November 24

Dear Division 16,

Yesterday we learned a great deal from our session with our Aboriginal Education Enhancement Worker, Kim Kondra. She talked about the traditions of the Crew First Nations regarding food, among other things.

I found this article about First Nations oral tradition and what we are learning from modern science. Please read the article below and answer ONE of the following questions:

1. What are the strengths of a culture’s oral tradition (history shared through words). Give reasons for your choices

2. What other ways can modern scientists learn about the past? Give examples in your response.

I look forward to your responses,



  1. Joaquin

    #2 There are many ways modern scientists learn about the past, like from ancient artifacts and verbal story telling. But there is one way that I think is the coolest. Its where scientists dig deep in to the earth which helps them see when a big earthquake happened or how earth,s climate was thousands of years ago. The clay, or core samples, have certain markings that tell them earth’s history. I guess you could say its a scientific time machine.

  2. The Baconator

    One of the strengths of oral tradition is that it can be changed. This could be bad if it is changed too much because it could completely change the story that has been told from generation to generation. As Kim talked about, when the Europeans came to Canada and the USA, they started killing all of the buffalo, the first nation’s main food source. If I were an adult this would be hard to tell a child because of the violence involved. Because of oral tradition, I could change it a bit so they could understand it and wouldn’t be frightened.

  3. crazymemeslol123

    #2 theres so many ways to tell the past like through digging and maybe finding artifacts that belong way back in the past or through cravings, wood or a type of bone from an animal who knows who did the cravings they tell about the past and stories what it feels like to live as a proud huntsman or something about there culture of what they did and how scientists found long forgotten objects everyday where people don’t expect them to be there.

  4. Flying Mandarin

    1. First Nations tells a story about the past (Oral tradition) .Science can use the story that is told by the people about the past. The scientist can use the First Nations story’s to uncover the past with the test that they do to the items they find.

  5. the engineer

    The strengths of the oral traditions are of what elders tell us about what happened in the past and how people lived thousands of years ago. Important stories like the tsunami/earthquake events would not be known if it weren’t for the oral traditions. In our Indigenous people presentation, we learned about how healthy they used to be before the Europeans came to North America. Indigenous people lived on buffalo and they were really healthy with good stamina and teeth. Maybe these facts were passed down from oral traditions?

  6. super cheese cake

    There are so many ways to find out about the past. This is one of my favorite one: it is when scientists get ices from glaciers and take a little bit of the air in the bubble in glaciers, they can analyze and figure out how old is this glacier and where it has been. I think that it is cool how scientists can figure out how old the glacier is just by the air in a tiny bubble inside of a huge glacier.


    #1 I think the main benefit of oral tradition is if and elder wants to pass down information with bias they must explain reasoning for they’re beliefs. Then, they have to show their values and virtues that explain their position on the matter to people who they teach.

  8. lordofthepies05

    #2 I think the easiest way for scientists to learn about the past is to dig into the earth and look at the different layers of rock and dirt and other things like that. It makes it possible to tell when things like earthquakes and tsunamis happened, even if they happened years and years ago. Another great way to learn about the past is to study fossils, ancient artifacts and DNA for a better understanding of what happened back then.

  9. Amythest

    1. I agree with everyone so far, but I think some if the strengths about the oral tradition are, when the scientists discover some artifacts, they can either come to some conclusions about the atrifacts or just put them in a museum. Another strength of the oral tradition is that there is so much to talk about and so many stories for all indigenous people to share, with youth so they can one day get involved with their culture.

  10. smeagaleater10

    1# I think that one strength of a culture’s oral tradition is that it can be repeated over the generations. I think if your parents and grandparents told you the same three or four stories you would probably remember those stories over time and repeat them to your children. Also if you heard the stories enough you would understand the meaning to your culture. Also I think that oral cultural stories is more descriptive because talking is mostly more descriptive than writing.

  11. purple pom-poms

    There is always finding things in the ground from a long time ago and finding sculptures and accessories (not that thats boring or anything) but if we could find out some really interesting idea for finding ancient artifacts, that is not crazy hard, then that would be very helpful. I’ve heard about people putting things from there age and putting them in containers and burying them hoping that in maybe 100 years from them someone would find it and know more about the past. I think that was a really good idea because even though it sounds like your re hiding things, they become artifacts once that main time with whatever is put into the container is over and they have forgotten about them. There is this thing called Geocaching and its were you would try and find these little caches all over the place in public areas, well this is kind of like that, except you don’t just find them right away you find them later in the future and get to study them and learn about the past. My idea is that we could do something like that, where you still use a container or a box or something but instead of putting in old coins and stuff you can put in things like old photos and right about what the picture is about or who it is or putting in old journals, paragraphs on things that have happened or homemade gadgets so that when someone finds the “time machine” they get to read about or learn about the artifacts and know more about the past.

  12. Soccerboy123ABC

    #2 I think that one way that modern scientists can learn about the past is by digging very deep into the ground at an archeological site so you are able to see the different layers and see what has happened like burial ground ,earthquake, war zones.

  13. S.P.E.W

    2. There are many ways that they can learn from the past one of them is looking at the stories they have drawn, like when the Inuit drew on there combs and other pieces of things like that they carried around. They could also use DNA lile what they said in the article, the Sicentist could go to one of the tribes and see what they have that might help them find more about the past or ask them if they know anything from the past.

  14. Arcticfox

    2# Maybe if a team of scientists Went to the Fist Nations land and tried to find out where most of the Fist Nations died. They could examine their body’s to find traces of things they used to wear, eat or maybe even look for old traditions. O

  15. the Time traveler

    One advantage of the oral tradition is that when one person experiences something that’s either traumatizing or really amazing, when they grow up,they can tell their children, and their children will tell their children. This is an advantage because important historic events can be remembered this way. The events might not even be that important historically, but they might be important to a person’s family. Oral tradition is also good because it can also be passed down through friends, associates, and even colleagues – and this is not just a First Nations thing.

  16. Sushi Monster

    #1 Words told in a story are more powerful than in a science book. Having someone tell their story and hearing about the people in it, is better than other people writing about the facts when they were not even there. Telling stories is really good because there are lots of hand motions and changes in voices which makes it more interesting and exciting than reading in a book.

  17. Touchdown

    1# I think that stories and oral tradition is a lot stronger because through stories there is a lot more culture and history then just opening a text book or looking at the internet. Also when I read this I thought about POL or the FPPOL and how we said that there should be a bond between teacher and student and you should learn through your elders.

  18. Xaxo045

    I think that it is important to have a culture passed down through words as it is an easier way to stay connected than having to read a book or other forms of writing

  19. Slapshot18

    #2 I think scientist can learn about the past from real artifacts and from people of that culture. Many autopsies have been made on Egytion mummies, and it helped them to gain new information. They discovered that tuberculosis was a big issue in Egypt, and many died from it. I think another way that scientists can find out about the past is usubg common knowledge gained by information that’s known. Again with the Egyptian mummies, because there were high levels of tuberculosis and cardiovascular diseases in people at the time, they could know that air pollution played a big roll in that. Most of it was due to indoor fires used to bake bread.

  20. sparkle sloth

    #1. Oral tradition is something you can pass on for generations and can be very sacred or important in some people’s lives. It connects people in communities and gives them a basis of their lives, and gives you boundaries because you respect your traditions and you live by them. It builds relationships between people,and bonds you to your elders. You know the story is true because you already have relationships and bonds with the elder.

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