture.

From Ms. Cassidy's class:

1. I wonder how they got the skin off the bones? (by Atticus)
~ Skin was removed from the bones by skinning. Tools to skin with were made with bone. All bone from any animal
was used up entirely.

http://www.cyberattic.com/stores/ericfinds/items/1068791/en1cyberattic.html

2. I wonder how the First Nation learned how to sing? (by Deion)
~ Students learn how to sing by following older students, Elders, listening to other adults that sing,
and listening to famous musicians (Northern Cree).

3. I wonder how they made the drums? (by Aaliyah/Atticus/Megan)
~ The drums are made with wood, hide, and sinew. There are people in the community that know how to make drums and provide
us with pow wow drums and hand drums.

4. I wonder what they do in a pow wow? (by Sam)
~ At a pow wow there is a lot of dancing and singing. They are usually held at large fair grounds.
There are food and clothing booths to visit and buy merchandise. Sometimes there are dancing competitions and awards.

5. I wonder why they wear special kind of clothes? (by Aaliyah)
~ The first pow wow was in Fort Battleford. The people living there really liked seeing the First Nation regalia and decided
to hold a contest to display the different kinds of outfits. Since then, the pow wow dancers wear the bright coloured, beaded,
regalia at competitions and in ceremonies.

6. I wonder how they play the drum? (by Atticus)
~ The students learn how to play the drum by following older students, Elders, adults that drum, listening to
music (Northern Cree), and by practicing every day.

7. I wonder why they have pow wows? (by Sam)
~ Pow wows are a celebration and a sharing of First Nations culture.


8. What is a pow wow? (by Dylan/Sam)
~ A pow wow is a time for First Nations people to get together to join in dancing, visiting, renewing old friendships and making new ones.
They are also for non First Nation people to visit and learn about the First Nation culture.


external image 4368L-big-bear.jpgChief Big Bear
external image 100_0413.JPGChief Big Bear Memorial
external image bigbear_poundmaker_prison_det.jpgChief Big Bear and Chief Poundmaker