(905) 871-4610 Atn: (905) 871-1771 7 Tait Avenue, Fort Erie, L2A 3P1

Aboriginal Studies


Hey FESSTERS! Did you know...?

Cool facts about Native studies Courses at FESS!

Did you know that if a student takes Grade 9 Native Studies (Nac 101), it can replace the mandatory requirement for an art credit? 
Did you know that if the student is of Indigenous decent, it can also be used in place of the mandatory grade 9 French credit? 
Did you know that if a student takes grade ten native studies (Nac-2O1), it replaces the mandatory history requirement for grade 10?  
Did you also know that if a student takes the grade eleven "Aboriginal Voices", (NBE 3C1), that it takes the place of the grade eleven mandatory english credit??

The books are all up to date (current) and are written by various Indigenous authors! These courses are fun, interesting and unique and are open to students of all cultural backgrounds. 
In Native studies classes, some of the things we do are listed below.

-Indigenous music (drums, flutes) 
-residential schools teachings and a tour
- traditional cooking and eating! 
- painting
-wood burning
- study storytelling
-mid winter pow wow!
-Aboriginal Day Celebration in house here at FESS!
-visits to the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre
-the mewhinzha archeological exhibit where you can see and learn about all artifacts unearthed here in Fort Erie!
-end of the year trip and picnic to the Old Fort! 
-crafts include dream catchers, dream catcher bracelets, beaded jewellery, leather medicine pouches, dream catcher and other types of necklaces, other leather crafts, mobiles, beaded head dress ornaments, earrings, bracelets, foot jewellery, barettes, feather clips for hair, mini hand drum ornaments, guest speakers, workshops, walking field trips, and much more! 

Who doesn't want to try an Indian taco?? 

What are you waiting for? 

Get into one of these terrific courses today! 

  • Reztore Pride is a unique collection of artists (poets, b-girls/b-boys, visual artists, emcees/rappers, & disc jockeys) who have come together through the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiatives (SOADI) Youth Program. We all share the common goals which are: to increase the awareness amongst youth on the issue of Diabetes and to encourage healthy living. The Reztore Pride initiative began in January 2010 when various aboriginal emcees/rappers and poets worked together with John Henhawk to create a Diabetes awareness hip-hop album. The album was entitled ‘Reztore Pride’ and has 12 songs that address the issue of Diabetes and healthy living. You can listen to and download the album for free at www.reztorepride.com. Since the release of the ‘Reztore Pride’ album in May 2010 all of the artists involved with Reztore Pride have been traveling around Southern Ontario to host Diabetes awareness concerts and workshops for youth to create a movement of healthy living with healthy choices.


Native Studies Courses 

We are very proud to announce that FESS is the leader in offering Native Studies courses on the Niagara Peninsula! In the school year 2007-2008, FESS ran two sections of NAC 101 – Expressing Aboriginal Cultures, a grade nine open course that students really enjoyed. Starting in the 2008-2009 school year, Nac 101 offered both semesters and a new course, entitled Aboriginal Voices at the grade eleven level hasl been offered. Aboriginal Voices is a course where novels will be read that are written by famous and contemporary Aboriginal Authors. Courses in Native Studies are currently all taught by Mrs. Maracle-Gerritsen, who is a member of the Mohawk Nation, Bear Clan and her family originates both from Deseronto as well as Six Nations Of The Grand River.     Some of the places and activities the students get to see and experience are:

  • Field trips
  • The Woodland Cultural Centre, Chiefswood Museum, Six Nations Tourism center, Iroqrafts, The Mohawk Institute, The Mewinzha Archeological Exhibit ( displays 1.2 million First Nations Artifacts unearthed in Fort Erie), The Canadian Aboriginal Festival, The Art Gallery of Ontario (The AGO) to see the Tsimshian  Exhibit, Six Nations of The Grand River Reservation, and a  nature walk. Preparation and crafting for Aboriginal day (insert pictures of field trips) 

  • Guests and Workshops included our local woodburning artist, Mr. Earl Dionne, Respected First Nations Elders, talking circles, Ojibway Storyteller Aaron Bell, Traditional drummers, singers and dancers, and of course, our annual Aboriginal Day Celebration! (insert pics of workshops)
  • Aboriginal day Celebration This year will be our fourth annual Aboriginal celebration. The date is TBA as during the National Aboriginal Celebration that is June 21, the students are in exams. The event has generally occurred in May and is a spectacular day for all FESS students, teachers and invited guests! The day is in partnership with the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre and generally includes:
  • Opening Thanksgiving address in the Traditional language
  • Traditional drumming, singing, dancing and a speaker who explains the various meanings and significance of the drum, dances and some of the ceremonies.
  • A Traditional Luncheon of First Nations Food prepared by First Nations Elders as well as our Chef here, Mr. Keyvani and the students
  •  A variety of workshops offered to students in the afternoon. This past year, we were pleased to offer Woodcarving, Medicine Wheel Teachings and the construction of Medicine Wheels and Medicine bags, Traditional Medicines teachings, Wood burning workshop, Traditional cooking workshop, Drumming workshop, Lacrosse workshop and others! (pics of workshops)

Native Studies Courses are fun, unique and open for everyone to take and a place where we can learn to respect and appreciate one another as well as Mother Earth!  Sign up Today! You won’t be disappointed!