Excerpts from the KA-NA-TA Student Exchanges



Our Family Ancestral Research

Our School

Residential Schools

Our Town

Our Community

Our Culture

The Language Connection

The Land Connection

The New Millennium

What We Have Learned







My name is Deven and I am First Nations. I am 11 years old. My nation is Cree. My grandparents are from the Reserve near Vancouver. I was born in Dawson Creek, B.C. I came here when I was just one year old. My dad is also from the Native Reserve. I have five sisters. Their names are Megan, Samantha, Autymn, Tammara and Shiane. Shiane lives with my real dad.

I am a native dancer. I do fancy dancing and I have to wear regalia. I have to wear a dress with leggings, a long sleeved shirt and a braid. On my head I wear a clip with beads and small feathers. I can't wear a short sleeved shirt because I can't show any skin except for my hands and face. I can't wear a headband with feathers until I am 16. I wear a shawl and mocassins too. I really enjoy this dancing.

This summer I am going to go to the United States so I can go to the Sundance. The Sundance is when older people from 16 to 30 years old dance for four days and three nights without food or water. Last summer I went to the Sundance and I was the Sundance mother. If you want to know what that is, well, the Sundance mother has to pray for all of her children. When she sees one of her children start to fall because it's very tiring , she has to dance to encourage them to start to dance again. If I go to the Sundance this year I might get to be the Sundance mother again. Also I am going to get my jiggle dress this year because I want to be a jiggle dreser dancer.

Your pal,


from James Ardiel



Hi. I am a First Nations student and my nation is Salish. I was born in Vancouver and I am 11 years old. My name is Colton. I live with my mom and younger brother Talon. I have an older brother and six sisters. They live at Mount Currie with my dad. It is isolated up there. There aren't too many people there. I was there at Spring break and it was very hot. It wasn't raining. I had a good time. I went horseback riding. My dad takes tourists out on horseback into the woods. There are lots of trails. I'm going to live up there when I'm older and bring my brother too. I'm going to build my own house, a log house, up there. Then I can probably do the same type of work as my dad.

This is all for now.




Hello everyone how are you? I live in Quispamsis New Brunswick I go to Harry Miller Middle School and am 12 years old. I am turning 13 in October. My nick names are Mere-Bear, Mary Beth, Mere and many more I can't remember. My name means ..

Meredith- Guardian of the sea.

Ann- Mercy and Grace

I agree with the guardian of the sea because I Iove to swim. I spend my whole summer in the water at the beach.

My family originated from Ireland, Scottland and Whales. We still do certain traditions that my ancestors did in the past.

I have two sisters Jaclyn an dMegan one brother named Chris I have a mother and a father.





I think this activity went really well. It was a great beginning to the Kids From Kanata project. The students were able to come up with a great list of things that they could write about to describe themselves to others. The majority of the students had no difficulty writing a full page about themselves.

The students finished with enough time to share their work with the rest of the class. They were all so eager to talk about themselves!! They were also interested in hearing about the other students in the class. The students learned about children in the class who they did not know very well before. This was also a good exercise for those students who don't participate often in class. They were able to share their ideas without the fear of being 'wrong'. All of the children knew that they would be hearing about things that were different from them and they all seemed to be very respectful when another student was sharing their work.

Teacher Candidate, Faculty of Education, York University



Our Family Ancestral Research

My Ancestors that came to Canada first were my great grand parents. They came from Lithuwania. Some ways that they kept in contact with that country was they ordered the Lithuwania paper every month. They also spoke Lithuwanian, my Grandma and Grandpa can still say a little bit of Lithuwanian. They also have some books in Lithuwanian.

In 1951, my grandfather came with his wife, my grandmother,his mother, father, and 6 siblings. They came from Frieshland, Holland. They came on a plane across the ocean and a train to Lethbridge, Alberta. This is where they first settled. They worked on a dairy farm there as helping hands. In 1953 they moved to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Here they started up their own farm, The Big Bend Dairy. The oldest of their three children took over the farm.

There were 3 reason's why the came to Canada. The first was to start up their own farm. Second was to have a better life and the third was to escape the hardships of the Netherlands.

The housing in the Netherlands was very similar to the ones in Canada during that time period. Their first house in Alberta looked the same.

Living in Canada is a lot different than Holland. There are 3 big differences. Climate and Geography, Population, and Language.

There a few similarites between these two countries. The first is the feeling for farming and the second is the piano.




To: Ancestors Keots'edihsho Triad

Dear Jill,

It's Lily again. Today I need to tell you about my family history and my name. I was born in Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I received my name from my great-bubby. In other words, great-grandmother. My hebrew names are Leah Dvora(la-ah dvora). Leah means bee. My father was born in Montreal and my mother in Norway. My grandma and grandpa on my dad's side were born in Montreal. To finish my father's side of the places: My great-grandmothers and my great-grandfathers were born in Lithuainia and in Russia. My great-great-grandparents on my father's side were also born in Lithuainia and Russia. My grandmother on my mother's side was born in Ukraine and all of her parents and grandparents were born there too. My mother's father was born in Warsaw and the same with all of his parents and grandparents.

The first people on my mom's side to come to Canada were my Bubby, my grandfather, Zadie, and my mom. They came to have a better life. The first person on my dad's side to come to Canada was my great Bubby to escape the persecution in Europe. Some of my dad's relatives, when traveling, stayed in Paris instead of coming to Canada.

I think all of your family came from very different parts of the world than my family.





Glenlyon Norfolk School, BC.

My whole class has now sent their resumes (we called them first contact letters). They have also researched their family histories and are trying to type their letters. Some of the information was really interesting. Two girls discovered their ancestors helped with the European settlement of the Red River Valley, and they were on opposite sides! We have made the video tape (tour of our school) for the Wampum boxes and are now trying to decide what else to put in them.




The picture is from Miss A's grade 6 class. Each flag represents where their ancestors came from.



Prince Arthur School, Moose Jaw, SK



Our School



Our school, Morell Consolidated, is located in the fishing\farming village of Morell. The village is found along the northeastern shore of Prince Edward Island. We are about 35 minutes from our capital, Charlottetown.

The school was built in 1967. When it was built it combined 7 smaller schools from the outlying areas to make our consolidated school. We share our bus system with the high school in the village. Nine buses bring students as far away as 25 miles. There is a native reserve, Morell Micmac Reserve, which feeds into our school.There are 251 students from grades 1-8 at our school. Our school has singled graded classrooms with the exception of a 6-7-8 general program. The subjects we study are language arts, math, science, history, family life, music, phys. ed., French, and computer. We are able to participate in activities such as cross country running and skiing, orienteering, soccer, choir, peer tutoring, and a Spanish club.

The first time I went hunting caribou I was 12 years old. I went hunting with my dad, Tony, and Charlie. We went hunting near Snare-Lake.

It took us one day to get near Snare Lake on our ski-doo. There was a camp already there. It was like a tee-pee but the covering was a tent. We made a fire and our beds. Then we had some food.

In the morning we went hunting. It was 6 hours before we came upon the caribou. We shot three caribou. Dad skinned the caribou and put the meat in our sled and went home.





Residential Schools


I think that the Europeans should not have had residential school because they taught the children the European ways of everything and not their own culture.The Europeans told the children that their culture was bad.Instead the Europeans should have asked the Coast Salish if they wanted them to teach them their language.If they said no they could offer to help build their own school because they are good at building things and so they could have their own school.At there own school there parents and there elders could teach them about there own culture and language If they wanted the Coast Salish wanted the Europeans to teach them their language, a European person could come to their school and teach them their language.





I think that it was very mean and bad what they did. They shouldn't have taken the Native children away and they should have let them live their own family life. The Europeans were trying to help the Native children to be more like the white men. But the native education was best for the Native way of life. In stead of taking them away from their family they should of sent them to the villages. They would of teaches them enough about the white men so that they could live in their world if they wanted to.





I think they could of handled residential schools better if they had a native or someone who saw the natives' point of view look at the residential schools and have the Europeans tell them about the school.

The Europeans also should of given the families there own free will to go, not go, and come back home.

It would be better if they had someone who spoke both languages to help them communicate.

It was wrong to hit the children! It was wrong to take away from their families and tell them that their culture was wrong because it was different! Someone should of told the Europeans that they didn't like the way they treated the natives and go do something about it.

From Kris



Our Town


Tethani Triad

Decker Lake Description

People who are new to our town like it because...

There are lots of people here from back east. There are lots of Saskatchewaners, Newfoundlanders and other maritimers.

There are some Ontarioans and lots of German and Dutch people here too.

First Nations People...

Here are some of the local clans:

(some people here have ties to the Hawgilget people of the coast)

Near us are the Ncoslie, Stelaquo, Stoney Creek and TL'ASTLEN Bands. They all speak their own dialect of the Carrier language, from the Athapaskan language heritage.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Decker Lake School Kanata Club




Pioneering settlers from the environs of Oddesa, Russia came to Saskatchewan just after the turn of the century and gave to the southern community that they helped found the same name as the historic city and the district of the old world.


Trisha &




Our Community


Hi there H.B. and Mr. B. Sorry we have been so slow in responding to your messages. First of all we would all really like to thank you for the items you sent in your box. The dream catchers were really nice... we have them hanging in our classroom and a number of other students have commented on how nice they are. We enjoyed the hockey posters (there was a fight over them) and the teen newspapers. The newspapers gave us some ideas for our own school newspaper. We enjoyed reading quite a few of the items about teens.

In response to your questions. We think that life in our rural community is pretty boring, now much to do, except when there are pow wows, roundances, sports days, or soccer and slow pitch tournaments. On weekends people go into town and play bingo, go to the arcade, watch a movie or do their washing.

It seems to us that London has a greater variety of sporting activities even more than our closest city (North Battleford) which only has a population of about 15 000. We think that London probably has more problems with drugs and alcohol that w than we do, but we are only guessing at that. Because we live on the reserve where everyone is Cree we feel that our ties to our culture are stronger probably than many of your students. We often have sundances, sweats, rounddances, pow wows, pipe ceremonies, and other cultural events put up by members of the community. Also, many people still speak Cree which again ties us to our culture. However, many of the younger people now growing up do not speak Cree well. Thus, our school is starting a stronger Cree program as part of the curriculum.

Our school is very small compared to your school--our population is only about 150 and that's from kindergarten right up to grade 11. For us this means it can be kind of boring, but it's easier sometimes to be in a smaller class because then the teachers have more time to help you out. School is almost over for us. We start writing exams at the end of this year and then there is a big community dinner for awards and the like. Are you guys close to being done? Hope you all have a great summer. Wish we could have conversed more but the little we did have time for was certainly well worth it. Take care.

......Grade Nines ......Chief Little Pine School




Our Culture


Dear Inman School and St. Andrews, N.B.,

Hi, my name is Bailey. I am 12 years old and I live in Surrey B.C. I am First Nations. My culture is Kwakuitl or Nimpkish (Namgis). This culture is at Alert Bay, B.C. I go up there every second year. My dad was born there. My dad is First Nations but my mom is not. I have one sister. Her name is Caitlin and she is 9 years old. She is in grade 4. I live with my mom and dad and Caitlin. I was born in Surrey, B.C.

I'm going to tell you about my First Nations clan. From Surrey it takes about 8 hours and three ferries to get to Alert Bay. Just about everybody on my dad's family side live up there. In 1996 or 1997 there was a fire in the big house. There was nothing left of it. It was built again and in 1999, May 27-29, the opening came. It went on all day.

There is a lot of dancing in my culture. Where I dance with my aunt and uncle, my uncle plays the drum and my aunt and all my cousins dance. Alert Bay has one of the biggest totem poles. It is in front of the big house. It is famous. Alert Bay has one school that has lots of learning about First Nations there. There is no mall. There is a big ocean and when a Killer Whale comes by we go to the shore. A lot of cruises come by there. But there isn't much up there only our culture.

Your friend and e-penpal,



Dear Colleen,

I remembered that, I am from Taiwan. And know I will tell you more about my culture. Taiwan's modern dress is the same as Canada, and our languages are mostly Mandarin and Fukienise. The food are very different from Canada. They would mostly have chopped meat, and plates of vegies. And for treats, the children would get a kind of dough that you fry instead of bake, and they would eat it with chopsticks or with hands if they are clean. Also there are another kind of treat that you get a kind of stick, which is a sugar cane and they're really cheap in Taiwan, and you would scrap off the green part and cut it into piece, after that you can chew the yellow-white part, when you finish chewing a piece of sugar cane and all the sweet part is off, you would spit the stuff in the garbage. If you visit Taiwan, the restaurant would have a bowl instead of plates and they would also they would have chopsticks instead of dinner wear. Some Mandarin people believe in Buddha, and some don't, and religion is Tai.

From, Jespeter



Hi, Its me Katie. I am from China but I am born here. Chinese is a very interesting cultural.Costumes are mostly always red because red is a very lucky colour.Dances fan and ribbons. Chinese dances are full of movements. Dances and costumes are always red.They're many group activities together.The language Chinese is very hard to speak if you don't know how is speak, and when you listen to it, sounds very weird. Some word in Chinese sound like English too.Some people don't know what Japanese,Korean and Mandarin sounds different.English people have a really hard time hearing the sounds.I know the language sounds very different.Chinese food are really good for some people.We usually eat rice sometimes noodle or different things. We eat lots of vegetable more then meat. We also eat lots of seafood. we don't really have to prepare because all we have to do is buy food. But in old in days I think they do but not now. To me Chinese food is very good I like it so much.

From Katie


Dear Jill,

Are you looking forward to the summer holidays? I am. This letter will tell you about the contributions my culture made to society.

Jews speak many languages. One of them is Yiddish. Others are Russian, Hebrew, Polish, Ukrainian, Norwegian, and many more. One of the contributions that Jews made to society was some words. Some of those words are schlepp which means to drag, shmo which means an unlucky person, kvetch which means a complainer, and much more. Those words are in Yiddish.

Another contribution that Jews made to society was food and food preparation.

Some of those foods are latkes which are made by frying grated potatoes in oil, another is bagels, kosher dill pickles are made by marinating special cucumbers in brine. Another is lox. Lox is a special way to smoke salmon. This is the last one I am telling you about. It is chopped liver. To make this you grind fried chicken livers in oil and spices.

The next contribution are laws. The ten commandments and the new or the old testament.

There are many more but those are the three I chose.

Love From Lilly



Dear Kevin,

My ancestors are from Scotland. Scottish people wear kilts. Long ago men used to wear kilts and the women didn't. My daddy is Scottish an he has a kilt. But now adays in privet school they wear them just like are school does. Did you know that Scottish people invented porridge. Porridge is one of the breakfast you can have. They also invented haggis which is grounded up guts. Gross !!!!!! The Scottish music is pang pipes and it is played at special occasions. My daddy has one to. I have to go now bye.

Your friend , Tess



The Language Connection


Dear Jill,

Today it is about the language connection. I am Jewish and Jews speak Yiddush and Hebrew. Jews traditional language is Hebrew. Russian, Hebrew, Yiddush, English, and Polish were spoken by my ancestors who first settled in Canada. My family speaks English at home and my dad and mom speak French. My mom's mom speaks twenty seven languages in all. Some of them include: Russian, Hebrew, English, Polish, Yiddush, German and French. My mother's first language was Yiddush. The name of my culture's language is Hebrew and I can't write it in Hebrew because the computer can't identify those letters. I wrote a sentence in Hebrew that read; Hello. Leah and Dvora are in the house. But again the computer can't identify those letters. Glenlyon Norfolk School teaches Spanish, French, English, German and Japanese.





Many students shared stories about themselves or family members who had a hard time adjusting to life in Canada, especially due to language barriers. It was interesting to see the pride in the students as they told us what languages their family speaks, especially from those students who are able to speak another language. Some students shared a sentence or two in another language and the students loved hearing it. They were very attentive and eager to share stories about their own families and countries of origin. Students were also excited when they found out my families language and the students who spoke and understood it were very proud. It was great to see the interest the students had in their origins and the fact that so many of them knew so much about it.

Jenn M. Teacher Candidate, Faculty of Education, York University



Some took the assignment home so their parents and grandparents could help them. Only one or two children did not complete the assignment. Some chose to illustrate what they felt the sentence meant.

They seemed to enjoy learning more about the languages that they speak. It was also interesting for some of them to show me their language and teach me how to say some of the sentences. (What they liked the most was that they got to laugh at my pronunciation of most of the words). This activity showed them that their heritage languages are important and that it is good to share these languages.

Jennifer A. Teacher Candidate, Faculty of Education, York University



Hola amigos.

Les escribo esta carta para saludaros y darles las gracias por esforzarse en escribir la carta en espa­ol . Les cuento que enferme y por eso no puedo jugar futbol pero cuando me recupere podre jugar futbol.

En la escuela me ha ido muy bien eso gracias a que he estudiado las materias .

Bueno sin nada mas que decirles me despido de ustedes.

Adios. (From Chile)


Thank You Jimmy, Klaus, Kevin



The Land Connection


The population of our reserve is 700, The Ochiese reserve.The reserve was first Established in the early 50's for the treaty people. Our purpose of the reserve was for fur trading and our land used now is for oil , gas, and very little farming. And there's old pictures of the community in the historical park.

Will send a map of Rocky Mountain House and area in the wampum box.




The Town of Rothesay NB, my home, was made by the amalgamation of the villages of East-Riverside-Kingshurst, Fairvale and Renforth, the previous town of Rothesay, and a portion of Wells. This happened in 1998.

Now lets go a little more back. During the Ice Age, there was a lake where Rothesay is now. When the icebergs moved, the lake became deeper, joined the Saint John River, and became the Kennebecasis River, which is over 300 feet deep in some areas! A while later, the ice receded, and the area was roamed, fished and hunted by Micmacs and the Maliseet Native Americans. Even the name "Kennebecasis" is thought to be taken from the Micmac name "Kenepekachiachk", which means "little long bay place".

In 1604, Samuel de Champlain discovered the area, and European settlers began to settle in the Saint John River valley. Progress was slow, however, and only in the 1700's their number exceeded the 100 mark. by 1784, there was only 200 English settlers in the region, when New Brunswick became a seperate province of Canada. This is where Rothesay began. 15,000 Loyalist soldiers flooded the area, displacing the French colonists, who had displaced the Native Americans. Around then, the settlement of Rothesay began in earnest. The town motto of Rothesay, "Quinque Iuncta In Uno" (Five United In One) reprensents the strength and the unity of our municipality and the joining together of the five founding communities.




Did you know that the population of Victoria BC is 326,000? Victoria was first established in 1843 as a Hudson's Bay Company post. The city of Victoria was incorporated in 1862 so Victoria is officially 138 years old. The Salish Tribe of Lekwammen was the First Nation to occupy Victoria before the town was established. They now live on the Tsartlip and Esquimalt Reserves.

Victoria was created as the local headquarters for Hudson's Bay Company. Later it became an important part for the gold rush of the 1850's and as a base for the British Navy's Pacific fleet.The first European settlers to arrive in Victoria were the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company.

The main industries of Victoria today are government, tourism, and retirement. The main ethno-cultural backgrounds of Victoria are British, Asian, and European.

Several local places have native names and these are some of them. Esquimalt means place of shoaling waters, downtown Victoria (Kuo-sing-el-as) Place of strong fibre (Pacific Willow).

Your Friends, Karen + Michelle




The New Millenium


To: Millennium Mahigan Triad

Hello! My name is Gabrielle. If I had to chose three things that I would like to see happen in the future between cultures I would probably pick, I think that our cultures should try listening to the other cultures like the Europeans should have done with the Natives. We should all try to understand what everyone else is talking about and what their needs are. We should be friendly to everyone of the same cul;tures and anyone of the different cultures. If you don't at least try to be friendly you could bve missing out on a lot. Maybe you could meet your best friend by talking , listening or even just saying, hello. You could teach them about your culture and they could probably teach you something new about their culture that could be very interesting. You can learn a lot by just listening to each other.

Bye Gabrielle




What We Have Learned


I think I have learned quite a bit about the Natives, about their culture and about my own culture. Heres what I learned.

I think the thing i liked most about this project was chatting with people who live far away from me. I learned where my family came from I learned about my great great grandfather I leaned about the treaty I learned about Residential schools

We got to learn about the Natives and about the Residential schools so know we know how to treat the Natives and to be more careful not to force them to do the things that they don't want to do.




I find that the thing I liked the best about this project was looking up my first ancestors and finding information about them. Looking for information on my ancestors was also the hardest part. I have learned a little about other languages and different culture.

I've learned more about my culture, and other's too. I've met people from all around the country, and about diffirent languages



Activity 10: What we have learned.

I think the hardest activity was probably activity 8 because I found it difficult finding treaties in New Brunswick. Although I found out a lot of information about treaties in N.B I have to admit I had fun doing it. One other Activity I found difficult was activity 6 because I didn't know of any thing my cultures have donated over the years.

I found it interesting that you could talk to more than one person at a time. I thought there would just be two classes that we could talk to istead we could talk to people from around Canada. I talked to people in Manitoba, Newfound Land, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta and even in our own school. I am sure there are other places that people lived but I just don't know about it.

One other thing I found interesting is that even though we are talking to people In Ontario say it is only 10:45 yet it is 11:45 here and we are about to go out for lunch. I think that all the other students find that interesting.

One other thing is doing these activities makes people realise that we don't really know what happened to our ancestors in the past, because we think that it doesn't matter and that it isn't interesting. We have to find out about them somettime why not now.




Subject: What i have learned

In doing this project, I learned many things, I learned about what it was like in the past, and I learned about the treaties that were signed in the 1700's. I already knew about my ancestors that came from Czechslovakia, because I did a speach on them in grade six. I did learn more about them though, and where exactly they came from.

If I had the chance to continue with Kids From Kanata, I would, baecause it is a good way to learn many things about my history, and the history of Canada. I think that everyone in Canada should be able to do this project. I think that Kids From Kanata is a good program, and that people should make a program for the world to learn about their ancestors, and the history of their country.