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Buffalo Kit Lesson Plans
Mandatory Kit Procedures
The Inquiry Process
Stories tell us what is important to people. Objects tell us stories. This kit is designed for object based learning and applying the inquiry process. The explanations on the left are to support teachers in using this kit. As an inquiry project students should be guided towards finding the stories of the objects independently through research. Use this information as background for yourself as a teacher.
Protocol and Background Information
sweetgrass braids 1 tied with red Ribbon
Sweetgrass should always be handled with care and
respect. It is important to many aboriginal cultures
It is used for sacred ceremonies to carry prayers to
the Creator. It is used in homes as good medicine
and used to smudge with for purification. It is still
picked today and used today. (See Sweetgrass
in the supplimentary resources - stories and
games)(Have students use the index to find
information on sweetgrass and medicinal plants
in the text
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the
1 small bison robe
Children should remove their shoes before sitting on
the robe.When folding the hide, have sstudents give the
robe a shake and fold it along the back first. Avoid
picking it up by by the tail.
Uses of Buffalo Hide
How to tan a moose Hide
Indians of the northern plains wore buffalo hides for both practical and ceremonial purposes.
They wore buffalo hides in winter, with the fur on the inside for warmth.
1 piece of pre-cut red pipestone
For the most part pipes are sacred. Therefore we do
not include one in the kit. However this is an
unsculpted piece of pipestone ready to be shaped
into a useful pipe. In this form it is allowed to be
handled by students. There are many different styles of pipes
and many purposes for using them.
Each group of people have their own way of using them.
1 text Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains by Terry Willard Wild Rose College of Healing Ltd, 1992 2003 7th printing
This text can be used in many different ways. Students
can consult this useful index and see what local plants
were used by aboriginal peoples for medicines.
Additional source : Plants and the Blackfoot - Alex Johnson
1 tin box with dried Wild Mint
Students should consult the included text to see how
this plant can be used for healing. They can pick it
themselves and brew a tea. It is a common plant growing
with in the local district. Usually found in or near the sloughs,
in pastures, etc. It is still picked and used by aboriginal
people today.see text
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains
White Cotton gloves
White cotton gloves for handling objects
1 package unopened medium size
1 package unopened large size
20 individual gloves
19 in big bundle
Gloves can be washed and dried in machines
This document teaches teachers and students to handle
artifacts both fragile and sturdy with museum standard
methods. Gloves are used to protect the artifacts and the
Gloves should be washed in a washing machine
and dried in a dryer before sending the kit to its next distination.
22 Safe zones
Museum terminalogy for these items is "safe zones".
Each person who will be handling artifacts must have
one on the floor in front of them. Artifacts are placed
on this zone and are not to be moved off of them except
to visually examine the object. Even then the object
should be held above the safe zone. The safe zone
provides a cushion in case the artifact slips from their
hands. It provides a focus for studetns to work on so
that they are not distracted, and a safe place for the
artifact to rest on during the course of examination.
1 maul reddish wrapped in large pink bubble wrap
This is a heavy object. Always apply the 2 handed
handling and transferring method when engaging
with this artifact.
Various stone tools
Flint Knapping Pouch
1 commercial tanned pouch with a rock, pointed antler horn, thick leather square for knee or thigh protection, for flint napping and some flint pieces in a plastic bag
Flint knapping is an ancient method of making stone tools
such as knives, spear heads and and arrow heads.
Making stone tools
How to make stone tools - youtube
1 bison horn polished
Buffalo provided Aboriginal people many useful tools.
Some uses of buffalo horns are powder horns, fire carriers, cups
spoons, ladles, toys, and split horn bonnets.
1 bone flesher
Innu show how to use a flesher (Fall segment)
1 pouch with a bone sewing needle, sinew, flat rock, bone sewing needle, 1 awl, sewing kit, sinew is fragile handle with care
The Sewing pouch contains an awl which was used to create the holes in the leather by first putting the leather on the flat rock then using the awl to puncture holes into the leather to put the sinew through
Plastic bag with stone chips
Stone chips found in an archaeological site could be evidence of stone tool making by the people living there
1 bone comb
7 tin cones for a jingle dress
Jingle Dress Background
Youtube - Jingle dress dance
Youtube - Jingle dress - side step
1 pair of home tanned moccasins decorated blue black and orange beads
Stories of Footwear in Early Canada
From the Land Came our Moccasins
1 fox skin
Fox skins among other skins we’re use for making things such as clothing and blankets and even today they are still being used for many things and are worth 20-25$ depending on what kind of fur it is and how many foxes are populating the area as prices may be heighted to encourage hunting of the foxes
1 ermine skin fragile handle with care
Their fur was prized by Native Americans and European
Ermine tails and pelts
24 red buffalo beads
51 purple top cowrie shells
Closed vile of 10 porcupine quills
Porcupine quills were mainly used for sewing
10 small turquoise stones
10 dentalium shells
Shells were used to purchase a wide range of items -- canoes, houses, ceremonial regalia, tobacco, food, animal skins even to to pay for doctoring, wives, or fines.
Among many Native American tribes such as the Chinook, dentalia was valued in the same way as were canoes and slaves, all of which connoted great wealth and which were prized possessions to be distributed among chosen survivors after a warrior's death.
2 mother of pearl discs
5 elk teeth
Elk tooth dress
On a shawl
Maternal Ties (A story about an Elk Tooth Dress by Sable Sweetgrass)
1 tobacco twist
Not all First Nations used tobbaco for traditional purposes
Traditional use of Tobacco
American Indian Tribes
1 pouch kinnikinick tobacco mixture see plant book
1 buffalo tail
Used as fly swatters and as water switch in sweats
1 mounted fletched arrow with stone tipped, sinew ties and glue binding
Used as a weapon for hunting
How Fletched Arrows are made
1 doll made from cattails � fragile
Cattail duck toy
1 small bag of moss sphagnum
Elder Agnes Alphonse talks about our drinking water and she says when you look at any lake now with the exception of the many fresh lakes in the northern part of the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan, you don't think about drinking the water- its not good. Today there is so much waste and garbage. She says that she raised all of her children using the moss bag, and we did not need modern diapers that cause pollution. It was a difficult life to live but we were happy and healthy because the children were dry and smelled like the earth, moss has many healing elements that do not cause irritation or diaper rash. The woman would gather caribou hide bags full of moss before freeze up and clean it out until there were no twigs or minor irritations to the skin and then it was stored. Moss can be returned back to the earth; it could be thrown away and it would degrade naturally. The Dene people of the past had many remedies for natural ills such as sunstroke, rashes, and so forth, there were medicine men that specialized in these areas. They knew what to look for on the earth when they search for healing herbs and plants. Today we do not know anything about the land that we live on.
Gifts of the Buffalo
Hand Drum and Stick
1 hand drum and drumstick
Round Dance with Drums
Drum Stick Making
Obsidian Arrow Head
1 moss bag
Moss Bag Facts
Rabbit Fur Mits
Rabbit Fur Blankets
Sacred Pipe Ceremony
help on how to format text
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