Making the Connections – Cole Anderson Blog #4

Cape Mudge Resort

The Tsa Kwa Luten Lodge on Quadra Island is an important site for the We Wai Kai Nation and as it is arguably the most noticeable commercial enterprise for this tribe. Throughout the final module I was reminded that we all have a responsibility towards environmental stewardship but how to achieve this goal would change from one culture to the next. For the We Wai Kai their lodge has two purposes to help facilitate environmental stewardship:

  • First objective is to be a commercial business which provides tourists with incredible food, a gorgeous open log beam lodge, and incredibly beautiful spiritual hiking trail experiences that has a low impact on the environment.
  • Second objective is for the winter when the lodges closes its door to the public and in partnership with the Nuyumbalees society it becomes a healing centre for the We Wai Kai people.

From many of the articles that were read, especially with the videos on the youth power, as a young boy I was exposed to the legacy of decolonization and the struggle that some tribal communities are continuing to experience during their healing process. Having a location as beautiful as this lodge, while focusing on environmental sustainability, was an incredibly important learning experience. It served as an early example on how a globalized capitalist society does not always have to be an antagonist relationship with the local tribal communities.



First Nations Education Steering Committee

I was inspired to find this website after reading the article, “Education Indigenous to Place: Western Science Meets Native Reality.” The mandate for this committee is to work on various provincial initiatives and to be a consultant with the BC Education Ministry. They provide various resources to the ministry such as an educators guide and within this guide there is direct information on: pedagogy, indigenous knowledge, community importance and life interconnection skills for the students. This website caught my attention because throughout the entire course I’ve been wanting to learn how I can incorporate more of the First Peoples Principles of Learning from a holistic perspective and this guide has given me a few more tricks in my toolbox.


Surrey Schools Aboriginal Learning Resource Page

As the result of the couple of articles from the “Axe Throwing Academy” I wanted to truly investigate what resources are available for First Peoples students in my home district, Surrey School District. Even though I was aware of the vast amount of data and resources that my district provides for both indigenous students and classes such as FN English 12 I was unaware of the vastness of the online data. Even though I have been teaching in Surrey for over 10 years this summer was the first time I had ever looked at the resources. Now that I am aware of this I will revisit this site throughout the coming months and years as we move into the new curriculum and include more of the First Peoples Principles of Learning into the brick-and-mortar classroom.

Nisga’a Lisims Government:
Primary and Secondary Education

Inspired from the “Designing for Learning Engagement in Remote Communities: Narratives from North of Sixty” I wanted to explore what are the capabilities in the education system for people who live in the Nisga’a territory. The Nisaga’a Treaty signing was a watershed event in Canadian history because it create a new level of government within BC. From exploring this website I learned that the tribal council used some of the treaty money to equip their schools with some really good technology such as the Apple laptops. However, from the website I observed is in their schools English is the dominant language but there is a lot of connection to the land and the importance for the students to learn from their elders within their community.

Even though this was a theme from a previous module it wasn’t until now, and exploring this site, that I understood the connection between the community based learning and the globalized institutional learning. As I sit and write this weblog entry I find my eyes stray over to look at a satellite hybrid map of Metro Vancouver. Every time I look at the map I look at where the UBC Point Grey Campus is located and the Nsiga’a Lisims headline quote then crosses my mind which reinforces my evolving thoughts of what truly constitutes as learning:

Huxwdii adigwil yukwhl siwilaaksim’
Learning is a Way of Life


United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


Based upon the article “Rethinking the Digital Age” I was inspired to take the title in the most literal sense and explore how I could reimagine and include further strategies in implementing First People into my classroom. Being that I am a social studies teacher who finds globalization to be a fascinating phenomenon, my research was centred on the United Nations. I wanted to gain a global perspective, a status check, on how the indigenous cultures are doing in the world.

On the Canadian federal government’s website “Indigenous and Northern Affairs” I found this 18 page document that was signed and ratified by the UN General Assembly. This global document provides an example of how indigenous communities are indeed being supported by various globalized institutions. As I read through the document there were some very power key words such as considering, convinced, encouraging, recognizing etc. Having this website as my last entry into the entire assignment #2 weblog helped me to understand the gulf that exists between local indigenous knowledge and globalization while finding evidence that proves that not all the local indigenous are doomed.

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