Author Archives: christy hui

Module 2-Post 4: Trauma in early children and its effects on later development

Module 2 /Post 4: Trauma in early children and its effects on later development

As a follow-up post of this module’s first post, this records a number of articles and journals about the impact of trauma on aboriginal children’s early childhood. “Social Determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing” identified that risk factors to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people include widespread grief and loss, child removals and unresolved trauma, cultural dislocation and identity issues, economic and social disadvantage, physical health problems, child removal by care and protection orders and juvenile justice supervision, some of which found most vulnerable in numerous indigenous contexts.

Analysis of data from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) found that “Indigenous people who reported that they had been removed from their families had lower general mental health and vitality, and were more likely to experience psychological stress than the overall Indigenous population.” (Dockery 2011) Studies have shown that native language competence and participation in cultural activities can be powerful measures to protect children against mental health problems. Based on report of “Aboriginal language and youth suicide” from Aboriginal communities in British Columbia, “at least half of the members reported a conversational knowledge of their own language experience d no or very low numbers of youth suicides over the period for which data were available” (Hallett et al. 2007). Along these lines, the Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey also found that children whose carers are Aboriginal language speakers are at lower risk of emotional or behavioural difficulties (Zubrick et al. 2005).

Module2-Post 3: Aboriginal children’s social-emotional health and development

Module2 /Post 3: Aboriginal children’s social-emotional health and development

Our thoughts, emotions and behaviors that formulate our personalities are deeply influenced by our culture. It shapes our perceptions in different ways, which affects our learning attitudes and styles, as well as expectations and all-round performance in education. Therefore, teachers’ awareness and encouragement of the cultural diversity among students are critical to incorporating an inclusive teaching approach that accommodates various beliefs and cultural notions each student bring to school; building an inclusive learning environment, especially in culturally diverse classrooms, is key to students’ success in school.

In the article “Aboriginal Perspectives on Social-Emotional Competence in Early Childhood,” factors that comprise Aboriginal children’s healthy development, specifically focusing on social-emotional development, will be identified and discussed. Findings in “Differences between values of Australian Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal students” are consistent with previous research on the worldview of traditional Aboriginal people, suggesting that even among younger, more Westernized representatives, collective values are likely to be strong determinants of behavior among the Aboriginal group.

Module2-Post2: Cultural influence on education

What is “culture?”

Based on Hofstede and McCrae’s “operating definition,” culture is: The collective programming of the mind that distinguishes one group or category of people from another. This stresses that culture is (a) a collective, not individual, attribute; (b) not directly visible but manifested in behaviors; and (c) common to some but not all people. (Source: Cultural dimensions of Indigenous participation in education and training)

Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, including power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, long vs. short time orientation and masculinity vs. femininity are a framework for cross-cultural communication developed by Geert Hofstede. His theory describes the effects of a society’s culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior. Various research studies examine Hofstede’s cultural dimensions on students’ learning styles in education. I found that Hofstede’s cultural dimensions has been tested in a number of cross-cultural samples (E.g. Does Culture Influence Learning Styles in Higher Education?) and could be a useful tool for my research on educational design.

Module2-Post1: Trauma, loss and grief for Aboriginal children

The role of students’ emotional competency (both indigenous and non-indigenous) has become increasingly important in their performance in school. Since cultural background might be one of the most crucial elements to determining students’ approach to learning and performance, I’ve been researching on resources related to the Aboriginal children’s emotional health as a result of their cultural backgrounds and how educational programs could be designed to meet their learning needs. Studying about Aboriginal children’s trauma, loss and grief may be a good start. This Youtube video (divided into six parts) was produced by the Australian Child and Adolescnet Trauam Loss and Grief Network based at The Australian National University. The institute also funded a research on understanding the social & emotional Well-being of Aboriginal children, “Not one size fits all“.

The speakers of the whole video include Dr Margaret Weir, Dr Maggie Walter, Professor Mick Dodson, Paul Stewart and Adele Cox. Like the title suggests, the topic centers on trauma, loss and grief for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children in Australia. Each year on Australia Day (January 26th) Australia honours the Australian of the Year, persons who “inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia” and Mick Dodson was awarded Aboriginal Australian of the year of 2009.

In addition, the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network website provides a wide range of resources regarding the topic.

Module1-Post 5: News and Media

Native Peoples magazine is a bimonthly publication dedicated to the arts and life-ways of the Native peoples of the Americas. This magazine now has an estimated readership of over 100,000; with subscribers (most in the U.S.) and readers in 36 foreign countries.

The American Indian Radio on Satellite (AIROS) network is a national distribution system for Native programming to Tribal communities and to general audiences through Native American and other public radio stations as well as the Internet; users are invited to interact with each other on social media including Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+, Vimeo and Pinterest. Native Language smartphone/tablet App and ebook are also available to be downloaded for convenient interaction.

Canku Ota is a free, monthly, online Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments. Since year 2000, there has been over four million visitors to the webpage.

Reflection: Even though there are many similar webpages that provide good sources for news, commentary, discussions, photos and more about the Aboriginal people and most of them are linked to social media, no statistics of Internet penetration for worldwide or Canadian aboriginal population is currently available. According to Creative Spirits webpage, however, date provided by the Australian government showed that 80% of all Australians accessed the Internet regularly in 2011, while just 6% of residents in some remote Aboriginal communities even had a computer. Data showed “while Aboriginal people living in cities and regional towns usually enjoy good Internet access, in 2007 only 10% of Aboriginal communities could access to the Internet. In some communities, as few as 2% of residents have an Internet connection. 58% had used a computer but a third of those had never been online.” This shows a regional divide of Internet access between Australians and aboriginal Australians. The launch of Connecting Canadians in 2014, or the Government of Canada’s plan to bring high-speed Internet to 280,000 Canadian households, hopefully will allow the aboriginal population or Canadians in remote regions “to access information, services and opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach” and bridge the Internet gap within the country. I am looking forward to seeing more similar projects to be introduced and implemented across the globe.

Module1-Post 4: Rituals, Music/Dance Festivals and Events

Denver March Powwow Annual dancing and story-telling event: As a member of the “Apsaalooke Nation, ”Supaman” makes his home on the crow reservation in Montana. This event is led by contemporary native artist Christian Takes Gun Parrish (Apsaalooke Nation) who presents Native American culture, humor, and urban hip hop culture which dazzles audiences, captivates listeners and breaks down stereotypes to the audience. Event schedule page:

There are numerous platforms for the Nations’ Pow-wow community, which can be found on the Gathering of Nations homepage. A speech by President Obama addressing the 2015 Gathering of the Nations Pow-wow for Saturday Grand Entry in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA can be viewed online.

Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial: The Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial offers visitors a unique way to experience Native America, with over 100 tribes participating in the various events including Ceremonial dances, traditional arts, contemporary arts, native music, rodeo, marathon. Event and promotion videos are available on the website.

Module1-Post3: Arts and Literatures

Our-story provides a collection of work from aboriginal young writers and artists across Canada and is organized into different themes including tradition, historical figure, family, residential school, contemporary issues, education, education and cultural connection. It encourages young people to share their stories about their own personal past and stories about their ancestors and origins. Since this is a competition as well as a sharing platform, in addition to cash prizes, selected work might even be exhibited or published in Canada’s History magazine. They now have a Facebook page.

Creative Spirits provides extensive poems written by contemporary aboriginal writers across Australia.

Aboriginal Pavilion is a 19-day art, culture and sport festival and Indigenous gathering place during the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games. Information can also be accessed on their Facebook page.


Module1-Post2: Consulting and Counseling

Aboriginal Futures Career & Training Centre provides educational, training and employment services to Aboriginal people who live in Calgary or the surrounding area. They can also be found on Facebook.

There are numerous similar resources both online and offline that are helpful in providing aboriginal people with guidance and advice for career opportunities within and outside of their communities. They include Power Aboriginal Programs, which uses sport to engage students in school and assist in their transition into further Education and/or Employment. (Source: Resources including Native American Counseling Services and Native American Community Clinic are both dedicated to strengthening and protecting the spiritual and mental health of aboriginal people. WoLakota project specially focuses on the development and well-being of indigenous students and provides the support and guidance to needy students from indigenous communities. Teachers are welcome and encouraged to freely access and use the cultural resources and lesson plans provided by the webpage as well.

Module1-Post1: Directories, Social Networks and Discussion Forums

In my first weblog module, I will be dividing the posts into four different areas related to online resources of aboriginal communities worldwide (focusing mainly in Canada, Australia and the United States). Doing so will help me organize my online resources and reflections as I learn more about indigenous cultures around the world. First of all, I will be posting online communication channels (including networks and directories) of the indigenous communities around the world. In the following posts, I will be posting resources relating to indigenous counseling and consulting, arts and literatures, rituals and events, news and media and finally some personal reflections, respectively.

Aboriginal Connections is an online gateway providing authoritative and in-depth information for and about the world’s Indigenous Peoples. Its’ services include a searchable web directory, discussion forums, advertising, and e-Commerce. Aboriginal Connections is a solely operated web site created and maintained by Rob Wesley.” This webpage currently provides more than 800 external web sites linking to its home page of Aboriginal Connections. Web sites linking to Aboriginal Connections include Canadian, American, Australian, and New Zealand official government web sites, Native Newspapers, Major Canadian Banking Institutions, International Organizations, Universities and Colleges worldwide, Community Libraries, International Museums, Most Major Search Engines and Native and non-Native organizations, businesses, and personal web sites.

Besides a comprehensive list of directory for indigenous communities resources around the world, the Aboriginal Connections webpage also includes a discussion forum, which allows aboriginal communities to connect and communicate with each other. I found that this website could be a good start for my weblog because it would allow me to hear first hand voices and discussions from aboriginal people. However, I found that most public posts and comments are out of date. (the most recent post was made in 2014)

However, when I turned to the “Who’s online homepage”, I found that each post has tens of thousands of views and there are active and many recent accesses to the forum; I wonder if there are more frequent private users than public users in this forum; I think that the private forum is a great feature to this website as aboriginal groups are allowed to share personal stories or sensitive opinions more openly and freely to community members without risking the jeopardy of exposure of their personal information and privacy.