Thunder in Our Voices: An interactive inquiry-based educational program

Series: CTLT Institute

Event Date & Time

  • August 24, 2018
    1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Event Description

In the 1970s, a consortium of oil companies proposed the largest pipeline project in North America. Elders and youth from thirty Dene and Inuvialuit villages stopped the project. How did they do it? In the words of Dëneze Nakehk’o, Dene from Liidlii Kue First Nation, “With the thunder in our voices.”

Thunder in Our Voices is an interactive inquiry-based educational program created by Drew Ann Wake and led by the generous contributions from a number of Northern Indigenous community partners. Modeling a variety of Indigenous approaches to information and knowledge sharing such as listening to the elders as experts, acknowledging multiple viewpoints, and fostering an inquiry into knowing who you are and where you come from, this project explores events that took place in the 1970’s during the Mackenzie Valley pipeline inquiry but have lasting impacts today.

Through an interdisciplinary lens students listen, negotiate and contribute their ideas around issues such as the protection of lands and waterways and environments where cultural, economic and traditional territories would be impacted by the development of a pipeline project.

Please join us to listen to the experiences of two educators who have integrated Thunder in Our Voices into their classrooms. As part of this session participants will have the opportunity to get hands on experience with the Thunder in Our Voices program materials, explore a variety of the activities that these educators did in their classrooms and discover ways that this project could be brought into their classrooms in the future.

This event is part of our CTLT Summer Institute. For more Institute events, please click here.


Audrey Sargent, Experienced Consultant and Educator. She has worked as a consultant and educator teaching in various capacities for more than 15 years. With a passion for exploring ways to integrate Indigenous culture and education into the k-12 curriculum as well as an interest in supporting educators, Ms Sargent has recently piloted a project/lesson on ‘perspective taking’ with a grade 5/6 class in collaboration with Drew Ann Wake, Live Wires Design. The project was based on the historic Berger inquiry with Drew Ann’s project, Thunder in Our Voices.

Michael Shumiatcher, Department Head of Visual and Performing Arts, Burnaby Central Secondary School; Chair of the Burnaby Art Teachers Association. He has been teaching art, media, photography and graphic arts in Burnaby schools for 24 years. Over the past four years, Mr. Shumiatcher has been exploring genuine ways to bring Indigenous curriculum and First Peoples Principles of Learning into classrooms across disciplines and subject areas. This past year, he designed and piloted interdisciplinary workshops in collaboration with Open Sky Creative Society and LiveWires Design, developing curriculum based on the historically significant Dene and Inuvialuit art exhibition Thunder in our Voices.

Drew Ann Wake received her BA in Anthropology and an MA in Sociology from the University of British Columbia. She then went to work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, attending the hearings of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry as it travelled to thirty Dene and Inuvialuit communities across the Northwest Territories. After a stint as a museum curator, she began developing educational games that have now been played by 25,000,000 students around the world.