Author Archives: heather lennie

Cultural Appropriation: Module 2, Post 5

This article by Shree Paradkar speaks about cultural appropriation; what the writer believes is the correct way to learn and borrow from other cultures. The main take away is that if you would like to borrow anything from another culture, you must first study it and  make sure you understand the significance. The whole topic is brought up in this article in reference to art work that was taken down in Toronto due to some form of appropriation. The artist is criticized for making racially inappropriate posts on YouTube. She claims that there was no ill intent involved, merely entertainment. But where is the artistic line drawn? What is comedy, what is art? It is an expression of yourself. I find this very difficult to define. The line of appropriateness is very blurry. Being Canadian means that most people here have a very widespread cultural background. In this article, “white” people are focused on as those doing the appropriation. However, no one is white. I found this an interesting read, especially since it is so recent and from my hometown.

Paradkar, S. (2017, May 16). What cultural appropriation is, and why you should care: Paradkar. Retrieved June 16, 2017, from

Our Songs: Module 2, Post 4

Our songs is a collection of music from Indigenous peoples around the world. The site displays an interactive world map. You can click on a mic icon and discover songs from around the world. I think this musical archive is an amazing tool. Living in Canada, the music we hear on the radio is very Westernized. Often, artists diminish accents and alter their production to make them sound more American. This makes it pretty hard to figure out where a song/artist originates from. I love watching interview of musicians for this reason. I like to have a better understanding of who they are and where their music is coming from. This website helps make this more accessible.

Each song has tags associated with it. The one I clicked on has the tags: environment, humour, identity, language, love, and people. There is intro and story about the musician Kali Navales. This information is present for each artist. This is a really cool way to explore Indigenous music.

Indigenous Media: Module 2, Post 3

This media company’s goal is to give storytellers around the world a platform, from which they can create any kind of content and reach their intended audience. They use both traditional and digital media components. I found this aspect of their company to be most intertwined with the goals of many members of Indigenous communities we have read about so far. Rather than forgetting the old and moving on with the new, they are actively embracing both sides to create unique media. From custom series, to work featuring female lead roles they offer a space within media for those looking to complete work that is native to their own space. They have a series titles 60 second docs that is well reviewed on Facebook. I found this site while looking for Indigenous media sources, however, I can’t seem to find any “Indigenous” material , as we refer to the word in this course. Not to say that this media outlet is void of it, but I found it interesting due to the name. I would be curious to hear what you guys think about this. On the site they give the definition of Indigenous as: originating or occurring naturally in a particular place, native. Of course this pertains to many things, it just sparked a thought in me about the way we refer to things and what underlying meaning is rooted in titles.

Module 1 Weblog Entry

Module 1 Weblog

In this weblog entry I would like to share some examples of technological resources that are specifically designed for Indigenous communities around the world. I am interested in exploring digital literacies and think these resources are an excellent starting point to understand how new literacies are being improved and integrated in Indigenous communities.

Digital Literacy Hub

The Digital Literacy Hub (DLH) is a project that aims to create a digital platform that acts as an information hub for Indigenous students. The platform is designed to be easily accessible and interactive. It includes resources such as E-books, literacy and numeracy games, a direct portal to Indigenous employee opportunities, a direct link to Indigemail and much more. The goal of the platform is to act as a supplementary tool to Indigenous students in any educational setting. By providing these resources, at no cost to anyone in the ALF, it is a proactive way for Indigenous students to have one-stop access to resources they may wish to access.

Podcast on Indigemail

Indigemail is an email network founded by Ricky Pascoe that links Aboriginal individuals to jobs in various states in Australia. The podcast host Minelle Creed interviews the founder Ricky Pascoe.  He mentions that the service had been around for 10 years when it was recorded in 2015. This podcast talks about how the Indigenous populations in many areas in Australia have adapted to technology, social media and other digital platforms. They have been using this network to sell art in Indigenous communities, share positive stories and connect with one another. I am unable to find more information on if Indigemail is still active. Regardless, the idea of connecting the Indigenous community through an email service is a fantastic idea.

First Nations Technology Council

This Technology Council, based out of British Columbia plans to educate community members about the importance of digital and connected technologies in hopes to ensure Indigenous collaboration and involvement in the growing technological sector. Their goals are structures around 4 themes: digital skills development, connectivity, information management, and technical services and support.

The council has a bridging to technology program that aims to provide access to technology for all communities in BC. They deliver on site community training to make sure that resources are accessible and understood. This program also offers advanced streams that allow individuals interested in pursuing a career in the technological sector the opportunity to advance their skills.  This sounds like a fantastic program.


Animikki is a company designed to provide technological solutions from an Indigenous perspective. I found this particularly fascinating because they are involving a paradigm shift with regards to the use of technology. Rather than simply making technology available to Indigenous communities, they are working to fit technology to their needs. They work to enable their clients to make the most of web-based technology to improve and increase their social and cultural impact. The First Nations Technology Council is one of their featured projects! This company does an excellent job at making both media and technology a part of Indigenous community realities.

Joint Economic Development Initiative

This initiative is focused on Indigenous Adult Learning and Literacy. It is a goal based program that helps adults gain the skills they need to be successful community members. Adults have the ability to work with this initiative to obtain their GED, enhance workplace skills, learning digital literacies and a great deal of other programs. They want to ensure better educational access for Indigenous communities in New Brunswick.


The JEDI also operates a blog where they share news stories and events. A recent article about their annual Pow Wow Photo Contest is an excellent example of how blogs can connect communities and harness the power of technology to impact the rest of the world as well.

The Reel Injun: Module 2, Post #2

In my last year of University I took a Canadian Photography course that was focused on the early invention of photography and its evolution in Canada. We watched this film in the class. It is fascinating to learn about how Indigenous peoples have typically been portrayed in film and media. This film is a 2009 Canadian documentary directed by a Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, and Jeremiah Hayes. The way in which Native Americans have been portrayed in the media was shocking to me. The film brings about the common issue of misrepresentation of characters in film. This film ties in very well with the Ginsberg (2002) reading in Week 4. It is historical and collaborative. The film shows iconic locations in movie history and illustrates the portrayal and stereotyping of Native Americans that was done on these sets. The film is nomadic, the makers travel around to all of these locations and re-write history in a time when they now have the opportunity to do so. This film shows that film and media has almost come full circle from the first representation of Inuit people in Flaherty’s 1922 film. If you have a bit of time to watch any or all of it, I would highly recommend.

Ginsburg, F.D. (2002). Screen Memories: Resignifying the Traditional in Indigenous Media. In F.D. Ginsberg, L. Abu-Lughod & B. Larkin, (Eds.) Media Worlds: Anthropology on a New Terrain. (pp. 39-57). Berkeley, University of California Press.

Indigenous Top Ten: Module 2, Post #1

The Indigeneous Top Ten is a bi-weekly publication that shares breaking news, articles of interest, educational practices and other important news relating to Indigenous education in Canada. People from all sorts of different facets contribute to the publication, speaking on this topic in relation to education at all scales and levels. This makes this website and excellent stop for those interested in furthering their understanding of current events in this field.

The most recent Top Ten published on May 31, 2017 has stories spanning from the Catholic School board decision to end their Aboriginal Retention worker program, exchanges of stories within Indigenous groups around the world, promoting partnerships between schools and bands, and connecting students with elders and artists. The website offers articles that are of reasonable length, making the information very accessible.

Literacy and Indigeneity Post #5

This book talks about the difficulties that arise when you are trying to learn mathematics in a language that is not your primary language. It provides an example of the Te Koutu school that is teaching Math in Maori. The students have achieved high levels and are performing well in Math, compared to other Maori students being taught math in English. Although, this book doesn’t pertain particularly to literacy, it expresses the importance of language in all aspects of learning.

Meaney, T., Trinick, T., Fairhall, U., SpringerLink ebooks – Humanities,Social Sciences and Law, Faculty of Education and Society, & Malmö University. (2012; 2011). Collaborating to meet language challenges in indigenous mathematics classrooms. Dordrecht; New York: Springer.

Literacy and Indigeneity Post #4

This study examined how digital storytelling could be used for teaching and learning indigenous languages. A study of 4 participants who attended 3 digital storytelling workshops was completed. There is a focus on the portability and accessibility of digital stories. The stories, although digital were created by groups, each member interacting and communicating to create the story. The author has provided details on each of the workshops. I think this could be very helpful for my research as it is very organized and well documented. The intent of the paper is to support community language revitalization.

Ryan, K. (2016). Community-based materials development : Using digital storytelling for teaching and learning indigenous langauges

I would also like to share this video that outlines the importance of including more indigenous ways of communicating in Alberta:

Literacy and Indigeneity Post #3

This article focuses on the use of mobile apps and Indigenous language learning. It is of particular interest to me because I am excited to hear from new perspectives how technology and apps may fit in to the educational systems in Indigenous communities. The author used 4 different mobile apps and tested them to conclude which themes and elements of the apps best applied themselves to language learning. I hope to apply this to my research, in order to better understand how technological applications can be modified and manipulated to be better suited to different populations.

Begay, W. R. (2013). Mobile apps and indigenous language learning: New developments in the field of indigenous language revitalization

Literacy and Indigeneity Post #2

Weaving words with Dreamweaver: Literacy, Indigeneity, and Technology is an article outlining the song based communication history of Indigenous Australians. The article outlines the impact the lack of language history understanding has had on these people. From unemployment to success in school. “Aboriginal people need to be able to learn and use the language of their “own country” because the Dreamings and, hence, their identities are tied to that language. (Kapitzke, 2001)”

Kapitzke, C., Bogitini, S., Chen, M., MacNeill, G., Mayer, D., Muirhead, B., & Renshaw, P. (2000). Weaving words with the dreamweaver: Literacy, indigeneity, and technology. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44(4), 336-345.