Meesingw – Kaakaapush Wihkiit
Language & Culture School/Environmental Training Centre
Our nation is the Lunaape, traditionally from the east coast area of New York, New Jersey Pennsylvania and Delaware. Our nation, in particular the families of our community in southwestern Ontario have historically been through a lot. Our history is like many others on the east coast who have faced the removal from our homelands. We have faced many forces of colonization, assimilation and genocide that have misplaced our families from our language and ancestral understanding of identity, natural law and reciprocity within creation.
Our youth and families continue to proudly refer to themselves as Lunaapeewak, which means ‘they came from thought’. This name refers to our understanding within our creation story dating our identity back to the time when human beings first came into creation. This identity carries with it ancestral understanding of how we first were introduced in to creation along with our original instructions to relationship, responsibility and interdependence with creation.
Today as a community we know little of that cultural Lunaapeewak identity. We understand that this loss of identity has historically created confusion in self, family and community. The loss of cultural values and social structure has contributed to many of the social problems our community faces. In addition our connection and relationship to our environment has been compromised to our loss of cultural worldview and natural laws.
We believe very much in family training, programming and ancestral philosophies and practices of education. Our traditional teachings that make up our ancestral worldview are very much environmentally based. We have created an innovative program that focuses on individualized education plans to allow multiple learning styles, cultural teaching practices, land based education and the revitalization of our identity, language and cultural knowledge.
Our Vision of A
Private School and Environmental Training Centre
Meesingw has recruited brothers Brent and Bruce Stonefish to help our organization bring our vision of a language and culture school to a reality. Both Brent and Bruce attended doctoral programs in education at the University of Toronto and Harvard University. They are both known more for their cultural knowledge rather than their western education making them excellent candidates for putting our vision into reality.
The Stonefish brothers drawing on years of experience in First Nations education and Lunaapeewak culture have put together programs, environmental projects that are meant create alternative opportunities for education and training for our youth and their families. Our self-sustaining language and culture school and environmental training center will blends ancestral ways with contemporary practices to offer a programs and training modules meant to prepare our youth for today’s world and renew our relationship with our land. We envision a facility that is based in environmental conservation and cultural revitalization with a concentration on developing individual, family and community wellness.
Our Core Values
In our Lunaape cultural teachings it has been told that we have four (4) laws that we had agreed to follow at the time when we made our original agreements with creation. These four (4) laws include:
- Honesty – To be honest in living our lives with family, nation and creation. For us this includes teaching in way that allows our students to come to understand their own truth of existing within creation. This will ensure we give our students to explore all families of creation.
- Respect – To learn to be respectful in living our lives with family, nation and creation. For us this means providing an educational experience where understanding and acceptance are pillars of co-existing with all families of creation whether they be human, animal, plant fish, bird or the mother earth herself.
- Sharing – To learn to share in living our lives with family, nation and creation.. For us this value ensures that we teach our students to understand responsibility and interdependence with family, community, nation and creation.
- Kindness – To learn to be kind in living our lives with family nation and creation. For us this centers around understanding holistic development and wellness. It is important that our students are provided with opportunities to be taught reciprocity in creation in order to understand the importance of all families in creation.
Our Goals and Objectives
The following are goals and objectives that are central to our green private school and environmental training center:
● To work toward the revitalization of our Lunaape language and the ancestral worldview for our families, community and nation.
● To provide opportunities for identity development (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) through traditional cultural on the land educational experience
● To create a green facility that is environmentally friendly in its construction and operation by using green techniques and technology
● To ensure our students have the opportunity to work on curricula (including maths, sciences, language arts) that prepares them to move on to post-secondary education such as college, university, trade school or directly into the workplace if they desire.
● To provide environmental training modules tha reconnect the family to their environment including seasonal activities and conservatism.
● To develop partnerships and opportunities for sharing in educational participation and environmental conservation.
● To promote the importance of and reciprocity of family, community, nation and creation.