From the Sky: Stories of Women Who Inspire Us

On June 14th 2016, World Literacy Canada proudly launched the publication of  “From the Sky: Stories of Women Who Inspire Us.” The book is a collection of stories written and illustrated by the Grade 7 and 8 students of Six Nations Kawenni:io/Gaweni:yo Elementary School. The pages are filled with personal stories of the women who have inspired these students, all written in English with a corresponding translation in Mohawk or Cayuga. The book also contains a compilation of educational resources to practice language learning as well as activities for storytelling and illustrations.

“From the Sky: Stories of Women Who Inspire Us” is a celebration of the strength and inspiration of women in Aboriginal communities, and an educational tool to help preserve First Nations languages for future generations.


First Nations Youth Storytelling Program

World Literacy Canada is excited to announce our new First Nations Youth Storytelling Program, thanks to the support of our sponsors Symcor and RBC Royal Bank. Since September 2015, World Literacy Canada has been working in partnership and close collaboration with the Kawenni:io/Gaweni:yo Elementary School and Lorrie Gallant of the Woodland Cultural Centre of the Six Nations Grand River Territory to deliver a First Nations Youth Storytelling Program that enhances students’ reading and writing skills in Mohawk, Cayuga, and English.

The program was introduced to the students at Kawenní:io Gawení:yo by Sheniz Janmohamed and Lorrie Gallant through an inspirational storytelling session. In sharing their personal and cultural stories, Sheniz, a South Asian storyteller, and Lorrie our First Nations Program Facilitator, captivated the students’ attention and encouraged them to reflect on the women who have influenced them most.

In the fall and winter of 2015-2016, students in Grade 7 and 8 from Kawenní:io Gawení:yo School participated in writing and arts workshops aimed to promote language learning, storytelling skills, and reflection upon inspirational women in their communities. The students’ participation in the program resulted in the publication of From the Sky: Stories of the Women That Inspire Us, a book containing the students’ stories in Mohawk, Cayuga, and English alongside a compilation of educational resources that can be used by teachers across First Nations communities.

The program has elicited much support from the Kawenní:io Gawení:yo teachers who also served as editors, translators, and consultants on the educational resource elements of the Program. The teachers have noted that the development of the Program’s educational resource is one that has significant relevance in a community that is underserved by such resources.

The First Nations Youth Storytelling Aims

  • To create two publications containing Mohawk, Cayuga, and English stories written by the students
  • To catalog educational resources such as a glossary, discussion questions page, and in-class activity ideas within the publications
  • To present a glossary art show based on the students’ illustrations of the words that have inspired them
  • To encourage reflections on personal role models to inspire generations to follow
  • To have a lot of fun!

We would like to thank our sponsors for generously supporting this program: