The focus for March is TRUTH. This teaching is a little different from honesty which was the Sabe in November (but it never hurts to revisit this idea too). The teaching of Truth is more about integrity and sincerity. Truth means being willing to speak your truth and stand up for who you are and what you believe in.
Truth – Debwewin:
Truth is represented by the turtle as he was here during creation of Earth and carries the teachings of life on his back. One of the oldest animals on our planet. The turtle lives life in a slow and meticulous manner, because he understands the importance of both the journey and the destination.
Truth is to know of these things.
Apply faith and trust in your teachings. Show honor and sincerity in all that you say and do. Understand your place in this life and apply that understanding in the way that you walk. Be true to yourself and all other things.
You have to look at yourself before you judge another’s way of walking.
Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.
The laws of time and life are recorded on the back of the Turtle. There are 28 markings representing the 28 full moons and the 28 days between a woman’s cycle for creating and bearing life. There are also 13 moons that represent the 13 times the Earth circles the Sun.
Our goal is that teachers will learn together with their students about these teachings and bring them into their regular classroom activities. With a focus of truth, students could:
- Write, draw, talk about truth for others and for yourself – what do you do to express truthfulness? How do you show respect for others? What is authenticity? How can you be your true self?
- Brainstorm “What is truth” and discuss why it is important
- Discuss the connections between truth, authenticity and respect.
- Have students decorate a Turtle and write above or below the Turtle what represents Truth for them. On the next page, see the Turtle art by Michelle Stoney, a Gitxsan artist who has graciously given permission for anyone to print off and colour this design – she just asks that it not be used for sale or profit.
- Take a look at this list of books about truth, honesty and truth and this list of books about integrity.
- Engage in self-reflection and self-assessment techniques, being honest and kind with where they are in their learning journeys.
- At the secondary level, the Leadership classes would likely be an ideal place to generate ideas and activities for schools to engage in.
- Explore the 13 Moons of the WSANEC https://racerocks.ca/the-13-moons-of-the-wsanec/
- This is a link to the WEXES moon (March) (pronounced “Wuck-Us”: https://engage.sd62.bc.ca/system/files/uploads/documents/WEXES%20-%20Moon%20of%20the%20Frog.pdf
- Reflection Questions for WEXES Moon: Celebrate the coming of Spring and the Spring Equinox with these questions. Who do you honour in your life? What signals does nature give us to start or end things? In what ways do you and your family prepare for Spring? What does WEXES the Frog represent for you? Have you started to hear the frog song?
- Elderbeary Day: March 20th. Elderbeary Day is a day to honour our Elders and all they bring to our lives. How do you show truthfulness, respect and love to your Elders? How can we show our Elders how much they mean to us? Use this special day to help students reflect on how their Elders show guidance, love and support. What can we do to give back to the Elders in our lives?
- National Indigenous Languages Day is March 31st! To celebrate this special day, invite an Elder into your class to talk about the importance of Indigenous Languages. Alana Johnson (Haida) can instruct students on the Nuu-chah-nulth alphabet. Brother Rick Peter can highlight the importance of his native languages of SENCOTEN and Hul’qumi’num. Kookum Jo-Ina can speak to the importance of the Metis language, Michif.
- Explore First Voices – Discuss why Indigenous languages are vital to the Indigenous worldview and ways of knowing. Learn how to say a few words or phrases.