Grade 9 English – Handprint Mural

Jim Adams, recent recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Aboriginal Educator in Schools grant, spent a week with our grade 9 English class. He shared amazing stories of creation, his personal experiences and other themes and taught us all how important stories are to our past, present and future.

We created a shared story through images, art and words on a mural, beginning with the most unique part of ourselves: our handprints!! Thanks Jim for an amazing experience and we hope you come back again soon.

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Learning about Complementary Medicine

The healthcare fundamentals unit in the grade 11 health care class is a very long and involved one. After learning common health care terms and learning about the major bones, muscles and organs in the body from hospice care franchise from Interim Home Healthcare, we have shifted our focus to the topics of homeostasis, lifestyle choices, and disease prevention and treatment but it is better to get redirected here to know about the current need in the field of medicine. When looking at disease prevention and treatment, we not only look at the conventional western modalities, but also focus on complementary methods such as massage therapy, meditation, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. The grade 11 health care class was fortunate to be able to look at this important site which covers the topic of  First Nations Rituals of disease prevention and treatment. We had the good fortune of having the Academy’s good friend and master orator Jim Adams who led two classes on the aforementioned topic.

On the first day, students looked at how Western medicine differs from Indigenous medicine, focusing not only on the differences, but the similarities as well. Jim talked about the medicine wheel and its teachings as well as the seven chakras of the body.

On day two, students were treated to cedar tea at the start of class and informed about its health benefits. Jim focused on the use of energy centers to achieve balance to overall health during the first half of the class, and answered student questions during the second half. Overall, students were very engaged and intrigued by the wealth of knowledge and stories Jim presented to them.

Feast of Thanks Celebration

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We enjoyed yet another hugely successful Feast of Thanks today at the Academy in honour of Canada’s Indigenous people. We welcomed Darlene as our special guest from the Native Women’s Resource Center in Toronto. A big thanks goes out to everyone who contributed and especially our amazing staff, students and volunteers who did everything from oven heating duty to photography to set up and clean up. We are grateful for our harvest, our friends and family and especially our Y community. Happy fall!

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Jim Adams Visits the Academy

Jim Adams YMCA Academy

On Monday, September 21, Jim Adams came and told us stories while we were sitting in the library at our school.

Jim is a Native story teller and singer. He comes to our school once a year to share his stories about lessons and history. Jim comes to the Academy to teach us about different types of cultures, so we can know about the world a little more.

I like hearing his stories. It wasn’t like other stories that I normally listen to.

By a Gr. 9 YMCA Academy student

Tissue Paper Stained Glass

The Grade 9 Native Studies class created stunning tissue paper “stained glass” compositions inspired by the artworks of the Ojibway, Algonquin and Mi’kmaq First Nations. Using thick black lines, a broad colour pallet and abstract designs, students applied elements often found in Eastern Woodland art to their own multi-media projects. Rather than on the wall, these transparent pieces will go on the windows!

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