June 21st is National Aboriginal Day ~ Share in the Celebration!

National Aboriginal Day is a time to celebrate our Aboriginal peoples – Indians, Inuit and Metis. It’s an opportunity to share and learn about Aborginal people in your community. For Aboriginal people, it’s a time to express who you are and the things that you do in a positive way.

Although these groups share some things, each has their own heritage, language, customs and spiritual beliefs. Help your children learn more about Aboriginal people. Ask an elder about their customs and beliefs. Find out about Aboriginal heritage sites, such as medicine wheels.

Traditionally Aboriginal stories were told out loud, and passed from person to person because there was no alphabet to write things down. Read some Aboriginal stories to your children. “Kinipan na” by Shirley Haynes tells the story of Freres Jacques (Brother John) in Cree, English and French.

Many of the games that we play today ~ cat’s cradle, team ball games, puzzles, games of chance, juggling and tug of war ~ are all based on Aboriginal games. Try the following Aborginal games with your kids:
1. Stick Catch: Balance a pencil across the back of the hand. Children then drop their hand and try to catch the pencil before it falls to the ground.
2. Pina: Is played with a circle of people. One player takes a deep breath and walks around the circle, tapping each person on the head and saying ”Pina” as they pass. The goal is to get all around the circle without taking another breath.

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