Author Archives: shafali hamir

Module 2.5 Path of the Elders

Path of the Elders is a a free, online educational resource that explores Cree and Ojibway history and culture, in particular the signing of Treaty no. 9.  Not only is it a game for youth to celebrate and explore their culture, but it is also an amazing resource with archives of historical and cultural materials from photos, historic audio recordings, and video interviews with Elders.
One example of a resource from this game is a section where one can compare the experience of watching the media coverage to watching the Elders’ videos on Path of the Elders.

Module 2.4 “We Are Still Here”

This is a short documentary about three young Native Americans who tell their story living in Minnesota.  They each speak about what it was like growing up in Minnesota that was different from their cultural way of life.  One young man gave an example about the way they use to get their meat from the grocery store and that he had no idea he could buy beef.  He thought everybody hunted and fished or went into the woods to get their meat.   Another girl felt she was more assimilated and didn’t practice her traditions/culture, while another mentioned that going to sweats and being ceremonial was not a part of her lifestyle.  It wasn’t until much older when each of them began experiencing their culture more.  Everyone was affected by colonization differently, and reminiscing about the “boarding school era” where the children grew up not knowing anything about their culture reinforced that the dominant culture is what you see inside of everybody. The historical trauma is still affecting people today and now it’s about trying to figure out how to move on, but more importantly, letting everyone else know that they are still here and have a strong culture to preserve and share.

Module 2.3 “Lift is achieved facing into the wind.”

This is a report prepared by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) and examines some of the key issues surrounding the education of Aboriginal students.  It provides a governance framework and related strategies that school boards can use to improve Aboriginal learner results.  The framework includes five principles that will help improve Aboriginal student results: Legitimacy and Voice, Direction, Performance, Accountability and Fairness.  It is hoped that school boards will begin taking seriously the gap of improving Aboriginal student achievement knowing that there are many challenges and opportunities.

Module 2.2 Aboriginal Voice Cultural Working Group Paper

This paper focuses on ways Aboriginal people can use ICT effectively to protect indigenous knowledge and to avoid further misrepresentations and stereotypes about them.  It offers many ideas and perspectives that can spark further dialogue on various issues, and truly emphasizes the vital role ICT will play on Aboriginal nations throughout the entire discussion paper.  As Indigenous communities integrate further in the knowledge society, the affordances of technology substantially increases with respects to the promotion of language, culture and community connectedness.  It also highlights the control Indigenous people will have if they integrate ICT on their own terms and at their own pace.

Module 2.1 Promoting the Traditional Ways of Life of Arctic Indigenous Peoples

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister for the Arctic Council, opened this video and was produced as part of the priority initiative during Canada’s Chairmanship (2013-2015) to promote the traditional ways of life of Arctic indigenous peoples.  One of the issues in the video addresses Polar Bear conservation in Canada.  She acknowledges that the Inuit continue to sustainably harvest polar bears for food, clothing and income as they have for generations, and speaks with certainty that Canada understands the special cultural significance of polar bear for the Inuit.  Their management system incorporates both traditional knowledge and science to work together to manage the species effectively. Through the Arctic Council, they are working together to  increase awareness of traditional ways of life and contribute to building and maintaining healthy sustainable societies.  The video also showcases two other traditional ways of life: the Protect Sápmi project in northern Norway, and the Aleut Urban Unangax culture camp in Anchorage, Alaska.

Module 1.6 – Bison Spirit Land

As I am reading Michael Marker’s (2006) After The Makah Whale Hunt, I am thinking about the community I used to work in in Calgary.  My colleagues and I began to research the land our new school was being built on.  We were close to Nose Creek Park were bison roamed freely and Native groups lived.  We wanted our students to know about the history of the land our new school was being built on and so we started inquiring about it.  I came across this site today which beautifully shares Aboriginal Culture and History in Calgary Parks.


Module 1.5 – A picture tells a thousand words…

The Canadian Museum of History contains First People’s Photographic Perspectives collection in their archives.  These are amazing photographs to spark conversation with students around the life, traditions and culture of Indigenous People in Canada.  The Canadian Museum of History site also contains a large repository of research and collections of indigenous peoples in Canada.

Module 1.4 – Native American Indian Legends and Folklore

As I began reading the articles in Module 1, I found myself gravitating to oral storytelling and questioning whether this integral part of First Nations culture is being lost or preserved through digital media? I began searching online and came across this site which stores a collection of Native American folktales and traditional stories.  Although the reader cannot experience the true dimensions of how these stories were originally told, these are still amazing stories to read and can spark discussion at any age level.

Module 1.3 – Government of Canada – Aboriginal Heritage

The federal government’s website houses a large collection of contributions of Aboriginal People to Canada, such as early mythologies, evidence of bison drives and jumps, photographic collections, virtual exhibitions, and current literature and films.  Some of the archived stories include: Stories of Long Ago, Stories of Here and Now, Voices of First Nations, and Voices of Metis.  This would be another excellent and credible resource to access to get accurate information.

Module 1.2 – Aboriginal Perspectives

This site houses 71 films grouped under 7 themes: the arts, film and representation, colonialism and racism, indigenous knowledge, history and origins, sovereignty and resistance, and youth.  This project was created to acknowledge Aboriginal film and its filmmakers and assist educators in teaching about the Aboriginal people. What I really like about this site is that not only does it provide teachers with a rich online resource of films and documentaries, it also provides teachers with lesson plans and unit guides for each theme.  The reason this is provided is to bring an accurate awareness and understanding of the Aboriginal People with no stereotypes.