Michelle Taylor-Leonhardi ~ Indigenous Centre of Excellence Ottawa Community Educator

Storytelling is a method of cultural production that brings Indigenous customs and values to the forefront. I would love to begin my new journey with educators, children and families by sharing stories together.  Incredible stories of our images of the child, images of ourselves, images of our families, and images of our communities.  Each child brings a unique gift, what is that gift?  What gift as educators do we see each child has? (this will be different, and it’s OK to be different) What is the gift of our educators?  How can we help make that gift grow?  What can we feed it to thrive?  We are more alike than we think. All with a story to tell.  Each story will be different.  Each story will be unique. Each story once told will build on our strengths.   I would love to share my incredible journey I had with Oshkiigmong Early Learning Centre that brought me here to all of you.  Sharing our success’s and our failures!! Failures are a learning story that need to be told.

I would love to open a conversation with educators and really listen to their stories, not only with my ears but with my heart as well.  I would love to think along side of them about different possibilities, different stories, taking pictures and really looking at EVERYTHING in the picture. Breaking it down, slowing down the process to really listen and think, then think and listen.

Opening a conversation with ALL the centres I will be working alongside with.  What stories do they have to tell about their centres?  What are the strengths of the educators and how can I support them while working with indigenous children? 

Opening a conversation to find the educators image of a child, themselves, their families their community.

Find the meaning behind the why’s. Why are we here? Find where educators are at, notice and give thoughts to notice…ignite that fire in the educators to be able to think and consider other possibilities, other stories.

I would like to take the HDLH Document and intertwine it with the Medicine Wheel to create a holistic plan to help create meaningful documentation and indigenous pedagogy to the First Nation Centres I will have the honour of working and collaborating with. Together each centre can create a vision through documentation using stories and legends handed down from generations, as well as creating new stories of their own.