Last March, nearly a year ago, we all watched as the world shut down because of COVID-19. Everything, including the Musée Héritage Museum, was closed. Like many Canadians, I was temporarily laid off. My world changed drastically.
Fast forward to the beginning of February 2021. My job has been saved for me and now I’m back at work, both from home and from the Musée, as it has much better internet than my rural provider.
Program requests are increasing as teachers and schools became more comfortable with virtual learning. Like many people, I have been on a steep learning curve for use of technology to stay connected with work, family and friends.
For me, as an Aboriginal Programmer, it has always been important to provide excellent programs rooted in local facts from an Indigenous perspective. I work at finding ways to offer virtual programs, while still being true to the Indigenous style of teaching which I have always used in programming. Things like building a relationship with teachers over time, sitting in a circle with little ones, hands on learning, these are all things that our Aboriginal programs are based on. How are we bringing the core of what we have previously done into this new style of learning?
We have developed a weaving program for all grade levels and can present this as a single grade program or as a whole school program. We have also designed a moccasin program using shapes for grade one, in addition to our regular curriculum based programs. All programs have been adapted to follow Covid protocols and online programs are age appropriate, with adjusted timelines so account for younger attention spans, and follow up activities related to the online learning.
It’s great for me to see teachers, whose classes are regular museum guests, now engage virtually. And I smile when teachers choose to have their class sit in a circle when I visit them online, just as they would at the museum. Seeing the smiling faces of students or teachers on Zoom or Google Meet still warms my heart.
It’s good to be back.
For more information about the virtual programs we currently offer go to museeheritage.ca and press the brown “learn” tab near the top of the page. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the curriculum based virtual programs we present online, contact us at 780 459-1528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.