By Sam Laskaris
M’CHIGEENG FIRST NATION — Students from Lakeview School in M’Chigeeng First Nation are preparing to lay out the welcome mats for their directorial debuts.
As part of their Anishinaabemowin-speaking class, more than 50 students from the school have been working on a project since early January.
The majority of the students, in Grades 4-8, created modelling clay action scenes, using the Ojibwe language to tell a story. A few of the students used LEGO instead of clay for their projects.
The students were then taught how to use a stop-motion filming app and then utilized an editing app to produce short films.
A total of 22 projects were created, the majority of them featuring students working in pairs.
All of the projects, each about a minute in length, will be screened collectively for the first time this Thursday, Mar. 9, at the school.
All of the students at the school as well as parents, family members, friends and members of the community are welcome to attend the screening.
“I’m really impressed with some of the work the kids have done,” said Lissa McGregor, the school’s senior Ojibwe language teacher.
Lakeview School students have their Ojibwe-speaking class every school day for 50 minutes. McGregor usually teaches a lesson for the first half of each class. And since the second week of January, students have been spending the second half of each period to work on their projects.
While the majority of projects were completed by last week, some students were still putting the finishing touches on their works this week.
Some of the projects were based on traditional stories. For example, a couple of Grade 7 students completed their project on Wendigo, a mythological creature.
Others students created original stories. Also, a Grade 6 project was an adaptation of how the beaver got a flat tail.
“Some of the stories have narrators, some of them have narrators and the characters talking and some of them just have characters talking,” McGregor said, adding a requirement was the entire project had to be spoken in Ojibwe.
Another must for each project was it had to have a teaching or learning lesson.
“I wanted to engage them in speaking the language,” McGregor said. “To me, that’s the most important thing.”
McGregor added students were also working on their planning and storytelling skills during the process.
“They were also learning other skills transferable outside of Anishinaabemowin,” said McGregor, a member of Whitefish River First Nation, who is in her second year of teaching at Lakeview School.
Lorraine Debassige, who is an Elder and a teaching assistant in McGregor’s class, also helped the students create their projects.
Others who provided assistance were Elaine Debassige, who also teaches Ojibwe to younger students at the school, and Roger Brasil, the IT staff person.
“It was an enjoyable and excellent learning opportunity,” said Lourdes Taukei, a Grade 8 student. “I especially enjoyed making the scenes out of clay and learning how to bring things to life with just a piece of clay. I think this was one of by far the best art creation projects we’ve done in my Anishinaabemowin class ever.”
Lakeview school principal Gayle Payette praised the students for the work they put into their projects. And she’s thrilled others will now have an opportunity to see all of the films.
“Being able to showcase their efforts to the school and to M’Chigeeng First Nation will demonstrate the pride that we have for them, as we know that they continue to be capable of amazing accomplishments,” Payette said.
Youth Support Worker
Sam on Sports: Abby Roque
By Sam Laskaris
WAHNAPITAE FIRST NATION – She’s not a household name like Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews.
But like those two National Hockey League superstars, Abby Roque is also one of the world’s top hockey players.
And chances are with the recent formation of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), a lot more people are going to find out about the talents of Roque, a member of Wahnapitae First Nation in northern Ontario.
Roque, who turns 26 on Sept. 25, is expected to be one of the stars of the newly created women’s pro league.
The PWHL will commence play in early January with six franchises.
While the cities that squads will play in during the league’s inaugural season have been announced, none of the clubs have yet to reveal their full names. Or which arenas they will be playing out of.
Whisperings are the Toronto franchise will call the Coca-Cola Coliseum home. The facility is also the home rink for the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies, the top affiliate for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
The PWHL will also include two other Canadian franchises, one in Montreal and the other in the nation’s capital of Ottawa.
As for Roque, she’ll be suiting up for the yet-to-be named New York team. Boston and Minnesota clubs will also be participating in the circuit.
Pro women’s hockey in North America is nothing new. Other leagues have come and gone, including the recent Premier Hockey Federation, which ceased operations this past June.
Other pro leagues never had the opportunity to flourish, in part because they never really featured the majority of the top players in the world.
For example, Roque spent the 2020-21 and 2022-23 seasons touring with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, featuring a group of elite players showcasing their skills in various cities across North America while advocating for a viable circuit.
Though her First Nation is in Ontario, Roque has achieved the majority of her hockey success in the United States. She’s a dual citizen and represents the U.S. in international competitions.
Roque’s highlights include helping the Americans win the gold medal at the world women’s hockey championships earlier this year in Brampton.
Roque also led the U.S. to silver medals at the 2021 and ’22 world tournaments. Plus, she was on the American squad that captured the silver medal at 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Before suiting up for the U.S. senior women’s club, Roque was one of the top American collegiate players, toiling with the University of Wisconsin. Her accolades include helping her school win the NCAA championship in 2019.
Not surprisingly, Roque inked a contract with the PWHL’s New York squad earlier this month.
No doubt the high-scoring forward would be a valuable asset to any franchise in the new pro loop.
All six participating clubs were allowed to sign three players before the PWHL draft, held on Monday this week in Toronto.
Roque will in all likelihood be one of the go-to players for the New York squad. And if league organizers are correct with their thoughts that the PWHL is indeed the real deal for women’s hockey, expect many more people to know who Roque is in the coming months.
“To give a voice to the vision of the Anishinabek Nation and to preserve
Anishinaabe Bimaadziwin while advancing our goal of Nationhood.”
LOCATION: Anishinabek Nation Head Office, Nipissing First Nation OR Munsee-Delaware Nation Satellite Office OR Curve Lake First Nation Satellite Office OR Fort William First Nation Satellite Office OR Thunder Bay Satellite Office OR Garden River First Nation Satellite Office OR Sudbury Satellite Office
Full Time Position with Benefits
(after successfully completing 3 months of employment)
Salary Range: $60,032 to $68,036
In this rewarding position, the Anishinaabemowin Coordinator will work with the Anishinaabemowin Manager, Anishinaabemowin Commissioner, and Enkiitmajig Wii-aabiziitoong Anishinaabemowin Committee in the delivery of its work plan and strategic goals to support Anishinaabemowin for the Anishinabek Nation in accordance with its resolution mandate. The Anishinaabemowin Coordinator will report directly to the Anishinaabemowin Manager.
Minimum two (2) years of experience in an administrative role and/or business office setting;
Diploma or Degree in Anishinaabemowin, Administration, Business, Office Administration, Public Administration, or other applicable scope of study;
Working knowledge of Indigenous language stabilization and revitalization;
Ability to understand and speak Anishinaabemowin and/or a willingness to learn;
Exceptional computer skills and ability to work with different platforms (i.e. Microsoft Office, Zoom, Social Media); and
Valid Ontario driver’s license and be insurable.
Passion and keen interest in acquisition, retention, revitalization and stabilization of Anishinaabemowin;
Strong work ethic and commitment to preserving First Nation culture, language and heritage;
Comprehensive research skills;
Excellent coordination skills and experience in arranging travel, accommodations, booking of meeting spaces/board rooms and organizing online meetings with Zoom platform;
Familiarity with setting up files (hard copies and e-files) and storage of key program documents;
Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
Excellent networking skills;
Outstanding interpersonal and problem-solving skills;
Good understanding of the Anishinabek Nation, its goals and objectives; and
Exhibit professional attitudes and behavior.
Provide administrative support to the Anishinaabemowin Manager in the development of the Anishinaabemowin Department for the Anishinabek Nation;
Schedule and coordinate meetings as requested including identifying and confirming meeting spaces, coordinating travel plans for participants, processing purchase orders and cheque requisitions for payments, preparing meeting agenda, taking notes, drafting reports, etc.;
Assist with the implementation of the Committee’s strategic plan and record any adjustments as required as part of the yearly review;
Support Anishinaabemowin teacher in delivery of weekly Anishinaabemowin classes;
Create contact lists and compile directory of key contacts with government agencies and First Nations in response to the Indigenous Languages Act for project funding and program development;
Order/store and file Anishinaabemowin products, and help to develop a clearing house to share information with First Nations and staff;
Book translation services as required;
Support the collaboration efforts between the Anishinabek Nation, the Anishinabek Educational Institute, and the Education Secretariat for academic program development and accreditation;
Attend meetings with the Anishinaabemowin Manager as required;
Arrange for meetings with Nation Building Advisory Committee members, Getzidjig and other language keepers for language development as required; and
Adhere to all established Anishinabek Nation (Union of Ontario Indians) policies and procedures.
APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
Three employment references;
Identify whether the applicant has been previously employed by the Anishinabek Nation (formerly Union of Ontario Indians). Note that the organization will conduct a reference check with the previous employee’s immediate supervisor;
Identify whether the applicant is a member of one of the 39 Anishinabek First Nations; and
The Anishinabek Nation welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the hiring process.
Applications must be received no later than 4:30pm on Friday October 6, 2023.
Applications are to be submitted to:
Human Resources Department
Fax: (705) 497-9135 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For inquiries regarding this position, please contact:
Ali Darnay, Anishinaabemowin Manager
Miigwech to all applicants for their interest, however, only those who qualify for an interview will be contacted.
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