The focus for September is Courage.

Bravery – Aakwa’ode’ewin:

Commonly referred to as “Bravery” or “Courage.”

Bravery is represented by the bear. The mother bear has the courage and strength to face her fears and challenges while protecting her young. The bear also shows us how to live a balanced life with rest, survival and play.

To face life with courage is to know bravery.

Find your inner strength to face the difficulties of life and the courage to be yourself. Defend what you believe in and what is right for your community, family and self. Make positive choices and have conviction in your decisions. Face your fears to allow yourself to live your life.

To do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant.

Our goal is that teachers will learn together with their students about these teachings and bring them into their regular classroom activities.

In September, with the focus on Courage, students could:

  • draw a picture of themselves being brave
  • write about a time they needed courage or a time they were courageous
  • present something in front of the class (ex, show-and-tell)
  • read aloud in class (ex, What does it mean to be brave?/C’est quoi, le courage?; I am courage/Je suis courageux, or other books about facing fears with courage, as shared on this list)
  • have students decorate a Bear and write above or below the Bear what represents Courage for them.  On the next page, see the Bear 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.
  • brainstorm a list of situations where it helps to have courage
  • Learn and share about someone who was courageous, such as Terry Fox and/or Phyllis Webstad
  • September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Consider sharing a book like “With our orange hearts” (“Avec nos coeurs orange”) and have students share about who/what they love.


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