First Nations Elder Bertha Skye Visits Pre-Intermediate ESL Class

From Professor Violet Funk:  I had invited an Elder of the First Nations, Bertha Skye, to talk to my ESL Pre-Intermediate class about native Canadian culture.  The outcomes for this lesson were to write a personal email expressing feelings, and a narrative about a special event.

Photo: Violet Funk

Bertha Skye in Violet Funk’s Pre-Intermediate class. Photo: Violet Funk

We want to take the opportunity to say thank you to Bertha Skye for visiting our ESL Pre-Intermediate class on Thursday Nov 20, 2014.  We were so impressed to hear her interesting lecture about Canada’s First Nation.  From Bertha, we learned special rites and rituals.

Bertha showed us a special ritual, Smudging. She burned an herb in a conch, and she waved smoke with an eagle feather on each person in the class. This ritual helps to clean our minds and souls. It was an incredible experience.

Our class also learned how to make a healthy cedar tea, which helps to prevent winter colds and flu. The tea is made from leaves and twigs, and is very high in Vitamin C. Bertha told us about First Nation food; by the way she is also an excellent chef.

Bertha gave each of us a small herbal bag that helps refresh our bodies. We prepared some gifts for her too. Students in our class gave her a souvenir from their country, including China, Korea, Turkey, Russia and Venezuela.

Our class will always keep her words in our hearts “Keep moving, keep going, and never give up”. She taught us never to quit and it doesn’t matter what we are doing, but to do our best. We really hope that Bertha will visit us again so that we may learn more about her culture.

–Kirill Tarasenko, Maria De Jesus Ferreira, Tiantian Han, Sunkyung Hwang.