Category Archives: Module 3

Weblog 3

Module 3 Weblog

This is an article about the fantastic program Manitoba Hydro has started to get young women interested in careers in STEM. Manitoba Hydro recognized that Aboriginal youth are an untapped resource. They formed a committee to understand and remove the systemic barriers Aboriginal people face in the job market. This particular recruitment initiative takes the form of week long summer camps for girls that introduces them to STEM. As the articles says, the ripple effect of this program is far reaching. Not only are these young women now interested in careers in STEM, it has also boosted their overall sense of confidence.

This program from the University of Alberta bill itself as “A series of interactive classroom presentations with engaging science activities that honour Aboriginal Ways of Knowing and introduce careers in the Sciences.” The presenters visit schools for 2 days and offer science “classes” that are linked to the Alberta curriculum and honour Aboriginal perspectives. This program comes from WISEST: Women in Scholarships, Engineering, Science and Technology, making the benefits twofold- seeing how Western science and Aboriginal ways of knowing can be linked, and having female role models for young Aboriginal youth.

Animikii is an Indigenous technology solutions company based in British Columbia. I have included this is my list because of the incredible partnerships and programs they have developed. My focus of my final project is about Aboriginal female youth in STEM. With the expression “You cannot be what you cannot see” in mind, I have been looking for Indigenous tech companies with a strong female presence. From their About Us page, this company appears to have a 50/50 ratio of men to women, which is nearly unheard of in the tech industry.

This booklet published by the government of Alberta breaks down myths, offers resources and real women’s stories to inspire women to enter non-traditional jobs. There is one story about Brenda Holder, an Aboriginal women who felt the deck was stacked against her, in terms of opening her own business. She was connected with a mentor and created a business plan and is now the successful owner of Mahikan Trails, a Canmore based adventure company. In the article she says “As Aboriginal people sometimes we believe we don’t have much to offer. But often it’s our differences that produce the most amazing opportunities.”

This is an online program for girls, ages 10-14. Ask Auntie aims to “replicate the traditional learning relationship between youth and their Aunties and Elders”. Their target age is a critical time for girls, as studies show that their mental health takes a sharp decline around this age. This program promotes cultural understanding and community connections, and is grouped into themes such as identity, culture and connection, relationships and safety, body knowledge and body transitions, and wellness and healing. The full program is arranged in a curriculum format, but they also have a YouTube channel that anyone can access.

Promoting and protecting language through media, technology, and connected communities.

First Peoples’ Cultural Council

The First People’s Cultural Council is a BC Provincial Crown Corporation formed in 1990 and supported by the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Act with a mandate to assist BC First Nations in their efforts ot revitalize their languages, arts, and cultures.

As my research is focussing on the use of technology for the preservation of language, I was interested to see this site outline First Nations’ language support across various funding categories, including:  Mentorship-Apprentice, Language and Culture Camps, the BC Language Initiative, and the FirstVoices resource that I have mentioned in previous posts.

This site is a fulsome resource for many facets of language learning and language preservation including a Language Toolkit for communities wishing to develop language revitalization projects.


Status of Aboriginal Languages in Canada

This page is not so much a tremendous resource, as it is a great infographic (and who doesn’t love infographics) provided by a company called WinTranslation, which is an Ottawa-based for-profit translation service.  Providing language translation is important for many reasons in the corporate, advertising, and communications world, and I was very pleased to see that this company provides peer-reviewed translation services into over 35 of Canada’s Aboriginal Languages.

Census 2016: The Aboriginal Languages of First Nations people, Métis and Inuit

This Statistics Canada webpage is a summary of information from the 2016 Canadian census and is current as of October 25, 2017.  It contains a number of significant highlights including a growth of over 3% in the number of Aboriginal People who could speak an Aboriginal Language over the past decade.  So much of what we read speaks of a decline in Aboriginal language use, and more concerning, the growth in the number of Aboriginal languages in Canada that are in danger of becoming extinct – in that light, this census data is encouraging.

The census data also points to young Aboriginal people learning their languages at a younger age, and an uptick in Aboriginal language instruction.

First Haida language film offers rare, powerful glimpse of Haida people

OK, perhaps this is veering off the web-based resource as well, but it is very connected to my research theme, and super relevant to the discussions in the course.  I stumbled across this CBC – The National article (and then, as one does, many other articles on the same topic) this week, and was excited to see how film and technology are playing a role in preserving language and culture in this surprising project.

Creating a feature-length film in a language that only a few people speak is both a tremendous undertaking (who can learn and speak the language well enough to fill the roles?) and a significant financial investment.  While the first is a logistical challenge, the second represents a pattern of hope in the restoration of traditional languages and can only mean good things to come.

Pathways to Technology – Interactive Map

Pathways to technology is a project aimed at bringing high-speed, reliable, and low-cost internet to First Nations.  Recognizing that connectivity brings access to health care, education, employment, and economic growth, this project looks to remove some of these barriers for remote, and typically under-connected communities around BC.

The link (in the title) directs towards an interactive map of the 203 First Nations around BC, and displays their name and connection type.  As an educator who visits these communities from time to time, this information is more than informative, it directs the kids of supports that we provide, and opens doors to different conversations.

Module 3 ~ Post # 5: Uncontacted, Contacted, Unconquered

In the book The Unconquered, author Scott Wallace describes how the Brazlian’s governments past efforts to protect uncontacted peoples by setting up parks around them, and using already contacted tribes as a buffer between the uncontacted and the outside world. Wallace questions if keeping peoples uncontacted is realistic endevour. He describes how the government originally setup this system because of the global political pressure to prevent the mass genocide of entire tribal groups from disease as they come into contact with the outside world. In the book Wallace joins an expedition whose mandate is to gather information about the uncontacted people known as the “People of the Arrow, including the location in which they lived so it could be included in the protected zone. The expedition that took him deep into the rainforest, and brought them face-to-face with the very people they hoped to never see. The expedition leaders warned the “People of the Arrow”, that they should not welcome strangers and that they should not leave their land.

Though the governments of South America are at least aware of the desire of the global community to protect the uncontacted tribes, they are also pressure by the financial needs of their countries to continue to allow more logging and mining development further into the jungles. Which brings the modern world into contact with tribal groups living much the same way that have lived for hundreds of years.

The Waiapi, an ancient tribe living deep in the Brazilian rainforest, were almost wiped out from disease when they first came into contact with the outside world in the 1970’s. Now they vow to protect their way of life and prevent the Brazilian government from developing the area. Many of the members say they will arm themselves and physically fight, with traditional poison tipped arrows if necessary.

One of the tribes members, Jawaruwa Waiapi feels that it is through political pressure that Indigenous Peoples will be win the battle for their homes. He is the first Waiapi member to earn an elected title as a municipal councilor in the community of Pedra Branca, which is two hours away from his village. He says that, “Today we don’t have to fight with arrows or clubs. We have to fight through knowledge, through politics. This is our new weapon.”

Survival International is a non-profit organization that works to support tribal peoples throughout the world. Their mandate is to help tribes deal with the political and legal system; many of these tribes have only been in contact with the contemporary world for less then fifty-years. Surival International also works to raise awareness about uncontacted Peoples and pressure government to protect these Peoples.


Module 3 ~ Post # 4: Drinking Water on Canadian Reservations

One of the things that comes to mind when you think of Canada is its pristine lakes and rivers. Sadly over 80 Canadian reserves are under drinking-water advisories. Prime Minister Trudeau promises that Aboriginal Communities will have safe drinking water by 2021.   According to a 2017 Globe and Mail article the government is not even close to fulfilling this promise. Many of the water treatment facilities in First Nation communities are not up to standard and are failing. Poor long term funding, and adequate training of staff also limits the life-span of the facilities that are working.   Additionally, because of lack of funding costs are cut when selecting systems and companies to install the systems – leading to problems in the future.

Another interesting fact uncovered by the Globe and Mail is the fact that many First Nation water systems are built to province 180 liters of water per resident per day, while municipal systems in Ontario provide 450 liters per resident per day. As the First Nation population grows these systems will not be able to keep up with demand.


Module 3 ~ Post 3: Motivating Youth while Celebrating Success

We are seeing an increase in post-secondary school programs specifically targeted at Aboriginal Youth. Along with this comes backlash from non-aboriginal peoples who see this us unfair. As the fastest growing population in Canada it is imperative to the countries future that these youth be supported and given every opportunity. Perhaps more education of non-aboriginal peoples is necessary to raise awareness of the obstacles aboriginal youth must overcome.

Celebration of the successes is important in all cultures. Perhaps it mainstream North American society it is taken from granted that most people will graduate from high school and attend post-secondary school. This has not historically been the case for Aboriginal Peoples, and their success should not be overlooked, but celebrated.

Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people. The program works to connect Aboriginal Youth with resources to become better educated. Every year they celebrate the success of many Aboriginal students through the Inspire Awards Banquet.

Other celebrations of success are the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’- Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame Award and a Gwich’in project, which highlights the success of its members in a published catalog/timeline that will eventually be put online. Diane Baxter, Gwich’in program officer, notes that the Gwich’in First Nation has a 100 percent employment rate for anyone with post-secondary education.

The project not only highlights the importance of post-secondary education, but the importance of recognizing and celebrating achievements of Aboriginal Peoples. Hopefully the recognition will also encourage Indigenous Youth to strive through the obstacles they face, not only for a better future for themselves and their communities, but for all of us.



Module 3 ~ Post 2: Skills for the Modern World

Historically and euro-centered ideologies have been considered correct and other ways of believing and dealing with life have been considered wrong. So much so, that thousands of missionaries worked tirelessly to teach the “right” way.

In our course readings and videos thus far we have touched on how the ideologies of Indigenous peoples can help the world in the 21st century.   A non-indigenous author, Ulrich E Dupree believes that the traditional Hawaiian forgiveness Ritual, Ho’oponopono can help emotional heal families and relationships.

Nina Wagner, Co-founder of the non-profit organization, the Vanishing Cultures Project believes that Indigenous Cultures could save the modern world from itself.   Noting that the “modern world needs the perspectives and wisdom of indigenous and traditional peoples now more than ever”.

Indigenous cultures did not fail to become modernized. They were cultures that developed based on ideologies that respected the land and sought a spiritual connection with the world they were in. Indigenous cultures can teach us ways we can stay mentally and physically healthy, and care for our world.

National Geographic author and advocate for indigenous cultures Wade Davis said, “All these peoples’ cultures teach us of other ways of being, other ways of thinking, other ways of orienting yourself in the earth. And this is an idea, if you really think about, that can only fill you with hope.”


Davis, Wade. “Dreams from endangered cultures.” Wade Davis: Dreams from endangered cultures | TED Talk,

“Understanding The Ancient Hawaiian Practice Of Forgiveness.” Collective Evolution, 2 Dec. 2016,

Wegner, Nina. “How Indigenous Cultures Can Save the Modern World.” The Huffington Post,, 6 Feb. 2012,

Module 3 – Post 1: Sacred Indigenous Sites visited by Tourists

Thousands of tourists visit sacred Indigenous sites throughout the world every year. Controversy about benefits and consequences of allowing tourists into these sites does not only only occur between Indigenous communities and governments, but among the Aboriginals themselves.

“The Big Red Rock” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular tourist destination, and although there have been signs around the formation asking people to respect the spiritual significance of the structure by abstain from climbing it, thousands of visitors ignore the signs and climb it anyway. Sammy Wilson, an Uluru Park board chairman and native Aboriginal notes that because of Uluru’s popularity the Anangu Peoples felt pressured to continue to allow tourists to climb the rock, which is a taboo in their culture. In the past they also hoped that tourism would help provide jobs for youth at nearby resorts.

The Australian government has taken the unprecedented step to ban tourists from climbing Uluru Rock, a sacred Anagu Aboriginals site, has been met with both applause and criticism.

Some tourist organizations, along with Northern Territory Chief Adam Giles argues that by closing Uluru to climbers the Indigenous communities around it loose income from potential tourists. While others argue that the ban may spike visitations if Indigenous communities develop educational experiences for tourists where they can learn about the ban and the spiritual significance of Uluru.

Increase interest in Eco-tourism is leading opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous communities struggle with finding a balance between protecting spiritual territories and respecting traditions with teaching others and making a living. In 2014 an Aboriginal Tourism Operator was rebuked by his own Nation for showing members of the press a traditional burial site and disturbing the burial box.


Hallinan, Bridget. “Visitors Will Soon Be Banned from Climbing Australia’s Uluru Rock.” Condé Nast Traveler, CondÉ Nast Traveler, 1 Nov. 2017,

Hamilton, Wawmeesh G. “Aboriginal tourism operator rebuked for opening burial boxes for travellers.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 22 Sept. 2014,

Marks, Kathy. “Is it ‘ludicrous’ to ban climbers from Uluru?” BBC News, BBC, 11 May 2016,

Globalization and its impact on indigenous communities – Chris Cramer

In my third research weblog I decided to collect some recent resources that give me a better understanding of how globalization (driven in huge parts by a rapidly developing internet infrastructure) impacts indigenous communities. This will contribute to my research essay about the impact of internet infrastructure in remote indigenous communities and consequences for distance education.

The impact of globalization on Indigenous Intellectual Property and Cultures

Lecture by Professor Dr. Erica-Irene A. Daes, 25 May 2004, Museum of Sydney, Sydney Australia.


Globalization of Cultural Heritage: Issues, Impacts, and Inevitable Challenges for Nigeria

Culture is the totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects and behaviour. It includes the ideas, value, customs and artefacts of a group of people (Schaefer, 2002). Culture is a pattern of human activities and the symbols that give these activities significance. It is what people eat, how they dress, beliefs they hold and activities they engage in. It is the totality of the way of life evolved by a people in their attempts to meet the challenges of living in their environment, which gives order and meaning to their social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious norms and modes of organisation thus distinguishing people from their neighbours. In Federal Republic of Nigeria (1988), culture comprises material, institutional, philosophical and creative aspects.

The process of expanding culture has been under way for many centuries, but technologies have increased the speed and have also broadened the distribution of cultural elements beyond communities and nations’ territorial frontiers.


Globalisation and crisis of cultural identity

Globalization is a dynamic process which impacts differentially on various cultures around the world. It permeates cultural boundaries and in the process results in the spread of Western ideologies and values across the world. This paper investigates the relationship between globalization and cultural identity crisis underlying assumption that globalization is manifested in the intercultural penetration processes which have substantial effects on the cultural identities.


Globalization: its impacts on indigenous communities

According to the Anthropological Survey a total of 4,635 communities are now to be found in India. Out of this total, ‘tribal’ or Indigenous communities number 732. Under globalization. The impact of globalization on the Indigenous communities is manifold, and often they are ones most negatively affected. Under globalization, it is the tribal Indigenous areas that have had to face the attacks of massive developmental projects. Cases of displacement of tribal populations have increased in India. Commercial activities have also introduced alien forces, cultures and influences into the traditionally insulated life and culture of the Indigenous peoples. Deprivation of land and forests are the worst forms of oppression that these people experience. It has resulted in the breakdown of community life and a steady cultural death or ‘ethnocide ‘. The tribal people are exterminated by a process of attrition, through which their lands are taken away, their rivers poisoned, their cultures undermined and their lives made intolerable. Hunters and gatherers, forest produce collectors, fisherfolk, both inland and marine, and the rural artisans are the victims of globalization and modern development through appropriation of people’s resources for industrial advancement, especially in association with capital-intensive, machine-oriented technology.


Globalization and its Special and Significant Impacts on Indigenous Communities 

Globalization is really a painting of the earth whose rendering can never be truly fixed. Yet, it is emblematic of the social dimensions of human interactions. Globalization has particular urgency for the world’s Indigenous Peoples. Many Indigenous systems of collective economic production and distribution do not conform to capitalism’s cultural emphasis on individual accumulation. This manuscript explores the challenges to Indigenous societies from economic hegemonic regimes, bioprospecting, nature conservation, and extended continuing and derivative impacts. Crucially, Indigenous Peoples do not passively accede to domination by global market forces. Resistance, negotiation, and consultation are common features of Indigenous communities’ interactions with transnational corporations and international economic policy bodies, but the definition and content of these terms play out very differently for distinct societies. The article suggests appropriate protocols for engaging Indigenous societies and recognizes alternatives to domination. It concludes with an examination of how Indigenous Peoples may be embracing internet technologies to further their claims to self-determination.



Daes, E. (2012, December 13). The impact of globalization on Indigenous Intellectual Property and Cultures. Retrieved November 05, 2017, from

Globalization: its impacts on indigenous communities. (2011). Retrieved November 05, 2017, from

Hershey, Robert, Globalization and its Special and Significant Impacts on Indigenous Communities (May 26, 2012). Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 12-19. Retrieved November 05, 2017, from

Kaul, V. (2012). Globalisation and crisis of cultural identity. Retrieved November 05, 2017, from

Nwegbu, M. U., Eze, C. C., & Asogwa, B. E. (2011). Globalization of Cultural Heritage: Issues, Impacts, and Inevitable Challenges for Nigeria. Retrieved November 05, 2017, from



Weblog 3 – Kenny Jamieson

Mi’gmaq Language Resources

This first resource is a collection of language resources for the Mi’gmaq language.  What is interesting about this web resource is it is one that utilizes a variety of different tools for teaching the language.  This is one of the more comprehensive resources that I have discovered so far.  The Learning Mi’gmaq online portion of the resource is extremely detailed and set up in such a way that it can be used both by individuals and as a classroom support tool.  The learning portion of the site also provides descriptions of how to say words and situations that they would be used in.  Each section has an audio portion so that people can pick up on the intricacies of the words and phrases being learned.  In addition to this main resource, the web page also has a quizlet section, a wiki page, a blog, a dictionary and links to both the Facebook and Twitter pages for the group.

Tusaalanga – Learn the Inuit Language

This is a second teaching a language based resource that can be used as a comparison to the first.  This resource is again quite comprehensive as a tool and collection of words and phrases from the Inuit language.  This website is also set up to allow individuals to progress through at their own pace and to benefit from hearing how words and phrases are said.  The lesson structure for this site is not quite as user friendly as the first tool, but it is set up in a sensible order.  Much like the first resource, the feel of this tool is that it was designed after traditional second or additional language courses.  It chooses to focus on words and phrases that people may think are important to know when attempting to learn a language.  These first two resources also create an opportunity to ensure that their particular language is preserved and that learning it is made accessible to people who may live outside of the respective community.

First Peoples Principles of Learning

The third resource that I wanted to include this week can be used for many different purposes.  I chose to explore it from the standpoint of evaluating the first two resources and seeing how well they fit in with the First People’s principles of learning philosophy.  As many web based language tools are likely being used by individuals and not in a face-to-face or group setting, it is important to evaluate if those tools are causing users to miss out on the important cultural aspect of language.  Within this blog, the piece that I found related the most to my topic is the section that focuses on connectedness and sense of place.  This section talks about how learning is a social process that benefits from the support of family and community.  It can be helpful to critically evaluate the various online language learning tools that are available.  In addition, educators may find this resource to be quite useful as a tool for better understanding the First People’s principles of learning.

Globe and Mail – Indigenous Language vital to telling Canada’s story

The last two artifacts that I have included in this post focus on the impact of language loss on communities and cultures.  This first, is written by former Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson, and provides an interesting perspective on the importance of preserving Indigenous languages.  The main argument in the article is that Canada has shown to be a country that accepts a variety of languages and though we are officially a bilingual country, it is understood that many people speak a different language at home.  The article goes on to highlight the drastic decline in fluent speakers of Indigenous languages, in particular in British Columbia where for many Indigenous languages, only about one in twenty Indigenous people are fluent in their native language.  Clarkson makes a strong argument that Indigenous languages are unique from other languages because of their importance to culture, heritage and individual identity.  She states that “losing one’s language is like losing all freedom of expression.”  As this article is written by someone previously in a government position, it allows some insight into how people outside of Indigenous communities can view language loss.

The Youth Journal – Language Loss

I found this article to be quite interesting as it provides a youth’s perspective on language loss and its impact on culture and communities.  The writer of this post is not Indigenous, but she provides some interesting insight into the issues that various communities can face.  From her writing, the passion she has for this topic is quite clear and it definitely highlights the impact that language loss can have on people, communities and cultures.  The article focuses mostly on Canada and highlights the challenge faced by Indigenous communities as many of the fluent speakers of their respective languages are adults and elders.  In addition, the article focuses on the impact that language assimilation can have on language loss.  This is quite relevant to our current and past education systems.

Aboriginal Tourism and Technological Language Tools

The Fraser River Journey video got me wondering what kind of options are available for those who would like to immerse themselves in communities, activities and experiences that would allow them to learn more about Indigenous cultures and languages. To my surprise, I discovered that there are quite a few websites that provide these opportunities.

How can visitors best explore Canada’s indigenous culture?

This article provides an overview of Indigenous experiences available in many provinces across Canada. From restaurants and hotels serving traditional food and displaying art from Indigenous artists, to museums and tours, there are many informational and educational options available.

Quebec Aboriginal Tourism

The Quebec Aboriginal Tourism Association’s vision is to “create activities that are conducive to the social and economic development of the Aboriginal communities of Quebec” (QATC, 2011). Through different forms of tourism, they help preserve and promote the traditions that are specific to the eleven Aboriginal Nations of Quebec. The website also provides information about the different Nations, as well as news, videos and images.

Aboriginal Canada

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) is a “non-profit organization that is committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada” (ATAC, 2017). The website provides information on First Nation, Metis and Inuit People as well as a breakdown of the various regions and provinces. There is also an extensive list of activities, experiences, villages, expeditions and hotels/lodges that are offered across the country.


One of the themes that has been discussed throughout the course is how and if technology can help preserve languages. I was shown a website and a program by my students that they use in their Cree Language class and I thought they might be helpful for those who are exploring this topic for their final project.

EastCree is a website dedicated to the language, spoken mostly in the James Bay area of Northern Quebec. The site has been running since 2000 and has information for two dialects: the Northern dialect and the Southern dialect. There is a stories section in which “you can hear the language and in the texts subsection you can also read it in syllabics. We are restoring old tapes of Cree stories as well as collecting new ones” (, 2017). The site also provides information about grammar, lesson and games to learn Cree syllabics and vocabulary, as well as terminology and dictionary pages.

Field Linguist’s Toolbox – East Cree Syllabics

The Field Linguist’s Toolbox is a program designed by SIL International. This nonprofit organization is trying to encourage sustainable language development. Through research, translation and training, they put together a data management and analysis tool for field linguists.  Below is an example of the toolbox that is installed on the computers at the school I work in and was created from numerous contributions from people within the school board. It includes key words, the East Cree Syllabics, the East Cree Southern spellings and English definitions. This is an interesting application of how technology can help preserve language.