Category Archives: Social Studies |

Sylvain Rivard’s Traditional Drum | Abenaki (Algonquin)

Responses to Sylvain’s visit

S.S. says   ….. What would I remember 20 years from now of what Sylvain Rivard showed us? The drum and how in back it symbolizes the four elements. The drum itself symbolizes the world etc.

B.W says ….. after that he (Sylvain Rivard) played us a song on his drum. That was my favourite part. Here is a story that connects to my life. Last summer I went to Mexico and heard the same drum that the artist played for my class. I love the sound it made. Thanks a lot Sylvain. I hope to see you soon.

Mrs. Theriault says …. Our readers may not know that Sylvain didn’t buy this drum. He made it himself.    Also, our St-Lawrence music teacher Mrs. Carole Forget reminded me in an email that this drum is called a pacoligan. It is made from the skin of the female deer and the four sections underneath represent “the four colours of people on earth: black, white, red, yellow…”

Related post on this blog:

The Inuit also used animals skins for drums (The Inuit are not Algonquin)

Further Reading:

Native Dance – Onigoke – Our Dance Stories

Native American Indian Legends – The Story of the DrumAbenaki

Mrs. Theriault’s photos of  Quebec White-tailed Deer (Cerf de Virginie)

Abenaki Artist Sylvain Rivard Drops By For A Visit | St-Lawrence School

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to welcome First Nations artist Sylvain Rivard into our classroom.

Sylvain’s art – both  traditional and contemporary – springs from his Abenaki heritage.

His visit is part of a wider exploration of questions like:

What is art?

What is art for?

Why are there so many different styles of art?

Which type of art is “better”?

Who invented art?


Stay tuned this week for students blogging about his visit!


Abenaki Culture | Art Smarts Grant

Grade 5 students and families


We’ve received a grant from Arts Smart which means that we will be we able to welcome Abenaki artist Sylvain Rivard into our classroom in the third third week of January.

Before he visits he would like to know a little bit more about us, so we need to prepare some artwork for him AND fill out a little online survey. Continue reading

Jeanne Mance and the Hotel Dieu

Do you know what the oldest hospital in Montreal, Quebec is? That ‘s right the Hôtel Dieu de Montréal. It is also one of my favourite hospitals because my 2 grandparents met there and became close friends when they were both there to visit their sick relatives. Then my parents became good friends and got married. Also my 2 great grandparents died there.

Jeanne Mance - Quebec Nurse

Jeanne Mance – Quebec Nurse

Jeanne Mance was the one who founded the hospital on October 8, 1645 , that ‘s 364 years ago. The hospital had a kitchen, 2 sick rooms and a room for her and another room for a helper. In 1645 a shipload of supplies was sent to Jeanne from the Society of Our Lady. Medicines, linens, surgical instruments, furniture and copper pots, 3 cows and 20 sheep came with the supplies. Madame de Bullion was a lady who gave Jeanne Mance money to build the hospital.

The Hôtel-Dieu was so important that when it burned down 3 times it got rebuilt each time. Can you imagine that? It is so popular that it contains more than 300 beds. Do you know how any patients it was estimated to care for between 1760? That ‘s right 82 000 patients! Isn ‘t that incredible?

I believe Jeanne Mance is a caring person because when her mother died she cared for eleven brothers and sisters. She also built the hospital to help aboriginals and devoted her life to religion,

She was born November 12, 1606 and died June 18, 1673. But sadly she died of a long and painful illness. She was so important that a street in Montreal and a public park has the name Mance.

Author: Lucky Puppy


Auclair, E. (1910). Jeanne Mance. The Catholic Encyclopedia

Emery, Joanna. Caring for a colony: the story of Jeanne Mance.

Inuit Shelter – The Igloo


An igloo is basically a dome of ice cubes and snow. Inuits use snow to make their homes because the air pockets in the snow act like isolation. The snow used for the igloos has to have structural strength to be able to be cut without breaking and then be easily stacked. The ice cubes are cut by a hand made knife. The Inuits often take one block of snow out of the igloos structure to form a window. Some Inuits even make a hole through the ice inside of the dome to be able to ice fish inside their homes. An Inuit men can build an igloo in about one hour.



To prevent cold air from coming inside the igloo, a tunnel is dug in the snow and a door is put at the end of the tunnel to not let the cold air penetrate the igloo. The entrance (tunnel) acts like a trap to cold air so it doesn’t go inside the Inuit’s dwelling. Out side an igloo temperatures varie at about -45c. and inside of an igloo the temperature varie between about -7c. to about 16c. when the only source of heat is body heat. When the Inuits build their igloos the sleeping areas are always higher then the other areas. That is because heat goes upwards and coldness stays towards the ground. When there is a source of heat inside the igloo the walls tend to melt and then refreeze to make a layer of ice on the walls and then reinforce the structure of the igloo. That said not all Inuits live and build igloos only the Inuits of Canada central Arctic and Greenland live and build igloos.


There are mainly three different types of igloos that Inuits build. The smallest of the three is used for hunting trips of only one or two nights. These igloos are often built on open sea ice.

The other igloo considered “medium” is semi-permanent for a medium sized family. It is usually a one roomed igloo for only one or two families, sometimes many of these are made in one area to form an Inuit village.

The largest of the three igloos is 50% for living and the other 50% is used for special occasions. These igloos can have up to 5 rooms and have up to 20 people living inside of it. A large igloo might consist of plenty of small igloos connected together. These large igloos were used to hold committee fest and dances and other occasions.



-Places in time (2007) Savoie Sylvie, Laroche Louis

Author: Jaques

Related Posts:

Inuit Portal