Final Weblog Statement

Statement connecting weblog to research interests

As I reflect on my weblog entries, I realized that my research focus drastically changed from what I started with. Initially, I had intended to narrow in on the use of media; specifically video production and its implications on student engagement. Almost all my weblog posts were directed towards this area and the Tim Michel interview in the last week changed all that. I began to think holistically and even though the most important part of conducting research is narrowing down a topic, I decided that I would take the opposite approach in my final project. As such, I picked out the main themes that stuck out to me within this course and articulated my thoughts on them. My understanding of the subject matter is a culmination of prior experience, course readings, weblog entries and discussion. For this reason, my weblog entries are not directly related to my final project but along with other peoples entries, they did play a role in furthering my understanding.


Manny Loyla

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

Weblog #4 – Post #6 – Approved FNMI Resources List

I attended a PD session this week, in which Edmonton Public’s FNMI consultants were presenting about connecting with our students, their families, and our community.  It was interesting to sit and listen with that bit of a bias that comes with the information we have learned throughout the course.  The speakers were great, and they provided some resources to support teachers.  What was most interesting was the questions asked by my teaching peers – so different than the questions I was walking in with.  I was hoping that discussion could be focused around how we ensure that our resources, activities, and projects are reflective of all student’s backgrounds and needs, and I was thinking (with my final project at the front of my mind) about access to technology and how we can utilize technology to create a community and share our own personal stories.

Several great resources were shared that can act as a foundation as we reflect on our curriculum and change our teaching and communication practices for the better.  One was Education is Our Buffalo, which is a resources for teaching, lesson planning, and finding resources for educating FNMI students.  There is an easy to understand and clearly described history of Canadian Aboriginal culture, describing colonialism, First Nations treaties, Métis accords, and Inuit land claims.  There is also an emphasis on important definitions in order to create a common vocabulary.  This resource also provides information about Aboriginal spirituality and teachings, the legacy of residential schools, curriculum, cultural traditions, and recognition of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit achievements.

A second interesting resource was Reviews at EPSB, an site for educators that reviews resources for their appropriateness in the classroom.  Books and resources are reviewed for their content, images, and theme.  The collection of approved resources is maintained by the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Staff in Student Learning Services of EPSB.  The resources are specifically created to encompass the diversity of communities and traditions in North America, and not only are resources reviewed for authenticity and validity, but it is important they connect with the Alberta curriculum.  When possible, the review of the materials is a member of the culture represented in the book, to ensure that an expert makes the judgement.  Unfortunately, the reviewed materials are only books and resources published after 2002.  It is my hope that earlier resources will be reviewed as well.  I think it is really important that not only does the site provide approved resources, but it actively encourages educators and librarians to thoughtfully cull book collections to ensure that content is respectful.  Many resources are outdated and contain stereotypes, misinformation, cultural biases, and negative images and perspectives.

November 28, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4 – Post #5

One last digital storytelling project I came across is the Native Youth Enrichment Program.   In this youth program, youth created digital powerful stories that share their experiences.  The four day workshops as run by the Center for Digital Storytelling.  Click to view stories

November 28, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4 – Post #4

Another interesting digital story project can be found here.  On the Move – Aboriginal Girls in Sport was produced by CAAWS and Motivate Canada.  Community leaders and youth came together in a digital storytelling workshop that specifically focuses on developing and implementing sport programs for Aboriginal women.  It is important that girls are confident in physical activities, and that they gain confidence and healthy through sports participation.

Keisha Barry – A World Away
Serena Harris – With the Children
Suzette Jacobs – Time for Me
Shelly Smith – Bench Warmer
Shayla Mair – It Doesn’t Matter Where You Are, It’s Who You’re With
Amber McBurney – Ballet Shoes, Boxing Gloves
Lisa Marie Naponse – Biimaase Nishin
Christina Parsons – The Real Canadian
Serene Smyth – Team Spirit
Lovenia Thorpe – Biidaadnookwe

November 28, 2012   No Comments

BC’s Dark History of Discrimination is Worth Remembering

Weblog #4: Entry #5

My final project focuses on the unique way in which Victoria, BC has represented the Coast Salish culture alongside the British heritage of the city. While my research has revealed some atrocities along the way, I’ve been feeling pretty optimistic about how the city/province has evolved and recognized the Coast Salish nations of the West Coast.

My feelings evaporated when I saw the ‘Indian Policy in BC’ section on the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada site. There is a specific section on the First Nations experience in BC that identifies how BC refused to recognize First Nations land rights, unlike the rest of the provinces in the country, as was the national policy at the time. It seems to me that BC had quite a dark history given its discriminatory actions against the East Indians of the Komagata Maru, the Chinese who were forced into labour on the railroads, the Japanese Internment Camps of WW II and of course the FNs on the same region. While we often chalk these mistakes up to errors of the past and move forward, I think it is important to remember them so that we do not lose sight of the fact that things can always be better and that we should always strive to improve our present situation and understandings.


November 27, 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