Module 4: Place and Displacement

  1. Knowing the Land Beneath Our Feet

Knowing the Land Beneath Our Feet is an Augmented Reality tour of the land on which sits the University of British Columbia. Upon watching the creators’ video, we see their intention is to educate and provide the opportunity to connect with the land (unceded Musqueam land). Links below include Eleanor Hoskins blog post entitled “Place Based Learning Technologies” as well as detailed background information about Knowing the Land Beneath Our Feet. Is learning truly place-based when it is virtual? Can one truly connect with the land when it isn’t a real environment? Could augmented reality help people who feel displaced to connect to place – from a distance? Could the creation of such a virtual tour help Aboriginal youth articulate and develop their knowledge of place?

 

http://ets.educ.ubc.ca/place-based-learning-technologies/

http://fnis.arts.ubc.ca/research-resources/knowing-the-land-beneath-our-feet/

http:/thetalon.ca/knowing-the-land-beneath-our-feet-ubcs-indigenous-histories-and-presence/

 

  1. First Mile

First Mile promotes and supports ICTs in rural Aboriginal communities across Canada. The site has a “Community Stories” section which highlights digital developments in these communities, from global citizenship workshops, to how communities are using social media, to physical connectivity. These community stories could serve to inform other participating and nonparticipating communities of potential uses for ICTs in their community. The site also hosts published research related to rural Indigenous communities, technology, and the challenges they may face. It isn’t surprising to see that different challenges are faced and addressed differently depending on the community. Is willingness to welcome digital technologies a major factor in these projects?

http://firstmile.ca/#home

 

  1. Modern Science, Native Knowledge

In contrast to Tim Michel’s thoughts in his interview for week 12 where he indicates that Indigenous people are and feel displaced, this video produced by The Natural Conservancy, emphasizes how the Heiltsuk people feel a direct connection to and responsibility for the land (The Great Bear Rainforest). This is interesting given the detrimental effects of colonization on the Heiltsuk. Jessy Housty articulates the importance of place when it comes to identity, “we don’t make sense anywhere else in the world, this is our place and we have a responsibility to take care of it”. Like when Dr. Walsh (below, see post 4) discusses using multiple ways of knowing to conserve the environment, this too is emphasized, in particular the knowledge of the Heiltsuk people. Is it fair for this responsibility to lie on Aboriginal people, specifically in the preservation of the Great Bear Rainforest? Isn’t it at risk as a result of colonization?

 

  1. Australia’s Biodiversity: Indigenous Perspectives

Dr. Fiona Walsh, explains the interconnectedness between biodiversity, place, and Aboriginal people in Australia. As an elementary school teacher, who has taught “biodiversity” for a number of years from an exclusively Western perspective, the way Dr. Walsh explains the relationship between humans and plants, from the perspective of using as much knowledge from multiple sources (western science, aboriginal knowledge), provides a good example of how to approach the BC curriculum with Indigenous worldviews authentically. As environmental concerns grow, place-based learning and indigenous worldviews seem to be at the forefront, Dr. Walsh echoes this, suggesting the more knowledge we have, the better equipped we will be to conserve the environment.

 

  1. Aboriginal communities embrace technology, but they have unique cyber safety challenges

 

The digital divide in rural aboriginal communities and in lower socio-economic communities is one thing, but there are other challenges that arise in communities that may not have the digital fluency that is required in order to use the internet/devices safely. This article highlights some of the challenges in security and protocol when people in Aboriginal communities have access to a limited amount of technology. This article reminds us that things like cyber safety, money, online passwords, texting, etc. are all products of western society.

 

http://theconversation.com/aboriginal-communities-embrace-technology-but-they-have-unique-cyber-safety-challenges-69344

 

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