Tag Archives: culture

Module 2 Weblog – Anne Coustalin

Module 2 examined stereotypes and the commodification of indigenous social reality. My weblog for this module explores some of those issues but it also continues to represent my search for understanding using the two-eyed seeing approach. This entry contains several examples of online resources that support teachers in growing their understanding of the many complicated issues and understandings involved with the integration of traditional Western and Indigenous approaches to learning.

Math Catcher: Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling

Math Catcher is an initiative launched by various educational institutions and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences. It is based on the belief that it is crucial to engage Aboriginal students in mathematics and science at an early age. The program supports various initiatives including a math camp and a series of film resources for classroom teachers. The films feature a small indigenous boy named Small Number and they explore various mathematics and science concepts through First Nations imagery and storytelling.  The films are made in a variety of First Nations languages and in English. I have personally seen some of these films used in the classroom to great effect.

FNESC (First Nations Education Steering Committee): Science First Peoples

This is a free downloadable online resource for teachers that introduces teachers to the understandings necessary in order to effectively integrate First Nations ways of knowing into their science teaching. FNESC has previously published similar guides for Mathematics and English. The guide details how teachers can use various place-specific themes to explore issues that are relevant to Western and Indigenous cultures. It also provides suggestions for how teachers can develop local resources to support their practice and it provides information on indigenous ways of knowing and worldviews. This resource focuses on how Western and Indigenous understandings of science are complimentary. It does not value one above the other. This approach is helpful to teachers struggling with concerns that Indigenous and Western ways of knowing may be antithetical.

Integrating Western and Aboriginal Sciences: Cross-Cultural Science Teaching

This paper by Glen Aikenhead was published in 2001. It discusses the integration of Western and Aboriginal Sciences in a fascinating way. It views the process of “coming to knowing” of science as a cultural negotiation in which students must experience learning as a cross-cultural event.  “Success at learning the knowledge of nature of another culture depends, in part, on how smoothly one crosses cultural borders. . . In short, a science teacher needs to play the role of tour-guide culture broker”.  The educator makes border crossing explicit and is clear about which culture they are talking in at any given moment. The students could be exploring the culture of Western science in the context of Aboriginal knowledge or vice versa. This article has given me a great deal to think about as it introduces the importance of identifying the colonized and the colonizer and teaching the science of each culture. The article seems to focus primarily on teaching Aboriginal students.

Enabling the Autumn Seed

This paper by Mary Battiste was first published in 1988 but it has been reprinted many times and can be easily found online. In her paper, Battiste rejects the idea that the “add and stir” model of integrating indigenous knowledge and cosmology holds any promise as a means of reconciliation or Aboriginal student success. She contends that in order for education to be meaningful for Aboriginal students, it must include content in the form of language, epistemology and ontology. She emphasizes that Aboriginal language must be embraced and nurtured in education and that language is not simply a series of sounds but rather the socialization of language and knowledge, ways of knowing, and nonverbal and verbal communication.

Assembly of First Nations: Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property Right

This discussion paper was published in   It discusses the problems with the concept of Intellectual Property (IP) as it relates to Aboriginal Traditional knowledge. Aboriginal Traditional knowledge (ATK) is explained and discussed, as is the concept of ownership as it exists in the context of ATK. The crux of the argument is that the IP system is not suitable for protecting ATK, because it demands that ATK fully conform to western epistemology and be proven through western empirical methods in order to be considered valid. It claims that using the notion of “academic rigour” to determine validity of ATK is another form of cultural imperialism. Ultimately it urges the reform of IP laws and the creation of a separate legal regime within the IP system in order to provide legal protection to ATK.

Module 2 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

The incorporation of spirituality into everyday life seems to be a value in many Indigenous communities. I am, therefore, interested in finding out how this is done within educational environments and whether or not this is even done in online learning environments. My ultimate focus will likely be on adult education, as I work in a post-secondary environment. However, at this point, I am not limiting my research to that age group.

These are the some of resources I have examined recently:

  • Astin, A. W., Astin, H. S., & Lindholm, J. A. (2010). Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students’ Inner Lives. San Francisco, California: John Wiley & Sons.
    • What is an academic’s role in a student’s spiritual development? Faculty are only responsible for the academic and professional progress of their students, aren’t they? Perhaps they are, but the fact remains that students are asking questions, such as: “Who am I?”, “What is my purpose in life?” and “What kind of world should I help to create?” These all have spiritual overtones.
    • This book examines the role that post-secondary education has in student spiritual development. According to Astin, et al. (2010), although religious practice may decline during these years, spiritual growth is enhanced, which in turn enhances other college outcomes.
    • So although this book does not deal with Indigenous spirituality in education, it is a good starting point for examining spirituality in post-secondary education, which is where my interests lie.

 

  • Fraser, D. (2007, January 22). Secular schools, spirituality and Maori values. Journal of Moral Education, 33(1). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com.uml.idm.oclc.org/doi/abs/10.1080/0305724042000199996?needAccess=true#aHR0cDovL3d3dy50YW5kZm9ubGluZS5jb20udW1sLmlkbS5vY2xjLm9yZy9kb2kvcGRmLzEwLjEwODAvMDMwNTcyNDA0MjAwMDE5OTk5Nj9uZWVkQWNjZXNzPXRydWVAQEAw
    • In New Zealand, Maori education initiatives have grown to include Maori values, beliefs, and spirituality. This challenges the definition of secular education in New Zealand.
    • This article discusses the moral obligation to include Indigenous values within education in order to develop understanding and respect for their unique cultural identity. Are they broad enough concepts to have relevance for a diverse student population? Some say yes. However, others believe that even concepts such as self-worth and personal identity are too personal and intrusive to be discussed in a public classroom.
    • On the other hand, the Maori do not believe that they should be expected to fragment their lives and values and therefore wish their spiritual values to be taught alongside the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social ones. They believe that “a natural acceptance of spirituality…creates a moral space in which people’s values and beliefs can co-exist without excuse or apology in secular education”.
    • Although I had planned on keeping my focus on Canadian Indigenous peoples, this article describes some issues that I believe will be faced in Canadian society as we begin to teach about aspects of Indigenous culture in mainstream Canadian classrooms.

 

  • LaFever, M. (2016). Switching from Bloom to the medicine wheel: Creating learning outcomes that support Indigenous ways of knowing in post-secondary education. Intercultural Education, 27(5), 409-424.
    • LaFever uses the Medicine Wheel as a framework for learning outcomes. She sees it as expanding the three domains of learning, as described by Bloom (cognitive/mental, psychomotor/physical, and affective/emotional) while adding a fourth dimension of spirituality.
    • Having begun my exploration of the psychology of learning by studying Bloom, I am most interested in seeing how his theories are enhanced by Indigenous ways of knowing.

 

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2016, June 14). Native spirituality guide. Retrieved from http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/native-spirituality-guide
    • This website was found in the reference of the LaFever article. I found it intriguing that the RCMP would have a guide for their employees on the understanding of sacred practices of aboriginal peoples in Canada.
    • The RCMP sought out four different elders in creating the guide and gave additional thanks for permission to digitally publish  this knowledge, considering the fact that many elders do not consent to having their knowledge reproduced in this fashion.
    • The article goes on to list important concepts, such as the Circle of Life, the Medicine Wheel, and the Four Powers. It then outlines various ceremonies and ceremonial objects.
    • There is also a section on the treatment of medicine bundles by law enforcement officials, particular during legal searches, so that these objects are treated with the respect that they deserve.
    • Although very simplistic, the information contained on the site would be a very good starting point for someone with little or no knowledge of these sacred objects and traditions.
    • The main thing that surprised me about the website was that it did not distinguish between Canadian Indigenous cultures. Depending on what regions of the country and RCMP officer serves in, he/she will be exposed to considerable variation in belief and practice.

 

  • Tisdell, E. J., & Tolliver, D. E. (2001, June 01). The role of spirituality in culturally relevant and transformative adult education. Adult Learning, 12(3). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com.uml.idm.oclc.org/doi/pdf/10.1177/104515950101200305
    • Elizabeth Tisdell is also the author of the book Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education. (2003). San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass. This article briefly discusses some of the themes explored more fully in her later publication.
    • This article discusses the connection between spirituality and culture and how educational experiences that allow for their expression can be both culturally relevant and transformative to the students involved.
    • What is unique about this article is that it connects knowledge construction to the unconscious processes which are often culturally and spiritually based, such as the use of image, symbols, music, and ritual.

Module 1 Weblog Entry – Anne Coustalin

BCTF Aboriginal Education Teaching Resources

http://www.bctf.ca/AboriginalEducation.aspx?id=13404

This site is an excellent resource for British Columbia educators wanting to integrate Aboriginal Ways of Knowing into their practice. It provides a comprehensive (but not exhaustive) list of links connecting teachers to relevant resources that provide essential background and perspective on: the treaty process; the historical timeline of European contact and colonization (pre-contact to 2015); Indian Residential Schools and their legacy; and creating an inclusive, racism free classroom community. Of particular note is the BCTF-created document Beyond Words: Creating Racism-Free Schools for Aboriginal Learners. This resource offers practical information that speaks directly to issues teachers may confront in the classroom, with a focus on racism, understanding the rules of culture and how they may present in the classroom, and creating an inclusive community.

 

Two-Eyed Seeing

Two-Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk in Mi’kmaw) is a concept introduced by Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall in 2004. It is described as the guiding principles of how one should live on this Earth and is discussed by Elder Albert Marshall and Cheryl Bartlett. The concept was developed in response to the lack of representation of Indigenous students in the sciences and mathematics, particularly at the university level. It recognizes that there are different ways of looking at the world. The two ways that are particularly relevant in Canada are through the lens of Western science and through an Indigenous lens.  Two-eyed seeing refers to finding the strengths in both paradigms and mindfully bringing them together – drawing upon the deep understandings that each represents. When we employ two-eyed seeing, we very quickly realize that science alone is not going to save the natural world. Instead, a change of mindset must occur and the Indigenous way of seeing must simultaneously be employed so that people have a path to move forward on the planet together. The video describes the concept and provides the context of its introduction.

 

Two-Eyed Seeing – A Different Vision for Teaching Aboriginal Learners Science and Mathematics

This lecture, delivered by Dr. Michelle Hogue as part of the 2015 PUBlic Professor Series at the University of Lethbridge Alberta, further expands on the concept of two-eyed seeing and describes specific ways that it has been successfully applied to teach math and science to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners at the secondary and post-secondary level. Dr. Hogue describes her own teaching and research as being “focused on the space between Aboriginal ways of knowing and learning and the white western education system . . . the space I call the liminal space” (3:52). She describes this space as a space of possibility rather than a gap. The concept of learning through performing is discussed at length, as are a variety of other multi-layered education opportunities that move through different performance, experiential and theoretical stages.

 

First Peoples’ Cultural Council

http://www.fpcc.ca/Default.aspx

This site provides a wealth of resources to assist in the revitalizations of First Peoples’ heritage, language and culture. For each of those areas, the website lists a number of valuable resources including maps, toolkits, events, programs. Of particular note is the FirstVoices Indigenous language archiving and teaching resource “that allows Indigenous communities to document their language for future generations”. Part of this program is the FirstVoices language tutor (an online interactive First voices language learning program). There are also links to specific language tutor mobile apps in a number of Indigenous languages as well as Aboriginal fonts that may be downloaded to your computer.  While much of the content is geared towards Indigenous communities, there are also resources and information useful to classroom teachers.

 

Authentic First Peoples Resources (FNESC, FNSA. 2016)

http://www.fnesc.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PUBLICATION-61502-updated-FNESC-Authentic-Resources-Guide-October-2016.pdf

This document provides background into the way resources dealing with Aboriginal content have, in the past, contained false information and inaccurate representations of the unique experiences and world views of Aboriginal peoples. It provides teachers with the rationale for using only authentic Aboriginal resources, as well as guidelines for recognizing for how to recognize those resources. As outlined on the site, authentic First Peoples texts are historical or contemporary texts that

  • Present authentic First Peoples voices (i.e., are created by First Peoples or through the substantial contributions of First Peoples)
  • Depict themes and issues that are important within First Peoples cultures (e.g., loss of identity and affirmation of identity, tradition, healing, role of family, importance of Elders, connection to the land, the nature and place of spirituality as an aspect of wisdom, the relationships between individual and community, the importance of oral tradition, the experience of colonization and decolonization)
  • Incorporate First Peoples story-telling techniques and features as applicable (e.g., circular structure, repetition, weaving in of spirituality, humour).

Module 1 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

As mentioned in my introductory post, I am interested in how educational institutions may create spaces and opportunities to honour the spirituality of individuals and communities. Therefore, I am interested in researching how Indigenous people incorporate spirituality into their own educational programs.

The following resources represent my first foray into cyberspace to find out what’s going on out there. (The sites found are listed in alphabetical order by author.)

  • Battiste, M. National Working Group on Education and the Minister of Indian Affairs, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2002, October 31). Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education: A Literature Review with Recommendations. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada. http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/education/24._2002_oct_marie_battiste_indigenousknowledgeandpedagogy_lit_review_for_min_working_group.pdf
    • This literature review discusses Indigenous knowledge and recommends an educational framework and steps to improve the educational outcomes of First Nations peoples. It admits that in calling itself a ‘literature review’ it is a attempt to describe Indigenous knowledge through a Eurocentric lens. However one must start somewhere, so this is a review of the existing literature on Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy which the author hopes will, in turn, inform educational reform.
    • Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, pedagogy in First Nations education, epistemology, learning processes, cognitive other

 

  • Bell, N. (2017).  Teaching by the medicine wheel: An Anishinaabe framework for Indigenous education. Canada Education. Retrieved from: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/teaching-medicine-wheel
    • The Medicine Wheel is a symbol used by many Indigenous cultures to represent the importance of the interrelatedness of all things. In this article, Bell explains how the Medicine Wheel may be used as a guide along an educational journey. In fact, she describes how honouring the gifts of each of the four directions may lead us to different learning processes as we move from standard linear models to the spiraling concepts of (a) awareness (East) with the call to envision or ‘seeing it’, (b) understanding (South) with the call for interrelationship over time or to ‘relating to it’, (c) knowledge (West) with the call to reason or to ‘figuring it out’, and finally, (d) wisdom (North) with the call for movement or to ‘doing it’. Bell then goes on to describe how this pedagogy has been used in practice.
    • Keywords: aboriginal, curriculum, educational change, elementary school

 

  • Brandhagen, K. (2017, May 24). Book review. [Review of the book The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality, by Blair Stonechild. AdvanceSouthwest.com-Arts & Culture. Retrieved from http://www.advancesouthwest.com/knowledge-seeker-embracing-indigenous-spirituality/
    • This is a book review of “The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality” by Blair Stonechild. The review is helpful because Brandhagen describes its ties to education, specifically to the history of Stonechild’s experience and challenges faced in a post-secondary education environment. It also describes the ‘sacred activity’ of learning and how “creating a new First Nations education system was one of the ways to bring focus back to honouring First Nations culture, community, language, and spirituality after the residential schools had existed for generations for the sole purpose of destroying those very relationships” (Brandhagen, 2017, para. 4). The description of learning as a sacred activity is an important one, as it speaks to the impact of education on individuals and communities. Although written by a Canadian from a Canadian-Indigenous perspective, Stonechild has researched the spirituality of Indigenous cultures from around the world, giving it a relevance beyond our borders.
    • Keywords: Indigenous spirituality, education, oral knowledge, First Nations culture

 

  • McDougall, C. (2017, February 6). Shawane Dagosiwin: Faculty of Education to co-host national Indigenous education reseach forum. UM Today News. Retrieved from http://news.umanitoba.ca/faculty-of-education-to-co-host-national-%E2%80%A8indigenous-education-research-forum/
    • This is a brief announcement from the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, indicating that they would be co-hosting the Aboriginal Education Research Forum and the Canadian Symposium on Indigenous Teacher Education. It took place April 24th and 25th, 2017. Of interest to me is that this year’s theme was Embedding Spiritual and Sustainable Wisdom in Education and Research as and Act of Reconciliation. The hope is that by honouring “the need to value Indigenous knowledge traditions…will ultimately positively impact educational outcomes” (McDougall, 2017, para. 3). It is my belief that by respecting students as whole beings with spiritual needs and perspectives will support them in achieving their educational goals.
    • Keywords: Shawane Dagosiwin, aboriginal education research, Indigenous education, spiritual wisdom, reconciliation

 

  • McDougall, C. (2017, April 26). Conference showcases spirituality in reconciliation. UM Today News. Retrieved from http://news.umanitoba.ca/conference-showcases-spirituality-in-reconciliation/
    • This is the follow-up story to the above announcement. It describes how the keynote speaker’s (Dr. Chantal Fiola’s) spiritual journey not only shaped her identity but also informed her research and teaching practice. She makes the astute comment, “Many people think that spirituality is important to education. It’s just that for several generations, it was a particular kind of religion that was taught” (McDougall, 2017, April 26, para. 4). This not only refers to the sad history of Canada’s residential school system but can also be said to refer to all parochial schools and colleges with religious affiliations. Therefore, the connection between religion and spirituality is not new, it is just now being allowed to be revived in certain communities. So she asks, “What actions are we taking in our classrooms, and in our school systems to make space for different spiritualties?” (McDougall,2017, April 26, para. 6). It is a good and relevant question.
    • Keywords: Shawane Dagosiwin, spirituality in reconciliation, spirituality in education

 

  • Stonechild, B. (2014, June 12). Bringing spiritual teachings into education. Retrieved from http://www.cea-ace.ca/blog/blair-stonechild/2014/06/4/bringing-spiritual-teachings-education
    • Stonechild has seen the full spectrum of aboriginal education in Canada, from being a residential school survivor to helping develop a First Nation-controlled post-secondary institution. In this article, he summaries his view on the importance of spirituality in education. He explains that aboriginal spirituality is about establishing a health relationship with all things, especially with one’s family, nation, and Nature itself. On this physical journey, learning is a sacred mission. Those who have lost touch with their spiritual roots may forget the importance of maintaining healthy interrelationships and so turn to substance abuse, crime and gang activities. Therefore, researching, writing and teaching about the principles of Aboriginal spirituality is very important at this time.
    • Keywords: aboriginal, educational change, equity, student success, transformation

 

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Indigenous Literacy & Language

As I continue on my journey exploring  language and literacy development of Aboriginal children in Canadian schools,  I have benefited greatly from our forum discussions and the following websites, videos and literature.

  1. The following video  is a wonderful place to start when thinking of literacy as communication and the blend of traditional literacy and digital literacy to empower human connectedness and literacy, in any culture.

 

 

 

2. This document, Fostering Literacy Success for First Nations, Metis and inuit Students,screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-7-36-14-amreflects the importance of a bilingual approach to literacy, recognizing that many FNMI students communicate in non-standard forms of English/French “For these students, literacy success is cultivated by individualized programs that support their identity; experiences and relationships to the world”.  The below link does not work here on this blog but paste into browser and it links fine!

http://chrome-extension://mloajfnmjckfjbeeofcdaecbelnblden/http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/WW_Fostering_Literacy.pdf

 

 

3. First Nations 101 http://www.firstnations101.com/is a basic starting point for exploring the history of the First Nations People of Canada. It aims at supporting true reconciliation between First Nations and non-First Nations people. It was published in June, 2011 to celebrate National Aboriginal History month and in the Sunshine Coast School District was given to all teachers in 2013.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-6-33-59-am

4.

This website http://firstnationspedagogy.ca/FNliteracy.html   screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-7-46-16-am

focus’ on the need for literacy development in digital media as well as traditional reading, writing and numeracy. “Although the number of literacy models that exist are extensive and sometimes confusing, researchers agree on a few key principles:

 Parental involvement in literacy initiatives is invaluable – the younger the child, the higher the value First Nations children need instruction and literacy development in their own traditional language just as much as the mainstream language. Orality is a traditional literacy skill that has endured since time immemorial in First Nations communities and continues to be an important one. Children should be encouraged to both listen to and tell stories and express themselves orally from a young age. Connecting with Elders can help children and adults develop traditional literacies”

 

5.

Do You Speak My Language – Mi’kmaw at First Nations School in Nova Scotia is a video focusing on why young aboriginal students are losing their traditional language. It is based on interviews with elders discussing the influence of television in their communities in 1954.

Let me find my talk so I can teach you about me.

Students interviewing elders in their community end up being interviewed themselves about the importance of their traditional languages and how to preserve them for future generations.

 

 

Integration of First Nations Principles in Education

1) A common theme I have noticed when reading responses this past week has been around the lack of authentic resources available to educators to aid in the integration of First Nations principles in our school curriculums. The following provides a link to a publication of fnesc (First Nations Education Steering Committee) and FNSA (First Nations Schools Association) titled, Authentic First Peoples Resources: K-9. This resource was published in 2011, but was updated this year (2016). This is a lengthy publication that provides “Resource Annotations” detailing each resource in terms of title, author(s)/editor/compiler, illustrator(s), publisher, reading level, applicable curriculum areas, themes and topics, publication date and number of pages. In addition to this, the “Resource Annotations” chapter also provides a description, list of titles in the series (if applicable), and features of the text (i.e., text is in both English and Sm’algyax). There is also an “Index of Resources” (starts on p. 109) that gives a quicker summary of each resource including the title, nation(s), grade(s), resource topics and themes.

Authentic First Peoples Resources. (2011, updated 2016). Vancouver, B.C.: fnesc and FNSA
Retrieved 2 October, 2016, from: http://www.fnesc.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PUBLICATION-61460-FNESC-Authentic-Resources-Guide-2016-08-26.pdf

My next four links are to resources that discuss the connection between culture, language and well-being in Indigenous populations. I am becoming increasingly interested in and concerned with the profound impact that the loss of culture and language is continuing to have on the health and well-being of Indigenous populations. Studies, like the one by Oster et al. (2014) referenced below, have shown that “the intergenerational effects of colonization continue to impact the culture, which undermines the sense of self-determination, and contributes to diabetes and ill health.” My focus is around how we, as educators, can begin to help First Nations children and youth reconnect with culture and language, in hopes of increasing connections, but at the same time decreasing the intimidation and alienation (O’Sullivan, 2013) felt in Indigenous communities.

2) McIvor, Napoleon, and Dickie (2009) report that there is an increasing amount of evidence showing that the continuity of language and culture in Aboriginal communities contributes positively to the health and well-being of Aboriginal people. However, the loss of culture and language due to colonization has had, and continues to have, a profoundly negative impact on the health and well-being of the Aboriginal population. McIvor et al. report that “all indigenous languages in Canada are seriously endangered and most are at risk of extinction (Brittain, 2002; Shaw, 2001; Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, 1990)” and “in the last 100 years alone, at least ten of Canada’s Aboriginal languages have become extinct (Norris, 1998).” Through their research, McIvor et al., found that there is hope in the form of “protective factors” to combat identified health issues, and that there is evidence that the use of languages and cultures contributes positively to the health and well-being of Aboriginal populations. The six themes that emerged were: land and health, traditional medicine, spirituality, traditional foods, traditional activities and language.

McIvor, O., Napoleon, A., & Dickie, K.M. (2009). Language and culture as protective factors for at-risk communities. Journal de la sante autochtone. Retrieved 10 October, 2016, from: http://www.naho.ca/jah/english/jah05_01/V5_I1_Protective_01.pdf

3) O’Sullivan’s (2013) article discusses issues around providing “culturally competent care” and a “culturally safe environment” for Aboriginal patients in our Canadian health care system. The article draws attention to the fact that many Aboriginal people “tend to avoid seeking medical care because of factors such as negative stereotypes and lingering racism.” O’Sullivan points out that health care professionals must be educated about cultural differences that exist, rather than assuming that all patients have the same basic needs and perspectives. Acknowledging Aboriginal knowledges and traditions, as well as showing empathy and respect, is essential in creating a safe and accepting environment for Aboriginal patients.

O’Sullivan, B. (2013). Considering culture in Aboriginal care. CMAJ, 185(1). Retrieved 10 October, 2016, from: http://m.cmaj.ca/content/185/1/E27.full.pdf

4) Oster, Grier, Lightning, Mayan, and Toth (2014) report their findings from a mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative data) study conducted in Alberta. Cree and Blackfoot leaders were interviewed, and data was collected from provincial and public sources representing thirty-one First Nations communities across Alberta. The data was used to determine if there was a link between cultural continuity and the prevalence of diabetes in First Nations communities. The findings were significant and showed a correlation between loss of language and culture and the prevalence of diabetes. Their powerful conclusion was “First Nations that have been better able to preserve their culture may be relatively protected from diabetes.”

Oster, R.T., Grier, A., Lightning, R., Mayan, M.J., & Toth, E.L. (2014). Cultural continuity, traditional Indigenous language, and diabetes in Alberta First Nations: a mixed methods study. International Journal for Equity in Health. Retrieved 12 October, 2016, from: http://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-014-0092-4

5) Jewell’s (2016) quantitative study provides an interesting analysis of data regarding the exposure and acceptance of Aboriginal languages in urban settings in Canada. Jewell discusses the fact that Indigenous languages are endangered, but that revitalization efforts are in effect in many communities. Jewell discusses the importance of language in the continuity of culture, as well as the effect of continuity of language and culture on the health and well-being of Indigenous people. Jewell draws attention to the fact that while an increasing number of Indigenous people have been moving to urban settings, the majority of language revitalization programs remain on-reserves (Baloy, 2011, as cited by Jewell), although language programs off-reserve are increasing. Jewell concludes that when there is exposure to Indigenous languages both inside and outside the home, an increased value is placed on the language. Jewell’s hope is that with increased value will come increased study, interest, and advocacy.

Jewell, E.M. (2016). Social exposure and perceptions of language importance in Canada’s urban Indigenous peoples. aboriginal policy studies, 5(2), pp. 99-113. Retrieved 13 October, 2016, from: https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/aps/article/download/25411/pdf

What has gone right?

Our readings over module one have demonstrated what has gone wrong in relation to indigeneity, technology and education. I wanted to seek out what has gone right and how one might replicate or improve on it.

The Future

btati

I loved the title of Ball’s (2007) paper, Indigenous Learners Online: The Future Isn’t What it Used to Be!The paper highlights some of the most common demands for online post-secondary education, common issues and successful practices. Many of the issues were familiar to what I hear at my current school as well as at the college I used to work at; issues of internet access, a desire to learn as a cohort, challenges of work, family and community responsibilities. It got me to thinking about some of the successes that I have heard about in my workplaces. At ADLC, we have many indigenous students learning in cohorts at the school with an online teacher who makes occasional visits. At Lethbridge College, there have been some creative (and highly successful) initiatives that included cohort learning and a combination of on campus and in community learning. For example, the Blood Tribe Agricultural Training Initiative, saw college instructors travel to the Blood reserve as well as students travelling in to the college for field trips. This initiative was so successful that 20 of the 22 participants completed in the allotted eight months and the remaining two plan to finish. The Early Childhood Education program also has a dual credit course that is running at reserve schools near Lethbridge. In the first year, college instructors taught the course online with the assistance of an onsite facilitator. During this time, they trained the facilitator to take on more responsibility. The second year, the on site facilitator managed the course with the occasional assistance of the college instructors.

Got Heart?

A project that I found within the above resource was invaluable. I am sure that many of you have already heard of the Project of Heart, but it was my first experience with it. It is a unique site that I would classify as a Community of Inquiry. The site is intended to be a journey for students seeking the truth of indigenous peoples in Canada. There are resources by and for teachers as well as resources by and for students. Among the most impressive is this video produced by a group of Grade 8 students. The site also contains maps, historical documents, other literature, testimonials and more.

Strategies, Programs and Practices

Beyond the Shadows: First Nation, Metis and Inuit Student Success is a comprehensive document emerging from the Canadian Teacher’s Federation (2013) President’s Forum on First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education. It explores seven major themes centered around facilitating indigenous student success and engaging indigenous communities.

themes

Themes in Beyond the Shadows retrieved from https://www.ctf-fce.ca/Research-Library/BeyondShadows_EN_Web.pdf

Instructional Design and Culture

McGloughlin and Oliver (2000)  raise the issue of culture in instructional design, noting that instructional design, like technology, is not neutral. The article discusses the possibility of culturally pluralistic design and suggests ten design principles for culturally inclusive instructional design. Although somewhat dated, this article addresses a very specific and relevant issue in online education.

References

Blood Tribe farming training program aims to cut unemployment. (2015, February 5). CBC News. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/blood-tribe-farming-training-program-aims-to-cut-unemployment-1.2946131

Ball, P. (2007). Indigenous Learners Online: The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be! (Rep.). Retrieved from http://www.ecdip.org/docs/pdf/Ind Ed Conf paper 07.pdf

McLoughlin, C., & Oliver, R. (04/01/2000). Australian journal of educational technology: Designing learning environments for cultural inclusivity: A case study of indigenous online learning at tertiary level Australian Society for Educational Technology.

National Center for Truth and Reconciliation. (nd). Project of Heart. Retrieved from http://projectofheart.ca/filmsvideos/

Toulouse, P. R. (2013, August). Beyond the Shadows: First Nation, Metis and Inuit Student Success (Publication). Retrieved https://www.ctf-fce.ca/Research-Library/BeyondShadows_EN_Web.pdf

Module 1 – The Global and the Local in Indigenous Knowledge

1. My first resource link is simply a link to a poster; however, I feel that the poster is so important as an educator attempting to integrate First Nations learning concepts into my own teaching, and in respecting the fact that all people and cultures learn in different ways. This link is for the First Peoples Principles of Learning poster. I have one in my classroom that my students and I refer to often.

http://www.fnesc.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/PUB-LFP-POSTER-Principles-of-Learning-First-Peoples-poster-11×17.pdf

2. My second link is to the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) website. FNESC is a provincial-level committee that works to improve the quality of education and success for all First Nations learners in British Columbia. The FNESC website offers links to programs, a wide range of resources, post secondary education links (news, resources, and programs), and current as well as archived news articles related to First Nations education.

http://www.fnesc.ca/

3. My third link is to a collaborative and multi-group curriculum development project based on the traditions of the Witsuwit’en people of Northwestern British Columbia. This series of twenty-two short videos (the twenty-third video is a thank you to contributors and runs like the final “credits” portion of a movie) offer audiences the opportunity to view images from the 1920’s combined with recent images and interviews of the Witsuwit’en people, showing how traditions have been preserved and carried on today. This link appealed to me because of the readings in weeks one and two of ETEC 521 which discussed media representation of First Nations people and the preservation of traditions and culture.

http://lsc.sd54.bc.ca/index.php/video-files

4. My fourth link is to an article titled ” Children as citizens of First Nations: Linking Indigenous health to early childhood development” by Margo Greenwood (Paediatr Child Health. 2005 Nov; 10(9): 553-555). This article looks at early childhood programs for First Nations children, and the connection between health and well-being and preservation of culture and traditions. Greenwood discusses the diminished level of health for First Nations people across Canada and questions the values and ideologies imparted on First Nations youth through our typical early childhood development programs. Greenwood examines the fact that programs are generally based on a “school readiness goal” that is often not connected to the values and beliefs of Indigenous people. I found this article very interesting in terms of the links between educating First Nations children in culture, language and traditions, and the potential impacts on their overall health and well-being in the future.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722642/

5. My fifth link is to a National Post article “Native education problems won’t be fixed through more funding, study says” (Clarke, K., August 2014). I have included this article not because I find it a valuable resource necessarily, but because I believe it calls to question how dominant society and media view “success” in terms of First Nations learners. The article cites a study done by the Fraser Institute and refers to the author of the report, Ravina Baines, as saying that “Closer ties to a provincial system or replication of the provincial structure could improve graduation rates on reserves.” Because of the readings for the first three weeks of this course, I question the article’s foundations, and I question the implication that the “problems” with First Nations education on reserves are basically that the education given is not one created by the dominant society. Is it fair to judge how “successful” a system is based only on the values and beliefs of the dominant culture? I feel the article paints a negative picture of schools on reservations and I suppose I question the approach that is taken in the article. I feel that this article could lead to valuable discussions about what “success” truly means and what it means that an institute study and media are promoting the view that reserve schools could potentially fix their “problems” by aligning themselves more closely to dominant societal educational values and beliefs. It feels like colonialism in a less overt form to me.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/native-education-problems-wont-be-fixed-with-more-funding-study-says

Learning Resources For Teaching First Nations Art

We are currently participating in a school-wide inquiry at my school to increase First Nations cultural awareness through First Nations art, music and performing arts.  I am providing you with some website links that have helped us along the enriching process.

 

First People’s Art For Learningscreen-shot-2016-09-17-at-9-56-55-pm

The following website was a group project created in ETEC 511.  Our goal was to create a cross curricular resource for teachers that linked Canadian First Nations art and artefacts to the curriculum via a visual literacy framework.  Our goal is to continuously add to this resource, with the intention to add oral stories and personal accounts from elders.  Please share, make comments or ask questions about this resource.

 

 

Authentic Indigenousscreen-shot-2016-09-25-at-11-38-26-am

This website was created by the Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC) foundation who have established the Authentic Indigenous Arts Resurgence Campaign (The “ARC”).

Its initiative is: “aimed at promoting and supporting authentic Indigenous artworks in the retail and wholesale marketplace.”

Its goal is: to “undertake various activities designed to protect Indigenous control over Indigenous artwork and to ensure that its sale benefits Indigenous artists and communities economically.”

This website provides a comprehensive list of First Nations Artists in Canada where they are listed by first name in alphabetical order.  Each artist has their own page where viewers can read a short bio, view examples of their work, and search any links that may take them to projects or personal websites.  It also posts events, campaigns, and articles, and members can connect with each other through the blog, and social media.

 

CCCA Canadian Art Databasescreen-shot-2016-09-25-at-11-40-27-am

This informational website provides a database of Canadian artists, including First Nations, located across Canada.  Anyone can search for artists by name, location, subject/category, and advanced search options which include curriculum.  It is a place where Artists have the showcase their work, mention projects they are working on, and list events that are happening across Canada to promote their Art.

 

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centrescreen-shot-2016-09-25-at-12-36-17-pm

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre was founded to showcase the art, history and culture of the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh (people of the Squamish villages) and the L̓il̓wat7úl (the people of the land) nations.  Visitors on the website can learn about the Nations’ past and present history, shop online for authentic artisan merchandise, as well as book tours.  During the visits, visitors are taken through a guided tour of the centre, and they also have the opportunity to sign up for interactive workshops which could involve an interpretive forest walk, holistic tour and indigenous tea ceremony, or participation in various indigenous crafting workshops.

 

Aboriginal Tourism BCscreen-shot-2016-09-25-at-12-56-20-pm

The page dedicated to Arts and Culture, on the Aboriginal Tourism BC website, takes the visitor on an exploration of the many art galleries, studios, museums, cultural sites and cultural centres that are located throughout BC.  Visitors to the website are also able to book special visits and tours.