Tag Archives: Identity


In this 2011 interview with Suzanne Stewart from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, place-based learning in Aboriginal communities is discussed. Stewart explains how place-based learning has resulted in an increase in attendance and sense of identity for Aboriginal students in Ontario. She explains that due to the legacy of residential schools and colonial history, not much value has been placed on Western education, however, place-based learning is changing this. Notably, Stewart offers a definition for place-based learning that is not only referring to geographical place, but also to the social, political, and cultural position of all people involved in the community.

Module 1 Entry 4


I am particularly interested in learning more about how indigenous people are using modern/western technologies in order to re-know/learn traditional ways of knowing and doing (technologies). This is something that I have been increasingly interested in as I hear more and more first-hand stories about how indigenous communities are connecting and sharing ancestral knowledge and using technologies to uncover artifacts that have journeyed far from their place. The following weblinks touch on key themes from Module 1, particularly that of place. I am quickly learning that perspective also lends to offshoots in conversation about technology and Indigenous education.

Keywords: modernization, relationships, place-based, aboriginal education, technology, identity, language, perspective


What I find particularly interesting is how this tweet illustrates the complexity and varying opinions on technology integration in education. Wab Kinew tweets “It’s important we move technology to early years and make sure every kid, not just the high achiever, learns to code”, sharing a New York Times article . This statement strikes me as quite contrary to much of our readings and many Aboriginal perspectives on western technology, but what strikes me as most interesting, are the comments that follow Kinew’s tweet suggesting an understanding of the natural world be more important. Kinew responds saying both technology and “critical thinking about the natural world” are important. But what does this look like? How can these two notions be married?

Module 1 Entry 1

Myth Busting: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 4.43.16 PMIn 2012 the TD bank put together a report, entitled Debunking Myths Surrounding Canada’s Aboriginal Population. based on their own findings and the findings of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. The purpose was to set the record straight, and replace stereotypes with facts to foster an enlightened national conversation.


Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group



This site represents the collaboration of 6 first nations groups working together to advocate for land ownership, jurisdiction & law making, culture heritage, natural resources etc.

It serves as another example of how technology is being used to strengthen communication among various bands to strengthen native issues and create meaningful change that will facilitate the preservation of culture and ensure its continued development.

Module 2 – Post 5
Ryan Silverthorne

Native Languages of the Americas



This site is a catalog of various Aboriginal languages. The site provides linguistic and cultural links for those interested in researching the subjects. Their mission is “dedicat[ion] to the survival of Native American languages, particularly through the use of Internet technology.”

This site is very basic in design but contains an enormous amount of content. Those researching protection of Aboriginal culture through technology and specifically protection of languages will benefit from its use.

Module 2 – Post 4
Ryan Silverthorne

First Nations Education Council



This organization is focussed on education and more specifically on the use of information technology as a means to support and serve Aboriginal communities. The site contains information on how the organization promotes educational technology in Aboriginal communities as well as links the various related article links on native perspectives on education, integration, information technology et.

I feel this is an excellent site for those who want to explore First Nations Organizations who are advocates for technological advancement in aboriginal communities, understanding philosophies and how action is being taken.

Module 2 – Post 3
Ryan Silverthorne

. . . of survivors Module 2.3

So this link is to another book (Hey I am a librarian) and the write up about this book calls it a, “must have for every school library” (see the last paragraph of the summary).

The title of the book is actually “Residential Schools: With Words and Images of Survivors.” The “of survivors” part struck me, because it is only those ones who are left to tell the tale . . . and if it is not told, then it becomes something we miss out on learning from.

From the goodreads webpage http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23841530-residential-schools  09 04 15

From the goodreads webpage http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23841530-residential-schools 09 04 15

Separatism and Bubble Gum Pop in Xinjiang

Music has been my bridge for friendship with Chinese people and the proximity of the music shop to the local “Nationalities University” has exposed me to traditional music from Xinjiang. I am constantly amazed at the skill and beauty of the traditional music. The article, From Resistance to Adaptation: Uyghur Popular Music and Changing Attitudes among Uyghur Youth, focuses on how Uighur popular music has changed from the grinding heavy metal of the 90s separatist movement championed by Askar to the fluffy love songs of Arken both minkaohan (educated in Chinese) living in Beijing. I have heard neither of these artists and the article is a little out of date but outlines how the central government has manipulated the media to silence protest and homogenize the Uighur people. The article was published before the eruption of violence and protests in July of 2009 but it concludes a change in Uighur youth ideology from separatism and isolation of the Uighur nation to one of working within the current system to heighten the status of Uighurs in modern China.

Module 4.1 Breaking the cycle: Inside a high school that is reimagining indigenous education

Globe and Mail Special Feature:  Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School specifically serves Indigenous students where majority fly in from remote locations.  Students attend this high school on their own free will and choose to do so because the funding for schools in the remote locations they live in is limited.  The school’s “vision statement” strives to help bring into being “a world in which First Nations people succeed without the loss of their identity, and have the courage to change their world according to their values.”  It also aims to have graduates leave “not only with a diploma but the skills, knowledge and confidence to help their home communities heal – by setting positive examples, showing a pride in indigenous culture and identity, and fostering employment on reserves”.


Cultural Appropriation – (Post 4 – Module 3)


In one of my initial weblog entries, I posted an article about fashion clothing designed by Yellowtail inspired by plants, and based on indigenous traditional knowledge. The above website addresses the concept of cultural appropriation and could be extended to traditional knowledge that goes beyond the arts (e.g. knowledge on medicinal plants).