Author Archives: haneefa corbie

Module 4: Journey’s End


This website showcases stories and poems written by Aboriginal youth from across Canada.  Each year Aboriginal Arts and Stories, holds a contest inviting youth to write about their experiences whether they are fiction or non-fiction.  If you teach Aboriginal youth, you should think about submitting their work to this contest.  You could also invite students to read the pieces that are featured.  One year, one of my student’s from Kahnawake made the top 10 in her age category.



Suicide is now seen as contagious, the good news is that prevention is also seen as contagious.  Many Native communities are turning to the #WeNeedYouHere hashtag to spread awareness about how much an individual will be missed if they commit suicide.
We R Native, is a website that was started in 2012 by Native youth for Native youth.  The site contains a plethora of Health and Wellness information, as well as an “Ask Auntie” page in which youth can ask “Auntie” questions ranging from sexuality to mental health.
Life in the Native American Oil Protest Camps 
This photo series focuses on life on the Indian reservation .  This reservation is the location of the largest gathering of Native Americans in over 100 years. Indigenous people from across the United States and Canada are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation, they are there to protest the creation of a new oil pipeline that will run through their reservation, not only causing destruction to the land but also destroying their lives forever.

Module 3: A Little Bit of This and That

Module 3 is here and I cannot believe how fast it has come.  As I continue to look into Indigenous people and their link to Social Media.  I have found a few more site that I fond very interesting.


1. ImagineNATIVE

ImagineNATIVE is  Indigenous-run organisation based out of Toronto. This organization presents the world’s largest Indigenous film festival, this year they are focusing on reconciliation, and numerous other activities throughout the year.

ImagineNATIVE is committed to public education, as well as crushing stereotypes that exist.  They want to showcase Indigenous peoples through diverse media presentations from within our communities.  ImagineNAtive also conduct s professional development workshops and panels, public education initiatives, research projects, and curriculum/educators’ packages for secondary schools created from Indigenous pedagogies.

This year a short film called, STOLEN was featured, this piece was written by one of my old students, Kawennahere Jacobs.  The story centers around Sheena, a lost teenager, who is placed in a girl’s home. Seemingly forgotten and yearning for a life of freedom, she runs away, only to be picked up by a dangerous stranger. The directorial debut by actor Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs is a sober commentary of missing Indigenous women.

2. We Can’t Make The Same Mistake Twice

We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice was features at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.  Directed by celebrated documentarian Alanis Obomsawin, this film documents the events following the filing of a human rights complaint by a group of activists — including the Assembly of First Nations and the Caring Society, led by the heroic and indefatigable Cindy Blackstock.  The federal government was charged with woefully inadequate funding of services for Indigenous children constituted a discriminatory practice.

3.  A Tribe Called Red 

A Tribe Called Red has taken the electronic music community by storm in the last few years.  They blend, hip-hop, reggae and dubstep, with elements of First Nations music, and their music is often referred to as “powwow step”a style of contemporary powwow music for urban First Nations, weaving, singing and drumming into all of their song.

Here is one of their newest singles, STADIUM POW WOW.

4. Telling the Dark Story of Canada’s Residential Schools Through Ballet

Award winning author Joseph Boyden has had his novel The Orenda, transformed in to a ballet performed by The Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Going Home Star is the name of their critically acclaimed original ballet, featuring music from Tanya Tagaq. The moving piece was commissioned with the support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the ballet was  brought the performance to 12 Canadian cities on tour during the spring.

5. Facebook at the North Dakota Pipeline

Many of you may have noticed that some of your freinds on Facebook have updated their statuses and they have “checked in” at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation even though they are not actually there.


Module 2: Cyber Journey

Here are a few websites that I have come across:

  1. Indspire is a charity for Indigenous people by Indigenous people.  When I worked with young ladies from the Kahnawake reserve in Montreal we attended a conference given by Indspire and it was something that none of us had ever experienced before.  We had various speakers from various Aboriginal sectors speaking to the students their fields of study ranging from communications, to medicine, to the military.  The speakers left the students motivated and inspired about their futures.
  2. Muskrat Magazine is an online magazine whose primary focus is on Indigenous arts and culture.  The magazines focus is to exhibit original works of art in various forms and to engage in critical commentary.  Muskrat magazine uses both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, wireless technology and the internet to distribute information in an eye opening and interesting manner.
  3. is a blog created to increase awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  Since I am looking at social media use among Indigenous peoples, I am looking into what blogs are out there and what areas are these blogs in.  Healthy and well-being, seem to one of the big concerns among indigenous peoples and many blogs seem to be appearing in these areas for individuals looking for help.
  4. Radio Naho is a new initiative from the National Aboriginal Health Organization aimed to bring health issues to the masses from a holistic perspective.  The goal is to educate individuals with an emphasis to be placed on prevention.  This radio station is geared to youth and young adults and wants to educate and influence healthy behavior by bringing on experts, advocates and role models.
  5. An Index of Indigenous Podcasts  this post found on Media Indegina website lists various podcasts created by Indigenous individuals.  There is no secret that it can be hard to find Indigenous representation in podcasts but this list is start.

20 Must Follow Aboriginal Twitter Accounts

Since I am looking into Aboriginals and social media use I found a blog post on the Elevator Strategy blog that listed 20 Aboriginals to follow on Twitter.  These accounts are vast and varied, from Reconciliation Canada who are trying to mend the broken ties among Aboriginal who attended residential schools and fellow Canadians (@Rec_Can) to one of my personal favourites @UrbanNativeGirl, Lisa Charleyboy who is from Tsilhqot’in Nation.  Lisa is the Editor of Urban Native Magazine and is a well known leader in the Aboriginal community.  Keeping readers up to date on media, fashion and music as well as events and news.

The list is varied and interesting. Definitely worth a look.

First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network

This website serves as a gateway for First Nations youth ages 15-35 to network with other communities in their province. The website states that when an individual becomes a member, they can:

  • communicate and exchange with other young people from First Nations
  • keep track of the latest news on the website
  • post photos, messages, and submit jokes
  • and much more…you can actively participate to the evolution of this website

There are links to job offers and training programs.  This could really serve as a great resource for anyone in Quebec and Labrador working with Aboriginal Youth.


Aboriginal Territories In Cyberspace

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace combines academics, artists and technologists to empower First Nation communities through new media technologies.  They have created virtual worlds, mentored projects such as Kahanawake Voices; an interactive community product in which individuals share personal stories. Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace also features articles and essays, along with a blog.  This website is great to give an Aboriginal face to an area that is usual lacking in terms of multiculturalism.

A project called CyberPowWow is also discussed on the site.   This on-line gallery and chat space for contemporary Aboriginal art is grown breaking and unique. It was through this CyberPowWow that the creators of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace realized that, even on the Internet, Native people need a self-determined place to call home.

Think Before You Share: A Guide To Using Social Media

This guide was created to help Aboriginal teens make smart decisions when sharing information online, Facebook, MediaSmarts and APTN partnered to translate the Think Before You Share guide into three common Aboriginal languages: Ojibwe, Cree and Inuktitut.

The guides offer teens advice on safe, wise and ethical online behaviour. Things like shaming people and making individuals look bad online is discussed in the document. They also give young people tips for dealing with “hot” emotional states like anger or excitement that can lead to making bad choices about sharing things online, and remind them to turn to friends, family and other trusted people in their lives for support if things go wrong.  This document can easily be used in class to discuss social media use with students and their families.


First People’s House At McGill University

I have personally worked very closely with Kakwiranoron Cook, director of First People’s House at McGill University. McGill’s First Peoples’ House provides a sense of community and a voice to Indigenous students who have left their home communities in order to pursue higher education. They also extend themselves to Secondary schools with Aboriginal you to come to McGill to get a taste of University life by providing Doctor For A Day workshops and bringing in various Aboriginal speakers.  Many of my students loved the activities provided by the First People’s House and felt a sense of belonging before even entering McGill University.

Module 1-Post 5: Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous-led charity that is committed to the education of Canadian Indigenous youth.  They focus on the long term benefits of the individuals that they help as well as their families, communities and Canada as a whole.  Indspire connects and educated the indigenous you so that they will achieve their highest potential.

I took about a dozen students to one of their conferences a few years ago and many of my students won laptops and were left inspired by all the presenters that were present.  There were Aboriginal individuals from all walks of life: TV personalities, doctors, military individuals as well as business people.  They serve First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students in remote communities as well as urban centres across Canada.  They distribute financial awards, deliver programs, and share resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education.

The K-12 Indspire Institute is a virtual resource centre that serves educators and communities, who are committed to improving kindergarten to grade 12 success for Indigenous youth.  They are the largest funder of Indigenous education outside the federal government: to date, Indspire has disbursed almost $65 million through close to 20,000 bursaries and scholarships to Indigenous students.

Each year, they present the Indspire Awards, a nationally broadcast, gala celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous people.

Module 1-Post 4: Quebec Native Women Inc.

      Quebec Native Women Inc was founded in 1974, Quebec Native Women Inc. (QNW) defends the interests of Aboriginal women from Quebec as well as  Aboriginal women living in urban areas. They are a bilingual organization and a member of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. They currently sit at the table of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, on the Board of Directors of the Native Parajudicial Services of Quebec, at the Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec, as well as several other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal commissions and committees.  This site is filled with useful information such as upcoming events such as the Quebec Native Women’s Annual Conference, as well as information on education and training for Aboriginal women in Quebec.