A Journey into Time Immemorial
In searching for interactive ways to present Indigenous knowledge and culture using technology, I came across this exceptional site. This virtual journey is highly interactive and viewers can explore the village in order to learn about Sto:lo traditional ways of living. Interactive icons, such as villagers, animals, fish, boats, etc. can be selected to find out more information about it or information can be access via the multiple dropdown menus.
In addition, the site also provides resources for educators who wish to use the site for science, social studies, English and language arts, and First Nations’ studies classes. For each class topic, learning outcomes are also provided for students in different grades (6-10). The site also contains video and audio resources such that you can listen to interviews with Elders and community members as well as games and a glossary.
This site would be an excellent resource to learn about the Sto:lo Nation’s traditions and culture. I also believe this would be appealing to a younger demographic and could be used in classrooms.
Connecting Traditions: Secwepemc, is an interactive website that provides information on the Secwepemc Nation, such as who the people are, their language, their story of origin and traditional practices. It is an excellent resource that is highly interactive, using audio and visuals to augment the learning experience. The “village life” section offers information on various traditional practices and activities depending on the season, which can be viewed by interacting with the winter and summer scenes.
This site is user-friendly and filled with interesting information on the Secwepemc nation.
One of the topics this term that I’ve gravitated towards is that of using technology as a means to promote and protect Indigenous knowledge. Four Directions Teachings is a beautiful website, made possible by the Canadian Culture Online Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, was created to engage users to learn about traditional knowledge, by listening to recorded audios. The site emphasizes the importance of oral traditions and offers visitors the opportunity to listen to narrations as elders/traditional teachers share their perspectives, philosophies and cultural values of five distinct First Nations in Canada: Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq.
Constructing Shared Online Learning Environments for Indigenous Cultural Inclusiveness
I found this article very interesting because it addresses some of the key challenges in creating an online learning environment that is culturally inclusive for Indigenous Australians. A summary of various studies is provided that highlight some of the characteristics that should be present in online technologies that promote successful learning opportunities for Indigenous students. Other suggestions include possible online tools, such as journals, chat rooms, discussion board and work spaces allocated for group work, as a means to support Aboriginal students in distance education settings.
This resource would be useful for anyone wanting to learn the possibilities in incorporating certain technological tools in their course site to support Aboriginal students in an online class that is shared with other students from different cultural backgrounds.
A Resource for Curriculum Developers, Teachers and Administrators
In searching for ways to integrate Aboriginal perspectives in the existing curricula for my project, I happened to stumble upon this excellent resource. The goal of the document is to assist Manitoba’s curriculum developers and instructors in incorporating Aboriginal perspectives, cultural components, historical contributions and achievements in the classroom.
What I liked most about this article is that it touches on many topics such as residential schools, traditional ways of learning (oral tradition, spirituality, Medicine Wheel, and Elders), and ways to include traditional ways of knowing in the current curricula. In addition, it provides an extensive list of learning outcomes for multiple subjects for the different age groups as well as examples of how Aboriginal perspectives have been integrated in schools. One of the examples demonstrates multimedia was used as a means to bring awareness to Type II diabetes in Aboriginal peoples. Finally, the document presents a historical timeline of significant events for the Aboriginal peoples of Manitoba
In my own eyes is a project in which aboriginal youths are given a voice by enabling them to tell their stories through photography. These youths are mentored and taught by aboriginal photographers on how to use photography equipment so that they can use this media as a new way of storytelling and be part of the social changes. Through their eyes, viewers can see and learn about challenges aboriginal youths face.
This site also led me to the National Film Board of Canada, which has a number of other videos that addresses some of the important issues present in aboriginal communities using media.
The Toronto’s ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival aims to eliminate stereotypical notions of Indigenous peoples by encouraging First Nations youths to use different media to tell their stories. I first stumbled upon this article which spoke about the various topics this project addresses, such as aboriginal identity, education, language and racism. The organization is visiting small communities in Canada and offering workshops to the youths on how to use tablets to record and edit their film. This CBC Yukon video explains the project. What I liked about it was that non-aboriginal students are also involved in the project because they feel it’s important to address the inequality problems.
Wanting to learn more about it, I found the organization’s website. I found this site a bit difficult to navigate in searching for video entries, and was only able to view one. However, the site contains information on previous festival, the organization, and its history.
This resource can be useful for someone looking to find ways, using media and technology, to help indigenous peoples express what they are feeling and educate the world about their culture.
CBC’s Indigenous in the City is the first episode of a four-part series (8th Fire) discusses Canada’s urban Aboriginal population and how they are working in effort to challenge stereotypes and maintain their traditional culture while living in cities among a large population of non-Indigenous people.
In this 45-minutes documentary, various topics are discussed such as stereotypes, racism, crime, poverty, education, residential schools and history from First Nations’ perspectives. Also highlighted are successful stories of a lawyer, comic book author, musicians, a teacher and a multimedia artist, who question, challenge and break down stereotypes. It’s a great film that exposes the troubled relationship between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people and examines ways in which barriers can be brought down in order to begin building new relationships.
I also found this educator’s guide that presents questions for students to reflect on and answer while watching each of the episodes followed by instructional activity suggestions.
The video “Fraser River Journey” touched on the importance of giving youths the opportunities to be able to understand who they are so that they could be stronger and become leaders in their community. The Aboriginal Leadership Programs, created by the Me to We, aim to do just that.
Their first program is a 3-day workshop that focuses on educating and motivating First Nations, Metis and Inuit youths to become leaders in their own communities by teaching them leadership skills and highlighting their personal and cultural identity with the help of elders and mentors.
The second program focuses more on the history and cultural traditions of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. This is also a 3-day workshop in which youths have the opportunity to collaboratively create action plans to promote awareness and support for cultural diversity.
What I liked about these programs is that they are designed to fit the needs of the youths and include members of their communities. Teaching them these skills, using methods that they can relate to (the Seven Teachings and the Medicine Wheel), will open opportunities for them to be part of the solutions and make positive changes within and outside of their communities.
After watching the videos presented to us in week 8, I wanted to search for more example of youths’ use of technology as a means to document their peoples’ experiences and learn more about their culture, history and perspectives on various issues. That is when I stumbled upon the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project.
This is a collaborative project involving elders and youths from Nunavut as well as the University of British Columbia. The site includes many videos in which the youths interview elders, other members of the community and each other to gain a better understanding of their culture while documenting it in an effort to preserve it. A historical timeline and stories about history, the caribou and survival skills are also featured in the site.
This is but another great example of how youths are using media as a medium and an opportunity to tell others about their culture and present it to the world. Despite living in the same country, these youths recognize that Canadians know very little, if anything at all, about their culture and ways of life. One of the youths involved in the project discusses how the Government isn’t properly educating Canadians about Inuit culture, which is why he feels it this project is important to teach his peoples and others about their ways of life in order to keep their culture alive.
This site shows how youths are able to create something that is positive and educational when given the proper tools, freedom to be creative and access to traditional knowledge.
I also came across this article in which a local Vancouver-based hip-hop artist talks about how she uses media and music to bring awareness to the missing and murdered Indigenous women. Hip-hop, which she describes as a “contemporary form of oral tradition”, is how she communicates her peoples’ history for others to hear. The song “Sisterz” is quite powerful.