Coding Talkers – First Nations Culture & Computational Thinking

Students in Mr. Haddrell’s class at Charlie Lake Elementary School enjoyed participating in a lesson that connected our Canadian Aboriginal Code talkers history to computer language applications.

Students learned more about the role these Canadian Aboriginal code talker soldiers played in the war effort by creating coded messages in Cree. After hearing code talker stories, the students then deciphered a message written in Cree-like symbols to English.

Diane Barclay, Cultural Aboriginal Student Support Worker, and Laurie Petrucci, technology support teacher, teamed together to develop a lesson that would integrate First Nations culture and coding. Therefore, following their Cree deciphering activity, students connected code talking to creating words using binary code. To do this, they played binary code charades and made bead bracelets spelling out their first and last initial in binary.


If teachers are interested in having Diane Barclay and Laurie Petrucci visit their classroom to give this lesson, please contact Diane ( or Laurie (