Resource | K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Seven Sacred Truths

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Author/Publisher/Website: John-Kehewin, W.
Copyright: 2018
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Apr/2020
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9781772012132
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: 9-12
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

Aboriginal writer and poet, Wanda John-Kehewin, takes readers on an honest therapeutic journey as she models the path to reconciliation while following the Seven Sacred Truths. She encourages future generations to acknowledge the tragedies in the past and to heal, push forward, and find peace. “Seven Sacred Truths” is a compilation of poems that reflects historic events and the Indigenous culture, invites others to experience this perspective, and creates a safe space for those who need to embark on their own healing journeys. In a Grade 9–12 classroom, excerpts from this resource could be used to highlight an Indigenous perspective on the path to reconciliation through spiritual healing, knowledge, and acceptance. Students could work independently or in groups to respond critically or creatively to the poems within this collection.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Extensively
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Communication
Creative Thinking
Critical thinking
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Social Responsibility
Comments:
With an authentic, Canadian, female, Aboriginal voice, this book of poetry examines First Peoples' cultures and lived experiences through text and builds an understanding of every Canadian’s responsibilities in relation to Reconciliation. The language, content, and structure of the poetry contribute to a shared understanding of a personal perspective and experience. The book explores and deepens our understanding of diverse, complex ideas about identity, others, and the world.

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Indigenous Peoples:
There are examples of generational suicides in the writer's family as though this is normal. The novel discusses current events in history that include the devastating treatment of Aboriginal people, also including the Starlight Tour as well as the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Belief System:
There are some references to God and the rituals of Christianity; some poems resemble prayers in a Christian format. She writes about the duality of spirituality as an Aboriginal woman.
Socio Economic:
The author discusses the poverty she experienced growing up on a reserve.
Violence:
There are inferences to the author's abuse in foster care. She references examples of suicide within her own family. She also experiences thoughts of suicide as a young girl in foster care. There is an oblique mention of sexual abuse experienced by her mother that triggers addiction to alcohol. There are many examples of alcoholism and drug use.
Language:
The author uses a few swear words. She says that Indigenous people have been culturally raped. While the language isn't explicit, the concept behind it is.
Do the social considerations support, rather than detract from, student learning?
Extensively
Social Considerations Comments:
Reconciliation and surviving childhood trauma are difficult concepts. The genuine representation of events of the author's life enhances the social considerations, despite the graphic description in places, especially in poetic form. They are an honest portrayal of the emotions experienced by the author in her healing journey and spiritual quest.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Should this product be identified as Canadian?
Yes
Is the resource engaging?
Extensively
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Extensively
Is the resource an Authentic First Peoples Text?
Yes
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Extensively
Can the content be differentiated?
Extensively
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Extensively
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
The content is relayed in an authentic First Nations voice in modern poetic form. The poetic form is complex and may be difficult to deconstruct for some audiences. Teachers should select the poetic form and content based on the grade level and maturity of the students and on what is best suited for the learning environment of the classroom. Students can work alone or in groups on individual poems to either respond critically or creatively.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the resource easy to use?
Extensively
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Moderately
Are extraneous elements/illustrations kept to a minimum?
Extensively
Comments:
The resource is a print novel compilation of mostly poems with some prose. The poetic structure manipulates the written form and is not uniform.

PRINT NOVEL

Does the text show insight into the complexity of the human condition?
Extensively
Does the text broaden students’ experiences and understanding?
Extensively
To what degree is this text stylistically rich?
Extensively
Plot description:
This compilation of poetry with some prose excerpts follows a therapeutic journey of healing of the author, Wanda John-Kehewin, as she addresses the debilitating effects of colonialism on her generation. She outlines her pursuit of reconciliation and forgiveness by following the seven sacred truths: wisdom, love, courage, respect, honesty, humility, and truth. She encourages the next generation to acknowledge the tragedies they have experienced but not let them define them and to find peace. Her poetry connects us all and creates a healing space for others to push forward. She inspires and hopes to ignite Indigenous writers and performers to recognize their value.
Related Comments:
John-Kehewin's poetry models the path to reconciliation with copious examples of Indigenous cultural references, historic events, and poetic language. This collection of poetry encourages the next generation to shed the dysfunction of the past, start over, and recognize their worth.
Genre:
Contemporary
Literary Highlights:
Well-developed themes
Effective figurative language
Type:
Poetry

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
This resource would be appropriate for an English First Peoples 12 course as it is written in an authentic Aboriginal voice. As well, English Language Arts or Social Studies classrooms would benefit from various selections as the poetry clearly communicates a path to reconciliation through spiritual healing, knowledge, and acceptance. Selective segments portray the Indigenous perspective on recovering and reconciling with the traumatic effects of colonialism.
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