Tag Archives: australia

Creative Spirits

Creative Spirits is a website built by and for the Aboriginal people of Australia.  This website introduces all things Aboriginal in Australia including art and culture to health and history.  Related to this unit I found the section on land to be an especially good introduction and noted how closely linked the struggle of Aboriginals in Australia is to Aboriginals in North America.  The section titled the “Meaning of Land to Aboriginal People” discussed the role the land played to Aboriginal people in the past and their vision for land going forward.  The site is largely self contained and I found few external links of note.

Indigenous Rights in the News

Indigenous cultures view of themselves IS heavily influenced by the perceptions of the dominant culture – the Western mainstream capitalistic culture – paving the way and deciding which interpretation is considered “true” in their eyes – and indigenous people follow suit and end up becoming / behaving the way they are viewed! What a cycle of perpetual mayhem! At least there is hope as Smith (1999) reminds us – hope in different ways!

In my Module 3 blog post searches I found a couple different videos and websites from different parts of the world about Indigenous rights and the role of media and community reality and how Indigenous peoples are still fighting to be acknowledged and have their basic rights acknowledged. I found a couple short videos of a news clips reporting on the UN accusing Australia of the embedded and entrenched racism of the past remaining in their current daily lives and the dominant culture, again Western mainstream capitalism, of the north of Australia (specifically noted in this clip) continues to perpetuate this racism and discrimination towards Indigenous communities. They discuss the fact that Indigenous peoples are still fighting for their basic human rights including becoming part of the health system, justice system, etc. These clips showcase exactly how common these issues are to appear in the news and that these issues of the past are still alive today!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yrKwNrv0Ws&NR=1[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8y9FEfIi88&NR=1[/youtube]

Australia – Indigenous Affairs Master Class

Since we’ve had lengthy discussions lately about the World bank and it’s destructive efforts (behind the scenes), I thought I would include some positive examples that I found! The National Australian Bank is making efforts to acknowledge Aboriginal rights! Check out the two videos – two very different focuses – but both seem to be very uniquely positive!

NAB’s Indigenous Affairs Master Class – Terri Janke
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmRoEi7Mqos[/youtube]

Terri Janke deals with artwork Copyright. Where are you taking my art – beyond its cultural settings? Lots depends on whether or not they will allow their Indigenous Knowledge to become public knowledge, make it available and then it exists that breach of copyright happens and Indigenous art and Knowledge needs to be protected from the commercialization of culture – so this poses challenges. She speaks of copyright to protect Indigenous artists and talks about communal artwork and cultural expression – what is the artwork representing and who does it belong to?! However, Copyright tends to be more focused on individual rights vs communal, tribal, historical cultural expression and rights –Indigenous artists connect their works to their cultural stories and these connections are essential for Indigenous artists / peoples.

NAB’s Indigenous Affairs Master Class – Dr Chris Sarra
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxEQSxwQnXE&NR=1[/youtube]
Dr. Chris Sarra talks about the role of the NAB institute in Australia, their work and how they are making strides in the education system to improve education for Aboriginal children. He talks about perceptions of the public and teachers of Aboriginal children and talks about the struggles Aboriginal students face regarding the typical stereotypes they are related to and they sometimes end up becoming unless teachers prevent this so that schooling can be a positive experience for Aboriginal and Indigenous children.

Another awesome video (Ted Talks) about Chris Sarra’s efforts: TEDxBrisbane Chris Sarra – All you need is…. TO DREAM
This is a very inspiring and uplifting video! From the two videos, I’ve come to believe that Chris Sarra is an excellent mentor and example of what can be accomplished by an Aboriginal if they believe in themselves and go for their dreams – sending a huge message of hope for Aboriginal children! He talks about the crucial role of the teacher furnishing or stifling dreams!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPOFPgIpGdY&feature=related[/youtube]

These videos and others like them that I’ve uncovered will make excellent additions to the research I’ve collected about my topic on Elders & Technology & the many dimensions that encompasses including how Elders relate to the youth today.

Social Justice & Human Rights

SOCIAL JUSTICE & HUMAN RIGHTS: MICHAEL ECKFORD aka ANDERSON

In my searches I found a great little video about the need for improved social justice and human rights in Australia. Michael Eckford, an Aboriginal, aka Anderson, describes Australia as a country that has merged in to a culturally diverse country but this could be seen as actually returning to its former multicultural state prior to European & British invasion. Cultural and ritual tolerance as with multiculturalism, there are many different cultural groups that have different ceremonies, traditions and rituals and there are protocols set in place. Talks about how there needs to be new laws created to address the multiculturalism in Australia since many other ethnic and Indigenous groups from Asia, Europe, Africa, etc. have immigrated to Australia and now call it home. He stresses the need for greater tolerance and no acknowledgement of racism via the radio, newspapers or other media.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptN00Q1frFw[/youtube]

Another interesting video caught my eye on this topic. A Maasai Elder, Ole Suya from Simanjiro, speaks on IPR’s.

Maasai Elder on Intellectual Property Rights (English)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f7eSOoM6yM[/youtube]

These videos and others like them that I’ve uncovered will make excellent additions to the research I’ve collected about my topic on Elders & Technology & the many dimensions that encompasses.

Internet use and indigenous women

http://research.arts.yorku.ca/nhnf/DigitalDivide.pdf

This research paper written for the National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research in 2005. It addresses the question of whether or not the internet is a useful tool for indigenous women living in remote areas in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to access health resource. This article discusses the digital divide and how it affects indigenous communities. Based on the statistics presented, there is an apparent digital divide between on-reserve Aboriginal population versus the rest of Canada. There is also a divide between the Canadian population and Northern Aboriginal communities in terms of access to the internet. The article explains how the internet is beneficial to the health of aboriginal women and their families. The author also mentions the challenges of having internet technology implemented into aboriginal communities as there are concerns such as language barriers, cultural bias, and fears of assimilation.

Aboriginal Art Online

Aboriginal Art Online

This website provides information on aboriginal art, artists and social issues in Australia.

My main research goal is to explore urban indigenous issues, particularly as they relate to land, identity and use of technology, so my principle interest in this page was the section on urban aboriginal art (http://www.aboriginalartonline.com/regions/urban.php) where there is an overview of the development of contemporary indigenous art, which has become a unique style blending traditional indigenous forms and non-indigenous influences.

It is interesting to read how many of these urban artists view themselves as part of the mainstream artistic community and resist being marginalized as “indigenous” artists.  They have also had to deal with stereotypes from both indigenous and non-indigenous communities as they have forged their own styles.

I think the content of this website aligns best with module 2 although I think it could also fit into the other modules as well.

Connecting Weblog to Research Interest

I didn’t have a specific research topic in mind when I started by weblog research. However, I kept finding myself being attracted to documents and information pertaining to Aborginal children and technology. The five sites that I have visited come from Canadian as well as Australian sources. The first article I found discusses improving educational experiences for Aboriginal children in Australia. With technology being so widely used by many teachers around the world, I think that educators should invest time into examing how technologies could enhance the learning experience of aboriginal children. At the same time, educators can evaluate these technologies to ensure that they are culturally sensitive, and respectful of aboriginal pedagogy and ways of learning.

I find the second piece of information to be the most interesting. I have heard about the One Laptop Per Child policy before and learned that the Belinda Stronach Foundation was implementing it with Aboriginal children across Canada. However, I didn’t know that there is software included into theses computers that aboriginal children and youth can directly relate to. I want to see the outcome of the laptop distribution. I would like to find out what worked well for the aboriginal children, and what could be improved for the future.

Closely linked to the distribution of laptops is the Belinda Stronach Foundation. I looked further into this organization and found that they work to deal with global challenges and innovative solutions. They provide a presentation on their website that discusses the creation of a better future for aboriginal children using technolgy. Another organization called KTA works closely with Aboriginal peoples. On their site I found a document about aboriginal culture in the digital age. Both the Belinda Stronach Foundation and the KTA made me think further about the use of technology and how it benefits aboriginal children. The last document I found talks about a software for educating aboriginal students about place. TAMI is a program that elders can use with children. 

My weblog research seems to be linked by the idea that technology is being used by and for aboriginal children. I would like further research how technology worked (or did not work) for aboriginal children. I am interested in possibly narrowing down my topic a little more.

Software for educating Aboriginal Students about Place

http://www.cdu.edu.au/centres/ik/pdf/HRV_for_Kritt_WinegarFINAL4-06.pdf

Written by an author from The University of Melbourne, this paper discusses how a software can contribute to learning about being in-place by Australian Aboriginal Children. The author identifies a software called TAMI which stands for texts, audio, movies, and images. TAMI was design with and for Aboriginal Australian teachers, parents and grandparents so that they have the opportunity to work with the children of their communities inducting them into the collective life the various places to which they belong and from which they derive their identities. The TAMI software sounds very unique and I would be interested in researching more about its applications and success in Australia. I also wonder if a similar software exists or has been used in North America.

Improving Educational Experience of Aboriginal Children

http://www.ichr.uwa.edu.au/files/user17/Volume3_Frontispieces.pdf

This document addressed education for the Aboriginal children of Western Australia. It claims that education providers have failed, for the last 30 years, to improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal school children. The author mentions that the purpose of this document is to enable educators and leaders to work together to bring about the necessary changes to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students.

Reference:

Zubrick SR, Silburn SR, De Maio JA, Shepherd C, Griffin JA, Dalby RB, Mitrou FG, Lawrence DM, Hayward C, Pearson G, Milroy H, Milroy J, Cox A. The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey: Improving the Educational Experiences of Aboriginal Children and Young People. Perth: Curtin University of Technology and Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, 2006.