72 § Lessons from Turtle Island
The dancer was then interviewed on the video. He talked about what
dancing meant to him, how hard he had worked to learn the dance traditions
and become skilled at moving correctly, and how much he hoped he would
win the dance competition at the powwow. When the dancing started, the
children all began to root for him. They seemed to have been moved by his
quiet voice and sincerity. When he did, in fact, win the competition, the chil-
dren cheered loudly.
Into the Circlealso contains a section on jingle dancing. Teachers who in-
corporate the book Jingle Dancerinto their curriculum might wish to show
that portion of the video.
Families through the Seasons
Byron Through the Seasons,
by the Children of La Loche and Friends
Teachers often highlight the seasons of the year with
young children as they unfold. They might intro-
duce books related to seasons and incorporate natu-
ral materials related to a particular time of the year
into science areas. Families also often have special
activities or traditions that are seasonal. Byron
Through the Seasons describes how Dene families in
Canada enjoy the seasons at their camp on the bay. The book
was written and illustrated by children from Ducharme Elementary School in
La Loche, Saskatchewan, with assistance from local advisors and elders. It is
written in both English and the Dene language. Children learn about many
cultural traditions as they listen to the story: catching and preparing fish,
making and decorating moccasins, cutting ice blocks to preserve fish in sum-
mer, tanning hides, gardening, and picking medicinal plants. They also notice
many activities that are similar to things they may do with their families, such
as cooking outside, camping out in tents, playing in the snow, and gardening.
Byron Through the Seasonsshows Native children and families of today. Al-
though long-standing traditions are still followed, modern accoutrements,
such as pickup trucks, schoolhouses, and snowmobiles, are also present.