Author Archives: paige mcclelland

Module 4 Weblog – Paige McClelland

  • So far, this is one of the most impressive resources on Canadian Indigenous literacy that I have seen. Yipee! Basically, this site is a collection of resources that the University of Saskatchewan put together to help those who are interested in understanding Indigenous history and finding credible information that can help them change policy, develop resources, or simply learn more about Indigenous culture. I am completely blown away by the collection of resources (articles, book reviews, e-books, images, media, theses, and web sites), lack of broken links, and excellent descriptions of resources. I truly feel like the University of Saskatchewan has built a collective resource for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. I had been having a tough time finding resources that were accessible and provided accessible information. Finding resources like this one is truly exciting because it helps me to see the potential for technology to help develop effective communities of practice!

  • I found this site as I was searching for resources on local school board sites. (I had never thought to do this, but now it seems so obvious. It’s important to learn what types of resources and practices are being shared in my local community.) Because I am focusing on literacy for my final project, naturally, I gravitated toward the literacy section of this site. However, there are plenty of other interesting resources, including ones on cultural awareness and wellness. In the literacy section, I really like how there are videos that showcase both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perceptions of Indigenous literacy. It reminds me of the importance of the “two-way interaction” that we learned about the other week. Through these videos, I was able to hear from Indigenous people and also hear how non-Indigenous people worked through these teachings, voicing concerns or questions that I also had.

  • This wonderful site is maintained by First Nations, Metis, and Inuit staff of Edmonton Public Schools. Essentially, it’s a collection of reviews for resources (mostly books and movies) that share good recommendations as well as resources “to weed out.” I think these types of websites are important for educators as they decide on which books and other sources to share in the classroom. This site also connects educators (or whomever is using the site) to the Edmonton Public Library. I have been trying to find resources that link out to other local sites (either online or physical), because I think it’s really important for us to find connections within our local communities and learn about what is available, too.

  • This resource is such a fantastic idea in terms of using technology as a way for students to build knowledge rather than simply use technology as a way to store knowledge. This Google Doc provides open access to a list of recommended books to help Indigenous learners develop their language and literacy skills. For each book, the curators have provided an annotated bibliography, project ideas/activities, and curricular links, so that educators have a way to guide meaningful learning opportunities through reading, discussion, and active participation. There are so many ideas I have to link this resource to place-based learning. Literature is such a wonderful way for people to connect to the world around them, but knowing where to look for these sources is extra wonderful.

  • I have come to grow really fond of Jan Hare’s work in the field of Indigenous literacy development for children and youth. She has expanded my limited view of literacy (typically thought of as reading and writing) and opened it up to a holistic model that is not just important for Indigenous learners, but I believe for all learners. In my search for this Weblog/the final research project, I stumbled upon a UBC article in which Dr. Hare discusses the significance of having parents involved in Indigenous youths’ literacy and language learning. Prior to this finding, I had mostly been focusing on resources that could help the educator find appropriate resources for the classroom, without considering the important role that Indigenous parents could/should play. (Even though we have read about the importance of community involvement in Indigenous students’ learning, this has been difficult for me to conceptualize. Finding these resources has helped me broaden my perception of community and understand the critical role of parents or other caretakers.) In the article, Dr. Hare discusses that an effective strategy for youth to learn more about their own culture is for youth to teach their own parents. In this way, both parents and students are engaged in learning through their history. This also shows that there are “many pathways to learning,” and in that, we need to be considering more informal approaches. This led me to Dr. Hare’s article, “They Tell a Story and There’s Meaning Behind that Story: Indigenous Knowledge and Young Indigenous Children’s Literacy Learning.” What an amazing resource in terms of discussing the importance of storywork, the influence of family and other community members in literacy learning, and the necessity for Indigenous children to learn from (not just about) Indigenous knowledge.

Module 3 Weblog – Paige McClelland

Walking Together: First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum

  • This resource focuses on the important role that storytelling plays in literacy development amongst Aboriginal youth. The article also points out that language development, background knowledge, and phonemic awareness (p. 2) are only a small part of literacy development for youth. The article reminds me of the importance that social and cultural development play in early education, as outlined by Vygotsky, yet in this article there is an emphasis on using resources that also align with the spiritual realities of Aboriginal learners. To ignore this is to ignore the “process of becoming aware of the entwined interconnected relationships of all life and one’s role in creation” (p. 4). After reading this article, I’m interested in exploring storytelling programs that have been implemented in Canada, their effectiveness, and how a spiritual aspect has been incorporated into programming.


2009 The State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A Holistic Approach to Measuring Success,_ccl,_2009.pdf

  • I found this handout particularly interesting because it questions how we know what successful implementation of Aboriginal education looks and feels like. Throughout this ETEC course, I often wonder how many studies have actually been done on the success of programming that is targeted toward Aboriginal learners. While this is a preliminary report and definitely won’t give us all the answers, it was very helpful to view this guide as a holistic resource; I could begin to see how all of the interrelated parts (e.g., place-based learning, connectedness to others, etc.) work as a cohesive whole. I think that it provides a foundation in which we can begin to address the strengths and challenge of current programming in Canada, as well as address the important gaps in knowledge and understanding of how to support Indigenous learning.


A Handbook for Educators of Aboriginal Students

  • This is another longer resource, but I think it’s one that I will refer to time and time again because it provides practical strategies for educators who are teaching Indigenous students. As well, one section (beginning on page 40) addresses different kinds of Aboriginal people, reminding educators that there are in fact many different kinds of learners, and identifying as “Aboriginal” does not mean that all Aboriginal students will learn in the same way. In this section, the authors address the critical roles of cultural awareness, cultural identity, cultural competence, and cultural sensitivity. I recommend looking at page 44 of this document to view strategies on how to implement these critical values in the classroom!


Redefining How Success is Measured in First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Learning

  • Here is another resource that focuses on Aboriginal learning outcomes, this time with an emphasis on redefining outcomes for learning. In other articles I have viewed, the emphasis was on changing how to measure success, but I like the emphasis on redefining–it seems there needs to be more work that simply changing what has been done in the past. Instead of simply “adding on” components of Aboriginal learning, we must redefine what incorporating Indigenous learning and teaching actually looks like. This article offered another eye-opener for me because it pointed out how some of the “current” research that has been done on Indigenous learners’ success in the classroom can be misleading and not consider contextual factors, such as political or economical circumstances. It also pointed out how current data collection and other barriers for representing data may be skewing students’ representation of learning (p. 15). There are many knowledge and data gaps that need to be filled in order to collect telling data, but it was also a good reminder to keep a critical eye on any data that I come across, and not to accept anything at face value.


Mobile(izing) Educational Research: Historical Literacy, M-Learning, and Technopolitics

  • For the final project, I am really interested in m-learning, so I was pleased when I stumbled upon a resource that McGill put out about the intricacies of mobile learning for Indigenous populations. This article zones in on why mobile learning, different from other e-Learning platforms, could be “uniquely placed to support learning that is personalized, authentic, and situated” (n.p.). The emphasis on situated learning in the context of Aboriginal education seems to be one of the most significant features of mobile learning, I think because it can potentially situate personal and historical stories and experiences through one medium. Finally, the authors of this article argue that while m-Learning may not be a site for decolonization to necessarily occur, it can act as a springboard for deeper conversation. It “depends on how each user integrates the mobile app in their classroom space. We believe that the creative use of these devices in our classroom spaces has the rich possibility for facilitating complicated, personalized and situated conversations.” There is always careful consideration from the authors that the technology itself cannot mobilize decolonization or act as a site of deconstruction–that must be mobilized from outside.

Module 2 Weblog Entry – Paige McClelland

Charlo, A. (2015, March 27). Indigenous language revitalization [Video]. Retrieved from Ted Talk website:

  • In this video, April Charlo shares her experience of learning about her native language and its powerful connection to the land and people. She realizes that the Salish language doesn’t have the concept of ownership in regards to the natural world, by recognizing she had been using the word “my” in relation to the natural world for many years. She expresses, “What if I had been forcing unnatural concepts into the language of my people; what if my efforts were actually changing the true essence of my people forever?” For me, this was the most powerful moment of the video, because I realized the real power that language has in seemingly small exchanges. Reflecting on ancestral stories, April realizes that the concept of ownership was forged from the colonial era in which some of her ancestors were forced to own land. They had to develop an “adapt or die” mentality in order to survive, which didn’t align with their values or traditions. To April, language revitalization is much more than simply the language, but respecting and promoting the values and concepts that are attached to it. She ends with a powerful message: By focusing less on ownership and more on connection, how can one become more connected with the natural world?
  • As educators, how do we recognize when we might be forcing unnatural concepts on other cultures? I think this is an important question to reflect on when considering culturally responsive language learning.

Hare, J. (2014, April 4). A dialogue with Jan Hare: Professor in Indig. Education for Teacher Education. Retrieved from YouTube website:

  • In this course, I have really enjoyed reading Dr. Hare’s work, so I sought out more resources presented/written by her! Dr. Hare specializes in Indigenous education for teacher education (particularly in B.C.). At the beginning of this video, she poses the following question: If Indigenous knowledge is not just about being inclusive, then how do we center Indigenous knowledge? This is a question that I have been particularly interested in since the beginning of the term, especially in relation to advancing and preserving Indigenous languages. While Dr. Hare doesn’t state specific answers, I think she poses really important discussion prompts, such as “how do we develop new tools for interpreting old knowledge” in our practice and pedagogy? She also references the popular quotation, “It’s education that got us into this mess, and it’s education that will get us out,” ultimately arguing that we can transform our practice to integrate Indigenous knowledge and reshape curriculum in a way that is more centered. In terms of my research project focused on literacy, I am interested in ways that I can transform my current practice and help others to do the same, so that Indigenous knowledge is not only recognized and included, but also centered and grounded in language learning for all learners.

Maina, F. (1997). Culturally relevant pedagogy: First Nations education in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Native Studies XVII, 2, 293-314. Retrieved from

  • Although this journal article is dated, I think it provides important information for educators on culturally responsive pedagogy. While technology has changed substantially since the publishing of this article, a lot of the issues regarding a culturally responsive classroom remain the same. It’s important for educators to provide space for both traditional and modern expressions of culture, and technology is potential way to do that. After reading this article, I was struck by the incredible responsibility that teachers have to “present complex, sensitive material in a way that helps the students understand the realities of their past and present while maintaining a positive outlook for the future.” When considering mobile education for literacy, there are certainly many options to provide material, but how do we ensure we are being sensitive in our selection of material? Is it up to us, even? Should it be?

Teaching for Indigenous Education. (n.d.). Key learning ideas [Web page]. Retrieved from

  • Inspired by Dr. Hare’s work, I was directed to this website, which offers some fantastic resources, information, and scholarly work on 8 topics relevant to Indigenous education today. Each topic focuses on key learning ideas, Indigenous perspectives, enhancing understanding, classrooms connections, and additional resources. Since my research topic is on language and literacy, I gravitated toward that topic, but I think this whole website will be extremely valuable in this ETEC course and beyond. Under the classroom connections tab under the Languages topic, I was stunned by the extensive material provided for preservice and practicing teachers. It has been difficult to find classroom material that has been developed by Indigenous people for language and literacy, so I am really excited by these resources and its connection to the B.C. curriculum!

Walkus, J. (2015, December 11). Language is our life line [Video]. Retrieved from TED Talk website:

  • In this Ted Talk, Joye Walkus shares her experience of learning the Indigenous language, Kwak’wala. She describes learning the language from her mother and now deceased “Gramps,” and connecting her family’s history with her present and future passion of sharing this language with her daughter and broader community. Her wish is for the language to survive, because learning a language isn’t simply about learning words in isolation–it is about sharing experiences and describing the depth of those experiences with those around us to learn and share. After watching this video, I have a deeper appreciation for the necessity to keep Indigenous languages alive, as it is a bridge that unites the past with the present and future and provides deeper meaning for all.
  • In connecting this to education, my question is, how can we bridge the “informal” styles of learning a language within the formal context of a school?

Module 1 Weblog – Paige McClelland

I am really interested in researching the success as well as the barriers to mobile learning for Indigenous youth in Canada. Mobile technologies can offer many advantages that traditional means struggle to provide for students, such as bridging formal and informal learning opportunities. However, mobile education is very new territory, and as an educator, I would like to learn more about how to support this new avenue of educational technology, so that Indigenous learners, already the most disadvantaged students in Canada, are supported through appropriate educational programming.

The more that I researched this topic, the more interested I became in language preservation through mobile technology, and how this can potentially give a voice to Aboriginal youth. It also raises several concerns about knowledge preservation and access (e.g., those who do not have mobile devices or have limited connection).

Cowan, D., McGarry, F.M., Moran, H., McCarthy, D. D., & King, C. (n.d.). Information technology to support Indigenous Peoples [PDF]. Retrieved from

  • In this article, the authors conducted a study on the effects that Dreamcatcher software had on knowledge sharing and curation within some Indigenous populations in Canada. Dreamcatcher is an interactive mapping service that has been co-designed with Aboriginal communities from Ontario, Canada. Attached to the maps are interactive stories and knowledge about specific communities in Canada. The authors of the study outline several advantages of using this software, but also provide insight into the considerations of using technology that is so closely tied to Indigenous cultural identity and language. There is also a really interesting section on the concerns people have regarding Indigenous knowledge that was meant to be private accidentally becoming public knowledge because of security issues.

The Endangered Languages Project. (2017). Browse resources by category [Web page]. Retrieved from

  • In 2012, Google launched a curated website called The Endangered Languages Project, which catalogues languages from around the world, including some Indigenous languages in Canada. There are many interesting resources (related to the intersection of language and technology) as well as research that supports the importance of language revitalization on a global scale. This seems like a very useful website for observing the intricacies of local and global knowledge. Although the website is a little tough to navigate because of the limited browsing and search options, I think it is useful for those interested in learning about how to support endangered languages through mobile technology. The blog on this website is also particularly helpful and is easier to navigate for focused material than the actual website.

Franks, S., & Gessner, S. (2013). A guide to language policy and planning for B.C. First Nations Communities [PDF]. Retrieved from First Peoples’ Cultural Council website:

  • This 142-page guide outlines reasons why language revitalization is essential to preserving Indigenous knowledge, but also offers important information about why some current efforts to preserve languages and knowledge through technology have had adverse effects on Indigenous populations in Canada. The guide offers educational policy suggestions that could be helpful for educators who are interested in supporting learning opportunities that help Indigenous students transmit their language and culture. Finally, the guide offers important insight into community-based education, and why it’s important that educators and policy makers look at the needs of the community or specific body of learners first before implementing policy or learning activities (p. 72). This seems especially important as we introduce mobile learning into the classroom.

Perrier, C. (2016, May 20). Keyboard app brings Indigenous languages to mobile [Newspaper article]. Retrieved from CBC News website:

  • A CBC article reports that some Indigenous language speakers will now be able to talk, speak, and text using their traditional language through the FirstVoices app. For many years, online platforms have catered to the English language and not included other languages and voices, so this app, and others like it, could be a step in the right direction in terms of acknowledging diverse Canadian voices. As I was reading through this article, I was excited by the prospect of Aboriginal youth connecting to their Elders through the power of language. Plus, this app would certainly be interesting to utilize in the classroom. However, I question who designed this app, and for what purposes. What are the assumptions and biases that have gone into the production of this app?

Pulla, S. (2015, October 30). Mobile learning and Indigenous education in Canada: A synthesis of new ways of learning [Report]. Retrieved from Royal Roads University website:

  • This executive summary is written in a very approachable way and provides a detailed overview of the influence that mobile education has had on Aboriginal youth. In this summary, the author provides many examples and case studies of mobile education, but also warns against using this technology as a Band-Aid solution to fix the injustices that Indigenous learners have faced in traditional Western schools. What I found particularly interesting was the section on how mobile learning can potentially assist in Indigenous language revitalization (p. 19). While the author makes several interesting points, including how social media can effect positive change, I question how Indigenous people feel about the preservation of knowledge, including language, on mobile apps that pose serious privacy and security risks, not to mention who has access to this knowledge, and for what purposes.