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Resistance on the Giimooch: The Life Story of Mary Courchene


The lessons in this Teacher's Guide resource are formatted around the Medicine Wheel’s Four Directions. The four directions format was chosen to show Mary’s life around the Medicine Wheel, beginning in the East which is the direction of childhood, moving to the South which is the direction of youth, then to the West which is the direction of adulthood, and finally to the North which is the direction of Elders. As students travel around the Medicine Wheel, they will gain a deeper understanding of Mary’s life as an Anishinaabe woman surviving Canada’s darkest history.

At the beginning of each section, there is a brief overview of the teachings of that direction as given by Anishinaabe Elder Dan Thomas. It is important to note that the teachings within each of the four directions are ever-evolving and fluid. Following this overview, there is a description of student learnings. Each direction has four accompanying lessons. The directions and lessons are presented in order for your ease of use.

Throughout this resource, students will learn about Elder Mary Courchene’s life story while exploring topics including the treaty relationship, the Medicine Wheel’s four stages of life, Residential Schools, displacement, important moments in Indigenous history, identity, agency, and living a good life.

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