Tag Archives: Indigenous knowledge

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.

Module 2: Conservation International

http://blog.conservation.org/2011/06/for-climate-change-adaptation-traditional-knowledge-is-critical/

Some of the world’s most vulnerable people are the indigenous people of Africa.  Relying so heavily on the natural environment, but not having the wealthy economic infrastructures of Western countries, puts these people on the font lines of climate change.  The Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) is made up of 155 indigenous groups in 22 African countries.  They are working towards showing the importance of traditional knowledge to local decision makers (ie non-indigenous people) so that climate change adaptation is sustainable.

Already use to severe conditions, many of the indigenous groups represented by IPACC have coping strategies for the various challenges that Africa and the rest of the world are beginning to face.

National Film Board – Aboriginal Perspectives

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.

Wade Davis on Endangered Cultures

My first weblog posting of Module 1 was a TedTalk and I will continue in a similar fashion for Module 2 in our discussions of indigeneity and stereotyping.

“Remote lands of indigenous peoples are not remote at all. They are homelands of somebody.” In his discussion on Endangered Cultures, Wade Davis covers a lot of ground – from language to landscapes, traditional knowledge holders and indigenous peoples who face unknown modernity. He talks Voodoo, not a black magic cult (that’s a stereotype,) but complex metaphysical worldview. He talks of rites of priesthood of the Kogi, which include a strict 18-year inculturation into the values of their society. He discusses the level of indigenous intuition and relation to landscapes in comparison with the emotional disconnect evident in a contemporary resource-based economy. He talks of Indigenous people that say plants “talk” to them and the impossibility of dissect their explanation of plant taxonomy from a scholarly standpoint.

Davis notes that even those who are aware of the endangered nature of many indigenous cultures still view these cultures as quaint and colorful, however reduced from the live-a-day world of western society. He argues that it is not technology or the change technology brings that threatens indigenous societies, it is an overpowering domination to mimic Westernized notions of how technology should be used, and how change should proceed, that is the root of the threat.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL7vK0pOvKI[/youtube]

Module 1: Chief Atahm School

Located on the Adams Lake Band reseve in the Sepwepemc Nation, BC, Chief Atahm School is a parent-run language immersion school and educational program. The program began in 1987 as a language nest modeled in the Maori style of “Te Kohanga Reo” by a group of parents hoping to stem the loss of the Sepwepemc language. Since that time, their program has grown into an internationally celebrated example of successful tribally controlled education. Their Vision Statement reflects a deep respect for the values and traditions of the Sepwepemc.

The school provides full immersion from nursery through grade three, partial immersion for grades four through nine, and adult language courses. As the success of their program has become evident through the students that progress through the school and the revitalization of the Sepwepemc language, they also provide yearly Teacher Training institutes and adaptable curriculum development tools. Building on a tradition of continuing refinement of their programming, Chief Atahm School holds an annual language conference that is well attended by language activists, teachers, and enthusiasts.

Center for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research

Center for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research

This website is housed and maintained by Athabasca University. The Center for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research has the following goals:

  • Meet academic needs of Indigenous students, scholars, nations, communities, institutions and organizations
  • Improve the development and delivery of Indigenous Education at Athabasca University
  • Strengthen the research undertaken for, by and about First Nation Metis and Inuit People at Athabasca University
  • Acknowledge and develop the role of traditional knowledge in academic settings
  • Support, protect and preserve Indigenous Knowledge, Education and oral traditions

Athabasca University is Canada’s open University offering over 700 online courses and 90 degrees, diplomas and certificate programs with flexible start times.

The Center for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research provides a support and resource network for indigenous students taking Athabasca University courses and programs in their homes, communities or Nations.