Hosted by Cape Breton University, this site provides a wealth of information for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals by serving as a repository of historical and up to date data. Some resources I found useful are the presentation of Mi’kmaq history, the time-line of important Mi’kmaq events, a list of related websites, and a collection of essays dealing with the Mi’kmaq culture.
One essay I found very interesting and insightful was written by Dr. Marie Battiste (1998) is entitled, “Enabling the Autumn Seed: Toward a Decolonized approach to Aboriginal knowledge, language, and education.”
In this podcast, Shelagh Rogers interviews a number of Saskatchewan writers that offer varying perspectives on prairie life and the prairie landscape. Her last interview is with Jo-Ann Episkenew, regarding her award winning book, Taking Back our Spirits. Episkenew is both an author and a Professor at First Nations University of Canada in Regina and a member of the Regina Riel Metis Council. She talks about her own education experience and about her realization that much of what is taught in school stems from a mistaken belief that all knowledge stems from classical Greece, denying or ignoring the fact that active and vital cultures have thrived all over the planet for thousands of years, with and without Western “knowledge”. In sharing the literature and her studies and her love of reading, she attempts to shed light on the actual history and literature of Aboriginal people with an eye to promoting healing. Ultimately she is hopeful. The indigenous stories are being told and many Canadians are keen to understand the past and present realities of First Nations in Canada. What continues to strike me is how recent all of trauma from colonial policies and residential schools is. Policies continue to smack of discrimination. On another CBC radio show today, it was noted that although Inuit Dancers were invited to perform for the Royal Tour, no Treaty Nations were invited. As Episkenew states, when Prime Minister Harper says that Canada has no Colonial history, he denies the fact that Canadian policies, in effect, continue the colonization process.
This website is a great resource for Module 3’s theme of Indigenous Knowledge, Media and Community Reality. It is well designed, aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, easy to navigate, includes 2 different menu bars. On the right it is a glossary of terms and on the left it is divided into Topics, Quick Links and More Information. It has great number of links to topics about many different aspects of Indigenous peoples and their cultures including common topics such as: Community & Identity, Culture, Democracy, Global Governance, Indigenous Peoples, Property Rights, Technology, Trade and Finance, and World History. It also addresses colonialism and Indigenous history (for a variety of different communities and Indigenous cultures)! This site also ties in well with my topic of Elders and Technology and closely correlates with our Module 2 discussions of stereotypes. This site does a great job of addressing different types of Indigenous rights and communities and their identities. Excellent information found here, this site will be one that I will use and reference in the future for sure!
The National Film Board (NFB) of Canada has a web page devoted to high school and upper elementary students and teachers called Aboriginal Perspectives. It has NFB aboriginal documentaries from 1940 – 2004 with critical commentaries on the issues presented. The site has several themes including:
I viewed several of the excerpt clips under Cinema and Representation and found an interesting contrast in two clips about the Hudson Bay Company. In Caribou Hunters (1951) Manitoba Cree’s and Chipewan’s from the mainstream perspective, are shown happily trading with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson’s Bay Company (1972), presents an honest view of how the Indians felt about the “value” they were getting from trading with the Bay. This is much different from the 1951 Caribou Hunter’s perspective.