Author Archives: Parm Gill

Tribal Voice: Indigenous Leading Environmental Protection


“There is resistance: in Canada it’s coming from First Nations. But it’s worth remembering that that’s a world-wide phenomenon. Throughout the world, the indigenous populations are in the lead. They are actually taking the lead in trying to protect the earth. That’s extremely significant.”

Noam Chomsky praised Indigenous people for leading the resistance for environmental protection. And as he mentions this is happening world-wide, and has been for quite some time.

Tribal Voice

The Tribal Voice Project  gives smartphones to indigenous people in the Amazon. They use the phones to record their views and perspectives in order to take part in, and impact decisions concerning their land. Here is a sample recording:




Fashion and Indigenous Representation

The two links below both concern fashion, representation of Indigenous people, and the use of social media.

Got Land? Thank an Indian

A Saskatchewan school created a controversy when they disallowed teenager Tenelle Star, a member of the Star Blanket First Nation,  from wearing her sweat shirt which read “Got Land?” on the front, and “Thank an Indian” on the back to school. After discussions with the school board, and First Nations leaders, the she was permitted to wear her shirt. But, the student was harassed on  social media, and eventually her parents felt it was safer for her to close her Facebook account.

Tactless T-shirts by Big Retailers


Vans was selling a t-shirt with an image of a beer can totem pole. A  Métis man from Vancouver, Chad Girardin, created a social media campaign via a petition.  The petition asked Vans to remove the “Wizard Totem” shirt, and requested a formal apology. The shirt was removed from the shelves.


“Manifest Destiny was the catch phrase which led to the genocide of millions of my people, millions of Indigenous people throughout this country.”

Of course, Vans in not the first big company, to make such a faux pas. A few years ago  the Gap was selling a shirt with the catch phrase “Manifest Destiny“. That was the “term was used to justify American expansion into the west during the 19th century”. Again it was through a social media campaign that the company was forced to remove the t-shirt from their shelves.




Myth Busting: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 4.43.16 PMIn 2012 the TD bank put together a report, entitled Debunking Myths Surrounding Canada’s Aboriginal Population. based on their own findings and the findings of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. The purpose was to set the record straight, and replace stereotypes with facts to foster an enlightened national conversation.


First Nations Governance

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The Centre for First Nations Governance is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting First Nations groups in Canada as they return to self-governance. The website  provides news, workshop toolkits, research and educational information.

The are some PDF’s which can be used in the classroom to educate students about the First Nations history. In particular, the interactive historical timeline of First Nations Governance is something that could engage students.


PowWow at Duck Lake

The National Film Board of Canada has a collection of 39 films about the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. The collection covers a wide range of topics such as the arts, government relations, spirituality, and urban life.

PowWow at Duck Lake

PowWow at Duck Lake

The short documentary film, PowWow at Duck Lakecovers a discussion at Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. Indian-Métis problems, such as education, and lack of opportunities for Native youth, are are discussed in a gathering of Native and white community members.

PowWow at Duck Lake by ONFB, National Film Board of Canada

Circle of Stories

“Indigenous storytelling is rooted in the earth. Years upon years of a kinship with the land, life, water and sky have produced a variety of narratives about intimate connections to the earth. In a call and response lasting through time, Native peoples have experienced a relationship of give and take with the natural world.” (Circle of Stories)

PBS hosts an interactive multimedia site, Circle of Stories, which explores Native American storytelling.

The site features documentary film, photography, artwork, music and includes discussions and lesson plans.