ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival is an international festival that celebrates the latest works by indigenous peoples on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio, and new media. Each year in the fall, the festival presents some of the most compelling and distinctive Indigenous works from around the world. The festival attracts and connects film makers, media artisists, and other industry professionals. The works accept reflect the diversity of the worlds Indigenous nations.
ImagineNATIVE is committed to dispelling stereotypical notions of Indigenous peoples through diverse media presentations from within our communities, thereby contributing to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous artistic expression. A youth workshop is offered for Aboriginal youth to learn the basics of machine cinema. There are many other activities that youth can be involved in such as the ImagineNATIVE Youth Video Contest.
This website is interesting for those who would like to learn more about Indigenous film and art. There is an extensive archive that contains many videos and images from past events and festivals.
As a North Vancouverite, I thought it would be interesting and beneficial to do some digging into the rich First Nations cultural history in my own backyard. The Squamish Nation is amalgamation of many bands (I just learned this!). The reason for their amalgamation in the early 1920s is eloquently explained in a great media production found on the Squamish Nation Network website. I found the use of media on their website to be outstanding, particularly the informative and interesting 15 minute video I’ve provided the link to. It’s a great example of First Nations People using media themselves to tell their own story. I hope you’ll take the time not only to watch the video, but to explore the website and learn more about my neighbours, the Squamish Nation!
The Sookinchoot youtube channel is a component of the Skookinchoot Youth Center, an initiative of the First Nations Friendship Center. The channel presents a collection of videos on a variety of subjects, including First Nations games, culture and art. The Youth Center contains a calender of events for youth as well as informative videos and other relevant information.
There are not that many videos on the channel yet, but one of the events on the Youth Center Calender, Reel Youth, a summer program, will likely go some way to change that. One of the earliest videos covers the dismissal of Aboriginal Education Advocates in School District 22 a few years ago, a decision that was made unilaterally and without consultation, presumably for budget reasons. This speaks to my own research on how First Nations students can best be served in the public school system and the importance of meaningful discussion that promotes partnership and mutual respect, even beyond the notion of consultation. It also brings home the need for building technical skills within the Aboriginal communities to ensure that these stories are told.
Academica Group is a Canadian based research and marketing consultancy focused on post-secondary education. They conduct research, and highlight trends for post-secondary institutes to help them map out the changing roads ahead. They provide a free subscription service called Top Ten, a daily news brief. Many post-secondary institute leaders, managers and administrators subscribe to this service for daily updates. I have been scanning the daily updates of Top Ten for a while and have noticed since starting ETEC 521, that there is a fair amount of news related to indigenous education in Canada. Here are some recent news items that came up with the following search terms:
My favorite part of the Academica site is the work of Ken Steele, Senior Vice-President, Education Marketing. Ken does a roadshow and if you ever have the chance to see one of his presentations on the future trends in post-secondary education, it is well worth the time spent. Ken has U-tube channel where he gathers higher education commercials and lip dubs including UBC’s LipDub. Many of these commercials are thought provoking including Ontario Colleges Obay commercial.
Cheryl Matthew is from the Simpcw First Nation in BC but lives in Ottawa where she is a PhD student at Carleton. On her blog (Cheryl’s Urban Aboriginal Life), she writes on a variety of indigenous topics but the focus is on urban identity issues. One of the themes of her research is the indigenous “diasporic experience” and how, in the absence of a direct connection to a land base, urban aboriginals learn to construct identity and meaning through other cultural means, including new media. She demonstrates this by her use of technology but also writes extensively about it.
Many of her posts are quite academic, not surprisingly as they are part of her research, but others are quite casual as she discusses her experience as an educated aboriginal living in a large city.
This site is a great resource for anyone researching urban aboriginal issues.
I’m not sure what the Turtle Island Native Network (TINN) is exactly (other than an independent aboriginal news network) as I wasn’t able to find a mission statement anywhere or even a clear theme running through the content. I think that may be the strength of the site; it’s got a bit of everything. It’s almost a “digital refrigerator” with a ton of links to other media sources providers. If you are looking for information on a contemporary indigenous topic, you will find something here.
I found this site when I was researching urban indigeniety and I came across TINN’s Spotlight on Urban Aborginals. Most of the content showcases (usually using video) individual aboriginals who are discussing their lives and challenges. While there are few direct references to the value or risk of using technology, the site clearly is comfortable with new media as a means to strengthen connections and articulate indigenous identity.
In Chapter 4 of Indigenous Cultures in an interconnected World, Zimmerman, Zimmerman and Bruguier, list a number of websites and productions that are authentically indigenous. I visited the site of Igloolik Isuma and was thrilled to find some excellent quality film and videos easily accessed on line. I was fortunate to see Atanarjuat when it first came out and it’s available on the site. I watched, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, which is in Inuktitut language with English subtitles. With it’s high quality filming of the of the Arctic environment, the use of authentic music as background and the sharing of the wisdom of elders and others, who knew of the past traditions and the changes that are currently taking place was in stark contrast to the film, Nanook of the North. This is the sort of fim that would augment First Nations Studies for Canadian students and give them a greater, more authentic understanding of Innu way of life, traditionally and presently.
Aboriginal Students Engaging and Struggling With Critical Multiliteracies, by Fatima Pirbhai-Illich (2010) discussses her study involving at-risk First Nations adolescents in Canada. She explores the concept of Multiliteracies (New London Group, 1996) and attempts to increase students’ literacy level using a video project to address the students concerns about racism and fairness. This reminded me of an article I read for a previous course that lead to discussion of what is literacy and how technology is leading us towards a sense of Multiliteracy. It is true that our sense of literacy has been entrenched in text entrenched in Western Christian culture, the printing press and the industrial revolution. This focus has disenfranchised a great many students and perhaps technology will allow us to rethink and expand our concept of literacy. As I continue to seek out best-practice for Aboriginal students in elementary school, I will definitely keep the idea of Multiliteracies in mind.