Centennial College and Native Child and Family Services partnered together to develop a unique pilot program called “Pimooteewin Pathways” in the summer of 2010. It was intended for any Aboriginal Canadian in Toronto wanting to upgrade his or her own math and English skills to a college entry level.
The program’s success soon spread by word of mouth throughout the community. Many of the students had dropped out of high school but were keen to improve their skills to lead to better jobs and support for their own families.
“Pimooteewin” means “the journey” in Cree.
Several teachers were involved in teaching the different classes offered to the students at the Ashtonbee Campus. I was the math teacher for the second and third semesters, trying hard to integrate foundational math concepts with fun activities and aboriginal history.
You can learn more about the program through our old blog, pimooteewin.blogspot.com, or take a quick peek at some of the videos I created over the course of the year.
Program Highlights Unlisted. 5 mins.
Shown at the Closing Ceremonies for the program in March 2011, this video shows a compilation of all the activities the students participated in throughout the year, including some clips and photos from many of the videos below.
Scarborough Bluffs Unlisted. 7 mins.
Our first day trip with the group was in September 2010 to visit the Scarborough Bluffs in eastern Toronto. The students participated in a Math Trail in the morning, then performed English reflections in the afternoon. Part of the day was spent learning how to use digital cameras.
Interviews at the ROM Unlisted. 4.5 mins.
Another successful day trip occurred at the ROM in the Fall of 2010. Students were asked to perform interviews with each other at the end of the visit, answering questions and discussing items they had seen throughout the exhibits.
imagineNATIVE Film Festival Unlisted. 11 mins.
A memorable outing to the imagineNATIVE Film Festival in Toronto helped us gain new perspectives on aboriginal groups around the world. This video shows the opening ceremonies to the festival, then our discussions of some of the films we saw later that week.
Other important days are included in these unlisted videos:
Making Star Bundles (3.5 mins) Exploring geometry in aboriginal artwork, where each student created his or her own Star Bundle. Special guest instructor.
Making Drums (3 mins) Exploring the history and geometry in creating aboriginal drums, where each student created his or her own drum. Special guest instructor.
Making Rock Crystals (1 min) Math class + sugar + time = rock crystals!
Stop-Motion Tangrams (1 min) Math class + tangram puzzles + plot = stop-motion video!
Visiting the AGO (1 min) While not allowed to film inside the exhibits, instead we interviewed each other outside after our own explorations.
Visiting the ROM (3.5 mins) Exploring various exhibits, including: the Aboriginal room, the Gem room, the Bat Cave, and the Terracotta Warriors.
As a volunteer filmmaker, I produced all 10 videos in an attempt to document some of the more exciting events our program developed. Used with students permission.