Author Archives: catherine steeves

Module 2, Post 5 -Traditional Health and Medicine

Traditional Health and Medicine

Having looked into ethnobotany I became interested in traditional health knowledge. This website provides an introduction with some terminology and additional resources.

This is an article about the importance of traditional health practices and their importance for all over well-being.

This report is a bit off topic of traditional medicine, but it sums up pre/post colonization First Nations health and proscribes a plan for improving health services and the overall wellness of First Nations community.


Module 2, Post 4 – Enthobotany


I was very interested in the Nancy Turner video. I was not too aware of the field of ethnobotany before but it sounds fascinating.

This document is a catalogue of plants native to the prairies. It describes the plants and also explains how the First Nations traditionally used them.

This website talks about a project at the Montreal Biodome where the “living landscape” of the 11 First Nations groups of Quebec. It is part educational in nature and part research with scientists looking at traditional remedies for health problems.


Module 2, Post 3 – Stereotypes

Stereotypes in Media and Beyond

This is an organization that provides companies training to work with First Nations. This article talks about the various stereotypes about First Nations culture and people and provides some links to other resources.

This is a website that identifies the different stereotypes that have been present in the portrayal of First Nations in various media. It is a general website for digital and media literacy.


Module 2, Post 2 – Native Representations

Native Representations

This is a really great website that looks at representations of First Nations. It looks at a variety of political and pop culture representations with thoughtful critiques. For example there is an article about the new addition to the Harry Potter world as it is set in the US where the author sets out her concerns about how the indigenous population might be represented.

It is a very interesting website to read, but I think it could be a good resource for the classroom as well because it deals with some pop culture representations.

This is a collection of links from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto that deals with the representation of First Nations in the media.


Module 2, Post 1 – Teaching First Nations Issues/History

Teaching Aboriginal Issues and History

This article caught my eye as I was looking at some of the Truth and Reconciliation press. The article itself is very brief and the title pretty much says it all, but I think it makes an important point that to really be able to teach about these issues teachers need to have the right information and training.

As I started to look around there are not very many resources to draw on for teachers in this area.
This article is quite (very!) old, but it discusses the importance of integrating the history of the First Nations with the traditionally taught Canadian History, something that is still not being done effectively.

This is an article by the Elementary Teacher’s Branch of the Ontario Teachers Union about some of the challenges of teaching First Nations in social studies. This article seems to highlight what I have noticed, there is a lot of rhetoric but few resources.


Module 1 Post 5 – Emotional and Mental Health

I really enjoyed the video about emotional pillars by Dr. Brown, so I looked into to other resources for emotional health. Most came linked with mental health initiative.

This document highlight British Columbia’s 10 year plan for Aboriginal Mental Health. It identifies the values the plan is based on, as well as elements of holistic wellness.

The First Nations Centre works on protecting traditional knowledge, including traditional healing practices. It seems to present their information in a way that is acceptable to the western mind.

The Assembly of First Nations has a very extensive site, including many resources and publications to do with health. The site includes information about mental health and social determinants of health.


Module 1 Post 4 – Culture and Identity

This article is a research project, this section was completed between Batchewana First Nation and researchers from Algoma University College and York University. It examined all aspects of culture both as identity and transmitting culture through generations.

This is a study of early education for Ontario’s aboriginal students. It stress the importance of culture-based early learning. It is part of the Best Start Program.

This is a book review of five books about aboriginal culture. The review links together some of the themes of the books, as well as providing the resources of the five books.


Module 1 Post 3 – Aboriginal Languages

Since language is such an important part of culture, I was wondering what sort of programming was available to provide learning to students in their own language.

Senator Nick Sibbeston has a webpage which is an overview of aboriginal language immersion programs. It is the summary of a study that was done, although there is no date on this webpage.

There is also a study performed by the Government of Manitoba about offering aboriginal languages in schools which looks at the state of the province in 2001 and lays out a list of concerns for a wider incorporation of language programs.

The Chiefs of Ontario also published a document in 2004 outlining changes that need to be made for the implementation of language programs.

The Northwest Territories goes even further by holding a symposium on implementing aboriginal languages throughout territorial programs.


Module 1 Post 2 – e-Learning

Despite our conversations in this course about the implications of how technology is culturally biased, I have been hearing about the benefits of e-learning programs for students in rural and remote first nation communities. As portrayed in the media, this seems to be the route that is favoured as it addresses two issues that are discussed in the media, digital divide and graduation/post-secondary education. I am interested in both of these areas so I was looking to see if any studies had been completed.

This one from Memorial University looked at high school aged students in Labrador.

This one from University of Victoria looked at post-secondary programs.

Both discussed the issues of access and logistics, and concluded that e-learning should be developed as one of many options for learners to choose from but should not be expected to be the “magic fix” that I think many politicians are hoping for.


Module 1 Post 1 – Aboriginal Filmmakers

I was very interested in the Ginsburg article which talked about aboriginal filmmakers.
The National Film Board has a page discussing the history of aboriginal filmmakers and the NFB. This page also features a selection films at the bottom of the page.

This is a study that was completed about Canadian and international aboriginal filmmakers. It provides a bit of background to Canada’s aboriginal history, a summary of recent accomplishments in the field, and the current state of the industry.

I also looked up the production company begun by Rachel Perkins that was mentioned in the Ginsburg article.