Wampum Belts


Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies, October 11, 2018

I like introducing students to the oral wampum agreements by having them engage in a drawing exercise that builds observational and oral communication skills.  Students are asked to form three groups.  Each group divides into two groups: the drawers and the communicators.  The communicators are given one wampum belt image to describe to the drawers who are not allowed to see the image.  The goal is for each group to create a blown up version of the wampum image they have received. Once the drawing is complete, everyone can work together to colour it in with whatever materials they choose.

Students are asked to guess what the agreements mean after being told that these images represent sacred promises that were made which enabled the Crown to establish the foundation for Canada.  After having a chance to guess, they are provided with a list of the promises (an unbreakable nation to nation friendship, equal sharing of resources, and non-interference) to match them up with the correct wampum belt.




We mounted the wampum belts in the display case across from the main office where they will be seen by teachers every morning.  A reminder to incorporate these teachings from last Friday’s PD day into their subjects.