Author Archives: Claudia Marchessault

My name is Claudia and I'm located in Toronto, Ontario. I am an elementary school teacher at a private institution in Oakville -- a suburb about 30 minutes outside of Toronto. This year, and for the past 3 years, I taught Grade 6 and next year, I will be moving down a grade to Grade 5. In my spare time, I am a bit of a foodie and I've recently begun capturing and sharing my adventures in food on Instagram. If you're an IG-er, feel free to check me out

Module 4 – Post 5: Protest 2.0: Online Interactions and Aboriginal Activists

Theresa Petray’s article, Protest 2.0: Online Interactions and Aboriginal Activists, examines the ways in which social movements, like every other aspect of life, have become increasingly reliant on the internet for networking and information sharing. The article offers an in-depth look at the ways in which the internet and social networking sites have been coopted by disadvantaged groups with few resources, such as First Nations communities, to make their struggle known to a wide audience, to build coalitions, and to gain support to further their cause.

Module 4 – Post 3: Perry Bellegarde: New leader of the Assembly of First Nations

Perry Bellegarde: New leader of the Assembly of First Nations

A brief, but interesting article written by Nancy MacDonald for MacLean’s Magazine, about the challenges being faced by Bellegarde in balancing the many interests at stake in his role as leader of the Assembly of First Nations.  What stood out for me was the mention of how social media has shifted the balance of power.  With social media’s capacity to raise collective voices, the article highlights the fact that the voices of First Nations groups are often fragmented, and the notion of a unified indigenous voice is one that is hard to come by.

Module 4 – Post 2: Moving Forward Together

Moving Forward Together is a toolkit/handbook developed by the First Nations Health Council Communications Advisory Committee Members.  The toolkit provides support to First Nation communities in their communications efforts by providing practical advice and tools proven to work at the grassroots level. Although the handbook offers a lot of interesting insight and information which can be leveraged by First Nations groups concerned with improving communications between and amongst communities, the toolkit also contains four case studies which revealed some unanticipated, authentic challenges faced by First Nations groups in building an online presence and following.

Module 4 – Post 1:Best Practices in Aboriginal Community Development

Best Practices in Aboriginal Community Development: A Literature Review and Wise Practices Approach is a report developed in 2010 by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux and Brian Calliou with the aim of providing newly-elected or appointed Aboriginal leaders with an overview of best practices for community building, management, administration, and governance. The report highlights how, in recent times,  Aboriginal leaders are experiencing increasing authority and responsibility as both federal and provincial governments make jurisdictional space for Aboriginal self-governance.  The report offers some interesting insights on Aboriginal leadership development and capacity building, and emphasizes their critical necessity for true self-government and economic viability.

Module 3 – Post 5: Social Media Planning in a Comprehensive Community Planning Handbook

This is a handbook prepared by a community of Canadian First Nations groups that outlines some of the lessons they learned through their experiences community planning and offers information regarding “best practices” to strengthen future implementation. The handbook includes a section about social media’s role in fostering communication and networking amongst groups, and offers an interesting insight into the value that is inherent in a “from the ground-up” approach to ensure the success of community planning within indigenous communities.

Module 3 – Post 4: The Media, Aboriginal People, and Common Sense

The Media, Aboriginal People, and Common Sense by Robert Hardling

Although a little outdated, this is an interesting study published in the Canadian Journal of Native Studies back in 2005 that provides a bit of insight into how the Media can influence public perception. The study examines coverage of Aboriginal issues by the media and asserts that bias and stereotyping are a common underlying theme, particularly in print media. The study suggests that unsympathetic, unsupportive, and indifferent attitudes are cultivated and perpetuated by the media’s portrayal of indigenous matters, and that on the whole, public knowledge and support of indigenous peoples’ challenges are marginal.

Module 3 – Post 3: Paradoxes of First Nations Inclusion in the Canadian Context

Wotherspoon, Terry, and John Hansen. 2013. The ‘Idle No More’ movement: Paradoxes of First Nations inclusion in the Canadian context. Social In- clusion 1(1):21–36.

This paper examines how Idle No More, a recent movement initiated to draw attention to concerns by Indigenous people about changes in Canada’s environment and economic policies, has been framed by discourses of inclusion and exclusion. The paper asserts that discourses of inclusion and exclusion, by way of stigmatizing and distancing Indigenous people, stall the possibility of finding solutions to the problems that they are trying to fix. The paper closes with a brief examination of how Idle No More served to broaden conceptions of indigenous participation and success.

Module 3 – Post 2: Emergent Indigenous Identities and Social Media

Carlson, B. (2013). The ‘new frontier’: Emergent Indigenous identities and social media. In M. Harris, M. Nakata & B. Carlson (Eds.), The Politics of Identity: Emerging Indigeneity (pp. 147-168). Sydney: University of Technology Sydney E-Press

This article, while focusing on Indigenous populations in Australia, provides for some interesting insight as to how social media has given rise to significant cultural and social interaction among Aboriginal people and groups. By way of a content analysis, this article contends that popular social media sites, like Facebook, are becoming popular vehicles amongst Aboriginal people, to build, display, and perform Aboriginal identities. Likewise, Aboriginal users take advantages of Facebook as a site for self-representation and as a tool to communicate their Aboriginal identity to other social media users in online communities.

Module 3 – Post 1: The Media Gaze

Chapter 13 of The Media Gaze: Representations of Diversities in Canada, by Augie Fleras is entitled Unsilencing Aboriginal Voices: Toward an Indigenous 
Media Gaze and takes a critical look at how and why Canadian media frame Indigenous issues the way they do. The text draws on many compelling case studies to explore the negative societal implications of this hidden bias on Indigenous people and their attempts at rectifying past and present issues.