Category — Module 4


Web log #4

Entry 5

The British Columbia Teachers Federation has put together an Aboriginal Education Program (2012) that has some good resources and contacts for Aboriginal Teaching and Learning in B.C.

December 3, 2012   No Comments

North Vancouver Agreement between First Nations and Schools

Web log #4

Entry 3


The Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement is a five year (2011-2016) agreement made between schools, teachers, parents and governing bodies to meet the needs of students of Aborginal ancestry. It is a partnership between the Skwxwú7mesh Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation and any other aboriginals living on the North shore along with North Vancouver School District and The BC Ministry of Education. It is a commitment by all these interested parties to improve academic achievement of Aboriginal Students.

December 3, 2012   No Comments

National Film Board

Web log #4

Entry 2


The National Film Board has an unbelievable treasure of resources to use in the classroom including a vast resource of aboriginal material.  You have to sign up for an account (free) but they have created teachers guides to go with their movies. Here is the link to the National Film Board and a link to one of the Teacher Guides, First Nations A Circle Unbroken.


December 3, 2012   No Comments

Canadian Council on Learning

Web log #4

Entry 1


The Canadian Council  on Learning has a variety of excellent resources. This Summary report, Naturalizing Indigenous Knowledge has been created by the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre and is a rich resource for definition and clarification of Aboriginal Knowledge and Place-based Learning. It examines Aboriginal roots, social conditions, racism among a host of other topics.

December 3, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4

Nearing the end of my research on integrating traditional ecological knowledge into the science curriculum, it became apparent that making connections with elders and sharing knowledge is pivotal in using TEK in the classroom. The following websites could help elders connect with students in a way that TEK can be passed down from generation to generation to all Canadian students.

International Workgroup for Indigenous Affairs
After discussing the influence of the media on indigenous communities, this website was pointed out to me. In further investigation, there is a section of environment and development that has vital information pertaining to land rights, poverty, climate change and sustainable development. There are news articles, written publications and important messages regarding environmental issues relevant to the Indigenous community. There is a news feed and many related links as well.

Indian Country Today Media Network
This media network serves to share information, news and events amongst members of the Native community online. They also advertise Pow Wows, gatherings, Sacred Sites and other events. They have news sections on the environment, education and a subsection for Canadian events only. A network like this in Canada could help students connect with elders who could share vital information about TEK and how to be a true steward of the Earth and show respect towards all living things around you.

The Vancouver Native Housing Society: Youth and Elder Connections
While the VNHS serves to provide housing as its main goal, they also have programs which enrich the lives of residences through cultural events and celebrations of heritage, arts and traditions. One of their programs is the Youth and Elder Connections “Bridging the Generations” program. In this community-based project, youth and elders are brought together through social and recreational activities, health- related workshops and mentorship. The program’s aim is to bridge the generational divide in a fun and educational way that helps to promote respect for self and others as well as Aboriginal cultures and traditions. These connections between youth and elders could involve the sharing of TEK, if specific activities were designed for this.

Peace for Turtle Island
Peace for Turtle Island provides culturally sensitive and accurate information about the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee – People of the Longhouse). They offer essays on many issues facing First Nations peoples, including the environment. Their page on cultural sensitivity is of interest because it speaks about how the internet may be spreading false information about the Iroquois peoples and their traditions. The author of the website designed this site as a way to educate others about the Iroquois from a first-person perspective. Their page on language, music and the arts is also very interesting and informative as well.

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick: Acadian Forest
The Conservation Council of New Brunswick published an article of traditional ecological knowledge. It explains in brief what TEK is all about and how it is an essential tool to be used in safeguarding the Acadian forest. They address the talking circle that took place on February 26, 2009, where the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, the Schoodic Band of the Passamaquoddy Nation of St. Andrew’s, the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability and the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (BoFep) hosted a talking circle on conservation and cooperation at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The outcome of this talking circle was that awareness was made about the concerns the indigenous peoples have in terms of conservation.
The second part of the project was to hold conversations with traditional forest knowledge keepers in parts of New Brunswick. The goal of each interview was to identify the challenges to the health of the Acadian forest and its species; how TEK could be used to ensure a healthy forest for future generations, and how traditional ecological knowledge can be protected.

December 3, 2012   No Comments

Elder Florence Kelly’s Advice

For my final post in the ETEC 521 blog, I wanted to share some words I found while doing research for my paper. This is Elder Florence Kelly’s Advice to the Newly Elected Executive of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Council, March 21, 2009, as cited in Jacqueline Skytt’s “A White Woman Learns the Way” in the Alberta Teacher’s Association magazine.

  • Be kind. The children need kindness and love. This is how they will get better.
  • Be patient. This is a long road. There are many struggles. The children need you to be in it for the long term.
  • Be humble. My grandmother taught me this. Never boast about your good deeds. This takes away from the goodness you are trying to do.
  • Be honest. Our children have been lied to many times. They need people to be truthful with them

Words to live by, First Nations or not.

December 2, 2012   No Comments

Module 4 entries~

This site offers a really interesting personal account of Native American ways of knowing. The author tells of her childhood experience growing up in a Christian family and witnessing her grandmothers traditional Salish ways from a kind of outside perspective. She tells of her grandmothers actions that might look totally insane to non-native peoples and how those actions just seemed normal to her because she had always witnessed them. She explains the maiming and function of some of the actions. I found this story very interesting.

An introductory page for a symposium on aboriginal ways of knowing that was held at Queens University. Many indigenous scholars presented on the topic. The list of names and titles as well as links is useful for further research in the area.

This article gets into three different cultural ways of knowing: North American indigenous, neo-indigenous mainly based on Japanese, and Euro American. Its a good source of introductory information on a selection of approaches.

A video on “Native Science” and “Western Science.” A little long, but interesting.

This is a short article on learning styles and the different learning styles that are particular to certain cultures. The learning styles are determined via research that is also briefly explained. Some controversy on this research and the practical use of the findings in education are presented.


November 30, 2012   No Comments

Auctioning of FN Artifacts: Recommitting a Crime from the Past

Weblog #4: Entry #4

Thinking about ownership and intellectual property rights made me reflect on the raw issue of the ownership of actual property and items that were taken from FN groups under the guise of conversion to Christianity or public welfare in the sense of banning the potlatch. In 2007 the Royal BC Museum put on the Treasures of Tsimshain exhibit. As the site describes the history of the appropriation of FN artifacts by various European groups I pictured to pillaging of artifacts, art and assets by the Nazis in WWII. In both cases, valued treasures were lost to invaders who coveted the items as their own, passing it down to successive generations who not sell them at actions for exorbitant prices. Maybe it is at this point that our collective conscience should exercise some self control and not purchase these items. If no one bids at the auction, then the items themselves become, in essence ‘worthless’. It is then and only then that the false owners will consider returning these items to their rightful owners. So I suppose, although these crimes were committed in the past, but by continuing to participate in such auctions, it is people in today’s society who continue to perpetuate an old crime.


November 27, 2012   No Comments

Sherman’s Research – The End of the Beginning

This marks the last weblog for ETEC 521. The selection this time includes missing pieces to the final project. However, the end is only the beginning of my journey in my venture into stories and their importance to indigenous peoples, as well as their strength that can be harnessed in future curricula development. This topic is broad and I am certain that my research would not even be close to complete within the bounds of 2000 words. For the time being though, I will look at this as an appetizer to my on going hunger for learning as an educator.

Exploration #16 – Invoking the Spirits of Our Ancestors

Klasky, P.M. (2010) Invoking the Spirits of Our Ancestors: the place and power of song in the protection of land and cultures. Retrieved from

This article discusses the power of songs in the context of protecting land and culture, and decolonization. The article reviewed songs that were performed to government to express the importance of land and cultures. Each of these songs was explained, and many analogies to nature were used in these songs to convey very real and very strong emotions. These songs were recorded to provide younger generations with a gift of guidance passed down from their ancestors.

Personal Connection:

The indigenous songs and stories are not often shared with students in mainstream education, so it is difficult for many to appreciate a culture that is rarely shared. I think this is also the case for a lot of indigenous youth who has moved away from reserves and lives in mainstream society; understanding of their own heritage would be rather difficult for them. From this article, I learned that with technology, record of these songs that holds a lot of knowledge can be shared with the younger generation with less of a risk of loss due to the passing of an indigenous singer. Beyond sharing these songs with students with indigenous backgrounds, I think, if appropriate, sharing of these songs with children with non-indigenous backgrounds would be a wonderful alternative learning. I was especially drawn by the first song of Newe Huvia as I think it is a great teaching of respect and ecology to all living things that shares the same niche with us – it is simply more emotionally engaging than a textbook of theories.

Exploration #17 – Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing

Barnhardt, R., and Kawagley, A.O. (2005). Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 36(1), 8 – 23.

This article compares the Indigenous Knowledge Systems to Western Science. When placed in a Venn diagram, the two knowledge systems share quite a bit of common ground. The differences often complement one another to form more holistic learning that fits 21st century demands in education. The article mentioned a little bit about residential schools, but focus mostly on potential to change our current education system to better serve our diverse learners.

Personal Connection:

I am the type of person who do not enjoy conflicts, and I still hold tight to my naïve ideal that seemingly opposite views and values can work together to make a grand picture to better portrait our understanding of our world. Of course, this is not always as easy as snapping Lego pieces together for joining Western and Indigenous ways of learning. There are invisible issues that exert resistance to the merger of two worlds. However, laying out the plan as this article has would usually help kick start the change. This article help bridge the gap of my research in terms of incorporating indigenous wisdoms into today’s education.

Exploration #18 – Exposing Legacy of the Indian Residential School System

Gray, R.R.R. (2011). Visualizing pedagogy and power with urban native youth: Exposing the legacy of the indian residential school system. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 34(1), 9-27,103. Retrieved from

This article discusses the Indian Residential School System in Canada. The multigenerational impact of residential school spans many facets of life: social, cultural, economic, political, spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and linguistic. The article attempts to bring more public visibility to the impact felt by today’s youth from the legacy of residential schools.

Personal Connection:

Throughout my exploration, I have not yet looked into how storytelling (and other indigenous ways of knowing) was interrupted by colonization. I think this is an important to examine the impact of residential school, when I look into making changes to our curriculum today to be more holistic. I find that knowing about residential school and its impact also brings out the reason as to why it is important to modify our way of teaching as well.

Exploration #19 – The Best of Both Worlds: A Critical Pedagogy of Place

Gruenewald, D.A. (2003). The Best of Both Worlds: A Critical Pedagogy of Place. Educational Researcher, 32(4). 3 – 12. Retrieved from 3700002

This article attempts to combine “place-based education” and “critical pedagogy” into a more rounded pedagogy that encourage reflection on educational practices in relationship to the place we live in and the impact it has towards future generations. That is, to incorporate social and ecological consciousness into education, in contrast with the standardized mainstream that focuses on facts that are difficult for student to relate directly to their lives and the place they inhabit.

Personal Connection:

I am currently taking ETEC 565A along with ETEC 521 this term. The discussion of teaching of ethics came up in our forum, and I do not think any of us recall any teaching of that existing in our current mainstream curricular. And for the minimal that does exist, they are often taught out of context, which students tend to disregard and push away. I think “critical place-based education’ would be more fitting to teach social and ecological consciousness than the disconnected lessons that we have. Perhaps this is another great thing about stories and how they help us make sense of this world.

Exploration #20 – Reflection on Intergenerational Trauma: Healing as a Critical Intervention

Quinn, A. (2007). Reflection on intergenerational trauma: Healing as a critical intervention. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 3(4). 72 – 82. Retrieved from

This article reviews the intergenerational trauma that was brought about by residential schools in Canada. Statistics reveal that provincial and territorial care for aboriginal children is not effective in dealing with the intergenerational trauma, and that getting to the source by healing the traumatic experience is needed to break the trauma cycle.

Personal Connection:

This is a slight deviation from my exploration on storytelling, as I want to know what we are doing and why we need to take action on changing our curriculum to be more inclusive of indigenous students. I was interested to know what sort of resources and help we are currently providing indigenous children in dealing with the residential school legacy. After reading this article and connecting with other readings I have done, I believe that incorporation of indigenous ways of learning in our curriculum is a great way to bring about healing. A lot of the time mainstream curriculum lacks engagement with the emotional side of learning by focusing solely on scientific facts and carved-in-stone history. This offers very little to people in trauma. This, did not provide me with a solution, but it certainly gave me a reason to want to make changes to my own practice.

November 27, 2012   No Comments

Another perspective on First Nations connection to the land”Chief Rose Laboucan to Enbridge Joint Review Panel

I’m not sure if anyone will ever really understand our connection to the land. The land is us; we are the land. We could once take all our food supplies from the land. The healthy food I’m talking about, the meat, the fish, the vegetables, the fruit.

I believe today many of our communities are in crisis. In 1970 when I worked for Health Canada, we had one diabetic in our community; one. Now we have close to 100, and they range from five years old on up.

Many of our people cannot afford to buy their groceries in a grocery store, the real food I’m talking about, on the outside aisle. That’s where the real food is. You walk into any store and you’ll picture that, the vegetables, the meat, produce, everything is on the outside aisles. The processed foods are in the middle aisles. That’s where my people shop.

So the once enhanced lifestyle that they had for health reasons were taken from the land. And I really believe that is very sad when we, as First Nation people, we’re taught to hunt, to fish, to trap and to gather.

JOINT REVIEW PANEL FOR THE ENBRIDGE NORTHERN GATEWAY PROJECT , Hearing Order OH-4-2011 , Edmonton, Alberta , January 31, 2012 , International Reporting Inc.

Available online at oral presentation by Chief Rose Laboucan

November 26, 2012   No Comments