Author Archives: ljstott

I am enrolled in the Masters of Education Technology at UBC. I have just begun the program and am currently working through my second course ETEC 565A. It may be a long journey through the program as I am taking it 'one course at a time' but I am enjoying the courses and the opportunity to once again be a student. I have a varied background - my path is a windy one! I studied International relations and economics, worked briefly in international development, studied resource management, worked in the resource management field and now teach a few courses at BCIT in geographic information systems and digital mapping. I run a small website and multimedia company with business partner Rick and we have a lot of fun dreaming of all the things we can create and do in the digital realm. I am married and have one daughter and live happily at the foot of mountains near fields and streams and woods.

Module 4 | Post 5 Living Proof

In 2010, Ecotrust Canada and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs co-published the book Living Proof – The Essential Data Collection Guide for Indigenous Use and Occupancy Map Surveys.  This book was heralded as a major contribution to Canada, “proof on the ground” for aboriginal tradition and rights.  There is a growing sense that in order to protect Indigenous knowledge, it must be recorded properly and used to create a resource that will improve social, economic and environmental outcomes for Aboriginal people. Living Proof is a guide to creating such resources and provides both storytelling and practical step by step lessons on how to use and apply digital technology to record and create maps and knowledge about land use and occupancy by aboriginal communities.

Feedback on book from community.

Living Proof The Essential Data-Collection Guide for Indigenous Use-and-Occupancy Map Surveys (A review).  Available via UBC library

Module 4 | Post 4 Faces in the forest

Faces in the ForestThis book “Faces in the Forest: First Nations Art Created on Living Trees” by Micheal Blackstock.  The book is a guide to how First Nations experience the forest and how they create art to honor this sacred space.  It also talks about how traditional knowledge can be integrated into forest practices.  The book is created by someone who has knowledge and experience on all fronts….Micheal is a professional forester who works for the Ministry of Forests, a Gitxan person and artist and he is one of the first people to graduate from the Masters in First Nation studies at UNBC.  Google provides a preview of the book and the image to the right is linked to the site.  If the link does not work, the URL is

Module 4 | Post 3 Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival was founded by Harvard University anthropologist David Maybury-Lewis and his wife Pia to assist Indigenous Peoples in their struggles.  This group started in the 1970s to address the threat to indigenous lands and culture with the ‘opening of the Amazon’. There are a number of reports and they publish a quarterly magazine and a number of reports and publications.  The current issue has an interesting article about the first indigenous curator of the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York.


Link to ISSUU articles:

Module 4 | Post 2 Indigenous medicine

This is one of many posts on indigenous medicine. The different perspective on healing and the alternate view of our connection and relationship to nature offers opportunities for healing and health not available in western medicine.  In this article, an M.D. relates his experience and learning during a 6 year study beside indigenous healers in the Amazon and the use of their medicines, specifically Ayahuasca tea to heal a variety of ailments that defy western methods.

Another interesting book on this topic is called “The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge” by Jeremy Nasby.   I read this book several years ago and it is a fascinating account of an anthropologist who spent time in the amazon studying the connections between shamanism and molecular biology and at the end of the book, discusses how his own world view is fundamentally altered by his research and experiences with the people he studied.  Whatever the contention with his findings and methods, the impact on his views is very  interesting for our course.  Jeremy returned a few years later to complete a documentary video called Night of the Iliana available on YouTube at



Module 3 | Post 7 Critical Whiteness theory

Fiona Nicholl has adopted a different approach to teaching race relations or indigenous studies in the classroom.  She calls it critical whiteness theory and the focus here is on  “exploring whiteness as a problematic, critical whiteness theory reverses the tendency of white academics of every political persuasion in Australia to focus investigation on Aboriginal ‘issues’ or ‘problems.” (Nicholl, 2004).   This seems to fits a ‘culturally responsive form of teaching where the focus is not on the other but includes a study of white  culture and values in the context of humanity and places all subjects on an equal footing where they look at one another to gain a greater understanding of one another.

Module 3 | Post 5 Culturally responsive education

This is a resource prepared by the University of North Carolina and provides an overview of the issues and challenges that exist for teachers and the introduction of culturally responsive education content into their curriculum. It talks about rethinking teacher education pedagogy and provides guidelines for developing culturally responsive teacher education pedagogy.

For a comparison and more local resource,  here is the  Assembly of First Nations Education, Jurisdiction, and Governance paper on culturally responsive education and its impact on the academic achievement of First Nation students.

Module 3 | Post 4 A different view of ‘culturally responsible’ education

I lived and worked in Chiapas Mexico in the mid 1990s at the height of the Zapatista movement and worked in several Mayan villages throughout the province with ProNatura Chiapas who was trying to build sustainable farming practices for coffee growers in these communities.   The Mayan face a great number of challenges and security, both physical and economic, is a primary concern for communities and individuals.  An organization in San Cristobal is attempting to provide education that will allow Mayan youth to participate in the local economy and provide them with some sense of human rights and confidence.  This is not the ‘voice’ or culturally distinct education that have been discussed in this module and though this will hopefully come to Chiapas one day, this form of education provided in this example, in this environment and political context, seems culturally responsible at this time for the Mayan people.

Module 3 | Post 3 First Nation Perspectives at BCIT

A colleague at BCIT, Derik Joseph, who is an education coordinator in the Aboriginal Services office, recently completed his MA in Communications at Royal Roads.  His thesis centered around 10 First Nation students at BCIT who he interviewed in an effort to better understand the First Nation perspective of life at BCIT (2014).  As a First Nation man himself, he has a unique connection to the students and provides a narrative and story of both his life, his role and place in the research and the themes that exist from the stories told to him by the 10 students who participated and contributed to the study.  Here, as in the videos for this week, the goal is to give back and to create something of use to the aboriginal community.  Derik identifies 5 themes in his study and these include: 1) family history; 2) First Nation identity; 3) culture; 4) work ethic and 5) role models.

BCIT. (May 8, 2014).  Aboriginal Speaker Series – Derik Joseph. Accessed June 6, 2015 from