Author Archives: Lindsay Spencer

Module 2 Resources (Lindsay Spencer)

This module looks at stereotyping and how indigenous groups are “expected” to operate within a colonial setting.

Source 1: Canadian Media Colonialism and the Revitalization of Indigenous Languages

This article was interesting because it reviews how indigenous languages are in danger, noting specifically that 88 out of Canada’s 90 indigenous languages are in danger. But, this article also talks about how the media is in a position to help revitalize these languages.

Source 2: Media Smarts: Common Portrays of Aboriginal Peoples

This source is particularly helpful to classroom teachers. I have used Media Smarts before, but I have not come across this page until recently. This resource outlines descriptions and activities for students to examine how indigenous people have been portrayed throughout history and works to develop their media literacy skills to combat these stereotypes.

Source 3: University of Toronto: First Nations Representation in the Media

Again, this site is a hub for resources. On this page, teachers can access papers and Youtube videos that critically respond to how indigenous peoples have been represented in the media throughout history. In addition to using these links, the “Lessons Plans” tab is going to be useful in putting together some of my future classes!

Source 4: Diversity on TV improving but Indigenous People still “virtually invisible” study says

This is a recent article published inĀ The National Post that describes how diversity on television is improving, but that aboriginal people are still not included in attempts to be diverse. In fact, the article notes that still, the primary location for aboriginal people to be represented is the Aboriginal People’s Network- which is not accessed on a mass scale in the same way that other channels/sources are.

Source 5: First Nationals Technology Council

This site describes a project that is geared towards including indigenous people in conversations concerning technology at the local and national level. The offer workshops and training sessions for students to assist in the development of their skills regarding technology.

Module 1 Resources (Lindsay Spencer)

Source 1: Culture and Technology (Chapter 1)

I came across this source in another course. It is less relevant to indigenous peoples but speaks to the question of whether or not technology is neutral. The first chapter reviews a number of theories regarding the role of technology and how it has changed aspects of society. What I found interesting was the discussion concerning the assumption that technology is neutral, but that as it is an extension of human capacity, its very presence changes society’s expectations.

Source 2: Who owns the Arctic?

I took a course during my undergraduate degree years ago and my professor (Michael Byers) has continued to update his blog about the politics concerning the sovereignty claims in the Arctic. When one filters this site, there are numerous articles relating to the Inuit and their historical claim to the Arctic- interestingly, it is their historical presence that has allowed the Canadian government to support any kind of claim. Unfortunately though, they still have not been afforded a vote in the outcome of the claims.

Source 3: First Nationals Pedagogy Online: Storytelling

This site is of interest to me mostly because I am personally interested in storytelling. I foresee that this could be useful in my future classroom lessons.

Source 4: Indigenous storytelling: Who is controlling the narrative?

This article is actually linked to an extended podcast that discusses the impacts of who controls stories and what the perception of those narratives can be.

Source 5: BC Aboriginal Childcare Society

I always find it difficult to find stories that I can use to relate to the students in my classroom. Often, I don’t even know where to begin. This site offers lists and summaries of books that could be helpful in teaching at the elementary school level.

Module 4 Resources (Lindsay Spencer)

Throughout Module 4, I was struck by how much of a role traditional knowledge plays in science, but how little of it is talked about or shared at the high school level. Reading the articles over the past two weeks was an eye-opening experience, one that has encouraged me to do further reading on this particular issue.

Source 1: Ethiopia: Capitalizing on Traditional Knowledge

This article was of interest to me because it refers to the role that traditional knowledge has played in Ethiopia and the growing attention it is receiving. The article describes how knowledge in this area has received growing attention from pharmaceutical and agricultural companies- which has also become an issue with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Source 2: Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability

In the readings from this module, a few references were made to UNESCO’s recognition of traditional knowledge. This link not only provides a description of the significance and objectives states should consider developing, but also offers teaching activities to develop understanding.

Source 3: What is traditional knowledge?

This page was of interest to me because not only does it compare the role of elders to libraries, but it also talks about the different roles that men, women and children play in developing knowledge and how this links to science. For instance, women are the primary collectors of plants, seeds and medicines, so they are “the keepers” of certain knowledge regarding biodiversity.

Source 4: Global Justice Ecology Project

I think this site could be a really helpful resource. This group works in partnership with groups around the world to support self-determination through developing climate justice.

Source 5: Toward an Understanding of Ecology of Indigenous Education

This article appealed to me because it is by an indigenous author who talks about the challenges of incorporating traditional knowledge, specifically with regard to ecology. What I also appreciated about this article is the author’s accounts of her childhood experience regarding spiritual ecology and how this is linked to ceremony. Some insights into her experience offer a glimpse into a culture that I have very little experience with.

Module 3 Resources (Lindsay Spencer)

Throughout Module 3, I was struck by the term “decolonization” and what educators can do to respond to existing structures within society. As such, I chose to focus my research in this module around changes to curriculum, particularly regarding the incorporation of indigenous languages.

Resource #1: “Decolonizing the curriculum: it’s time for a strategy”

I found this article useful because first, it reminds us that this changes to curriculum are not specific to Canada but rather, a challenge that exists in numerous places throughout the globe as a result of imperialism. Second, it breaks down the challenges and necessary changes that need to take place. Ultimately, it leaves us with a note, or a call to action. Unless a policy change is made soon, content and educational strategies will be no different in 10 years- this is not something that we can wait to change organically.

Resource #2: “Indigenous principles decolonizing teacher education: What we have learned”

This resource outlines the need for change within post-secondary teacher education programs by using the Lil’wat principles as a reference for guidance. When I reflect on my own experience in the B.Ed program, I was not equipped with the skills nor understanding to inform my practice with regarding to indigenous ways of knowing. With this in mind, how can I appropriately respond to the changes in the new curriculum? I certainly have a lot of work to do to catch up. In any case, this resource outlines where distinctions need to be made. What was of particular interest to me is the comparison of Euro-American and Indigenous ways of knowing.

Resource #3: “First Nations Languages and Improving Student Outcomes”

This paper was submitted to the Assembly of First Nations and demonstrates that there is a positive correlation between teaching students in their native language and their performance in school. The paper outlines international efforts to combat the disappearance of indigenous languages all over the world. What I found most interesting was the argument concerning immersion programs. Rather than simply offering a class in a language specific to a community,bilingual immersion programs where students learn in both English and their community’s language rendered positive results. These positive results were not just specific to their academic performance but also student engagement, self-esteem and cultural identity.

Resource #4: “What more schools need to teach bilingual education to indigenous children”

This article was published recently (June 2017) to voice the need for teaching indigenous children in bilingual environments. The argument in this article echos the ideas in my third resource. However, it also notes that the significance of this strategy was first recognized in the 1960s. Unfortunately however, due to a lack of qualified teachers and the need for community support, establishing these kinds of programs has been difficult. The article finishes with a call to support more action and investment in Aboriginal education in Australia.

Resource #5: National Geographic- Enduring Voices Project

This resources is a little different from those I have noted above. National Geographic has formed a project to digitally archive language in an attempt to combat the disappearance of indigenous languages throughout the globe. This might me a useful resource moving forward- particularly in our classrooms as we seek to improve our understanding of various communities.