Welcome to the Tsimshian Nation, is an interactive site to introduce users about pre-contact life for the people on the northwest coast of British Columbia. The Tsimshian people make up the largest group of First Nations people in British Columbia, with approximately 10,000 people.
This site, developed by school district 52, introduces the user to the Tsimshian people, oral traditions, traditional village life, and the archeology of the people. Audio clips allow the user to listen to elders as they teach about their people.
This is a good example of a simple resource that could easily be made as the first step towards technological preservation and sharing of cultural heritage.
CBC Radio has developed “The Legends Project”, a compilation of First Nations legends spanning all across Canada. Most of these are available for audio download using Real Player and are up to one hour long. This is a terrific example of preserving culture and sharing it across the country.
The First Nations Pedagogy Online site is the creation of two British Columbian educational experts from the southern interior of the province. They describe this massive resource as the following:
“This site provides best practices and support for online learning initiatives that are intended for aboriginal students, elders, educators, curriculum developers, and educational leaders.”
The site is categorized into four main headings: project, pedagogy, participate, and resources. Each of the headings contains subcategory links that are very thorough, complete with images, videos, information and additional links.
I can honestly say that, with this site, I feel I have hit the jackpot.
The Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education (CACE) is located within Carlton University in Ontario. The centre is working closely with post-secondary aboriginal students, communities, and recruitment officers in an effort to retain and even increase the number of aboriginal students and faculty.
I chose to share this link as it directly supports the concerns raised about the new Inuit curriculum being delivered by non-Inuit people in the absence of enough Inuit descent teachers. Although CACE is working primarily with the Algonquin people, it provides an example of how post secondary institutions are able to help bridge this gap.
Another link of interest on the same site is for the “Faculty with Research Interest in Aboriginal Issues”. This kicks off with videos of professors from the University promoting the importance of Indigenous studies as well as some current research projects underway. For people considering further pursuit within this realm, this faculty could be an excellent resource.
The Qqs Projects Society website is developed by the Heiltsuk First Nation peoples from Bella Bella. Bella Bella is on the central coast of British Columbia, in the middle of the Great Bear Rainforest.
In the traditional Heiltsuk language, “Qqs” (pronounced “kucks”) means “eyes”. The mandate of the “Qqs Society” is to help the youth keep their eyes open to their responsibilities as stewards of their culture and the environment. This very much supports the resounding message of being “one” with the environment.
The site outlines general information, the youth, culture, environment, projects, and relationships with other organizations.
This site is a great example of the community regaining strength in their culture, educating their youth in the traditional ways, and building bonds with organizations outside of their own culture. As a result, the vision is very clear and it lays the groundwork for the future success of the people.
In Kwak’wala, “Sasamans” means “Our Children”. The Sasamans Society is an organization in Quatsino, on Northern Vancouver Island, whose vision is:
“to strengthen our children and families in a community-driven and culturally appropriate manner.” … “The society’s name reflects our intention to listen, acknowledge and honour the voices of the communities that we serve.”
The Sasamans Society Website provides information about the communities it services, elders, education, and more. It also describes the school which is called K’ak’otlats’i, which means “house of learning”. The school consists of 3 teachers, 3 assistant teachers, 1 culture teacher, 1 speech and language teacher, and the principal.
I chose this site to share as it resonated with the recent readings about the Inuit educational changes. Here is an example of a culturally driven and supported school, right here on Vancouver Island. This is an example of how the fate and future of the children is being considered and being made a top priority as they are the ones who will carry on the culture.
Founded in 1972, Cultural Survival is a group dedicated to preserving and advocating for Indigenous cultural rights around the globe. Through the use of media, Cultural Survival is able to connect people with advocacy solutions. They are also able to help Indigenous groups to understand that they are not alone in their struggle, that this is a world wide problem.
The people of Cultural Survival are using many means to help empower Indigenous communtities. They provide quarterly publications with the latest information, provide training and support for Indigenous leaders to participate in various UN events, facilitate dialogues between various groups, they produce media in the form of both radio and video, created by Indigenous people for indigenous people, provide resources, and a wide variety of other services.
From Cambodia to Ethiopia and even Russia, the Cultural Survival project is working very hard to protect the rights of Indigenous people around the world.
This initial article, Canada, Guilty of Cultural Genocide Against Indigenous People is a snapshot summary of the work of the Truth and Reconcilliation Committee (TRC), developed to fully investigate the demise of Canadian Indigenous culture, primarily through the adoption of residential schools. The settlement process involves the government, church, and residential school survivors. The TRC has compiled all of the information obtained into two volumes and it includes 94 recommendations, some of which are outlined in this article.
In the article it also states how the Federal government of Canada, under the reign of Stephen Harper and his Conservative party, failed to fulfill their own party promises. With the recent change in Prime Minister and House of Commons it will be interesting to see how many of the TRC recommendations are put into action. I am including a second link, to a CBC article: Record 10 Indigenous MP’s Elected to House of Commons. Change is certainly in the air and this is certainly coming just at the right time.
In this article from the UBC Indigenous Foundations, the topic of identity is discussed. This is an excerpt from a longer paper, What I learned in Class Today, by Karmen Crrey. The paper is intended to help educators better understand challenges faced by Aboriginal students, particularly around identity. By creating a metacogntion around understanding, educators might then be better prepared to develop more positive learning environments for their Aboriginal students.
Considering the conversations so far in Module 3, I felt that this article had some great information.
This site is the home page for the Laichwiltach Family Life Society in Campbell River. This society is organized and run by members of three local bands in an effort to identify needs and provide support. Through the organization, First Nations community members are able to access a variety of services to help promote healthy lifestyles and a healthy home for their families.
When we look at the residual effects of residential schools, we can have a better understanding of the reasons why so many members of First Nations communities experience challenge living healthy lifestyles. The cycle needs to stop. The Laichwiltach Family Life Society is an example of how the members of the bands themselves are trying to reach out to their people, through partnership with community programs, to end the cycle. Very proactive!