Top image and above: Kapapamahchakwew Wandering Spirit School, 2018
The looms were not originally planned as a part of the project – it was going to be Great Lakes bead embroidery. Some of the students were not enjoying or having challenges with bead embroidery. I added looms as an accommodation even before I took my BEd and knew what an accommodation is lol. Indigenous ways of knowing and being right?? The experience of learning beadwork is a traditional art form and we were in the process of reclaiming that skill. It wouldn’t be right if the students felt forced or had a sense of unease with the work – because as you and I know, that goes into the work. The looms were introduced as an alternative. I hadn’t developed a powerpoint at that stage in my practice – I taught them in the traditional way – one on one, the way that I was taught. Luckily the group was small which made this possible.
For my practicum at Riverdale I created a powerpoint. There were 7 NAC-10 classes being taught over two days (working on the 120 looms we constructed). I needed the powerpoint so the students would have access to information (via google classroom) – plus the teachers also had to be taught as I needed their support. While it was all unfolding I was really intimidated and wondered what I had got myself into, but it was amazingly successful. Eventually each classroom transformed from chaos to tranquility as the students picked up the skill. By the end of my practicum I created a brand new unit for their NAC-10 program. It was more successful than I could have even hoped.
The loomed pieces were done with the blended grade 5/6 class at Fairglen JPS (during my practicum) 2019.