Category Archives: Uncategorized

Module 4- Post 4: “Is The Crown at War With Us?” : Paul Waterlander

Nobody surpasses Canadian Aboriginal (Abenaki) filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin when it comes to spotlighting political issues that impact Canada’s Aboriginal population.

Is the Crown at War With Us?  is yet another example of the power technology provides when it comes to creating a political voice to those normally oppressed.

This film centres around the on-going battle of the Miq’mac Nation’s Aboriginal right to fish for lobster in New Brunswick.

Again, Obomsawin uses her access as an Aboriginal filmmaker to go into the Miq’mac communities and interview the people directly.  You see and hear the emotion and the plea by the Miq’mac on how they just want to have the opportunity to carry on their traditions, eat a healthier diet based on nature’s bounty, and perhaps make a little bit of extra cash by selling a few lobsters every year.

It is shocking to hear that the Miq’mac have a Canadian Supreme Court ruling that allows them the right to make a “modest living” fishing for lobster, yet the Canadian government continues to arrest the Miq’mac who are practicing their Aboriginal right to hunt and fish.  Tempers flare as the non-Aboriginal fishermen in the area protest and cut the ropes off of Miq’mac lobster traps as they blame the Miq’mac for getting special privileges they do not get in the lobster fishing season.

This video would be an excellent choice to show in a classroom.  Very powerful and eye-opening.  Obomsawin is a master in story-telling, and investigates the history and the heart of the issue which the mainstream media often ignore.

You can watch the entire film for free here (stream only, not downloadable unless you want to pay.)

Module 3 Post 2 (Rise)

Directed by Michelle Lattimer and hosted by Sarain Fox, Rise is a Viceland produced documentary series that explores how Indigenous Peoples across the Americas are resisting colonization, cultural genocide and environmental destruction through direct action. The series travels to meet the communities and provides a platform for Indigenous voice within mainstream settler culture. In the CBC article , This is a political fight’: Doc series Rise brings Indigenous resistance to Sundance and beyond, Lattimer explains that the series isn’t just about the Sundance thematic theme of the environment, she explains:

“It’s about sovereignty and liberation. So when you see the Trump administration coming in, as well as in Canada where the government has approved three major pipelines cutting through various Indigenous territories — I think with that kind of political willpower and power of the state, it’s a war on Indigenous people.”

In addition to the above article, Indian Country Today interview Lattimer and Fox in trhe writing VICELAND RISE Series: A Conversation With The Indigenous Women Hosts. In the interview, Fox and Latimer describe the process involved in making the series as well as what they hope to accomplish.

Additional Press: RabbleReal Screen



Module 3 Post 5 (Jarrett Martineau)

Jarrett Martineau is a digital media artist, and academic whose work is focused on the relationships and interconnectedness of digital media, storytelling and social movements. His academic work focuses on how media can inform political resistance and action.

Though Jarrett’s work is extensive and includes very diverse content, I have posted a few notable projects below.


A CBC radio podcast that explores how Indigenous artists are reclaiming culture through music.

Revolutions Per Minute

A record label focusing on supporting the promotion and distribution on Indigenous music throughout Turtle Island. In addition to co-founding this label, Jarrett has also helped to distribute RPM’s music through their own streaming platform.

Decolonizing Media

Is a media producer, blog and apparel company that focuses on supporting community resistance through the reclamation of settler imagery. The goal of this organization is to challenge the false identities of Indigenous through remix culture.


Entry 4: imagine NATIVE

Imagine Native is a Toronto based Indigenous run media company. They are a non-profit society with the aim of  distributing a breadth of Indigenous created media content. In addition to organizing film festivals and screenings, they offer workshops and resources for emerging artists (

Hidden in their publication page, there are numerous topical essays related to arts and technology. This content is worth a lengthy glance.  They also offer a quick preview for their film festival content.

This is a great resource to find films that are not advertised or supported by large format media.


Module 1- Post 4: “Indian Country Today” News Site Paul Waterlander

Using technology to harness the power of amplifying Indigenous issues is the goal for the Indian Country Today website.  This is a one-stop site for all interested in seeing what is important to the Indigenous people mostly focused in North America, but also venture to other global locations.  The reporters and columnists are Indigenous.  This is an important distinction.  News for, and by, Indigenous people.  The stories I browsed were a scattering of all topics.  They cover legal matters ( U.S. treaty rights), protests ( Idle No More), historical ( the real Pocahontas) and political cartoons (First Nations cartoonist Marty Two Bulls) and entertainment (an interview with Indigenous actor Adam Beach.)

Indian Country Today is an important source for any looking for the genuine and authentic Indigenous point of view about the world today.





Traditional Knowledge and Environmental Science – Susan Beeley

In working though my final research paper one of the remarkable discoveries I made was the increasingly important role that traditional knowledge is playing in the environmental sciences and resource management.  This makes sense given the value Aboriginal populations bestow upon “place” and the collection of information and data through observation that is passed orally from one generation to the next for hundreds of years.  The recognition of the valuable contribution that traditional knowledge can make to the sciences has resulted in greater collaborative efforts when designing policy  or making decisions.

West Coast Environmental Law Blog

While this particular blog is from 2015, it discusses the experience of a lawyer who was invited to speak at a conference on “Best Practices in the Use of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in Resource Management”  which was held in the Yukon.  Some of the questions asked at the conference included:

  • What does Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) provide to wildlife management that science-based knowledge does not?
  • How can scientists and ATK holders better communicate and work with each other?
  • How is ATK best documented, communicated and shared?
  • What institutional arrangements and prejudices exist that undermine or disadvantage the treatment and use of ATK in research and resource-management decision-making? How could these obstacles be overcome?
  • Where findings from science and ATK-based research conflict, how could these differences be addressed?

Where ATK is being given this sort of focus out in the “real world”, it occurs to me that we really must be doing more to expose students to ATK and encourage them to be open minded about the value of ATK and perspectives other than Western Science.

Assembly of First Nations:  First Nations Ethics Guide on Research and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (PDF)

This paper was written for the purposes of discussion only, it is not an official document.  Despite this, in light of our readings about issues that surround both the research methods used by settlers to uncover information about “other”, and the issues around use or mis-use of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge, this document provides some groundwork for understanding so that collaboration can be successful and mutually beneficial.

Aboriginal Women and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK)

This document specifically discusses the important role that women play in environmental stewardship the transmission of ATK particularly where it pertains to information around natural resources and their use in healing, health and well being.  Further, it provides an opportunity for Aboriginal Women to voice their concerns to Environment Canada about what aspects of ATK are of greatest importance/concern.  Women’s role in producing better environmental outcomes in the areas of   wildlife research,  decisions made under the Species at Risk Act, environmental and ecosystem monitoring, and other environmental and wildlife conservation activities has been recognized and rationale is provided for continuing to draw on their input as part of the decision making process.

Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards

The Seas community initiative  provides local programs designed to “engage, develop, prepare and empower Indigenous youth to become the next generation of stewards in their communities and territories.”  These programs integrate Western Science and ATK and involve both classroom and summer internship components.  The programs are a truly collaborative and cooperative community effort, drawing on the skills and knowledge of administration, Elders, teachers and community members in order to support the students’ learning journey.

TRACKS Youth Program

TRent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science (TRACKS)  provides summer camp opportunities to Aboriginal communities and outreach activities year round.  Like Seas, Traditional Knowledge and Western science are integrated and the value of introducing students to such an integrated approach has been recognized.  And so, the aims of the camps and outreach programs are to:

  • Instill a sense of pride for Indigenous Knowledge systems
  • Help students understand the interconnectedness of all living things
  • Demonstrate the balance of cultural values and scientific inquiry
  • Introduce youth to diverse knowledge systems and fields of study
  • Connect youth with strong, motivated and dynamic mentors
  • Encourage youth to think about math and science skills as potentially valuable skills in achieving their future goals.


Module 4: Post 3

IDX stands for Indigenous Digital Excellence, it is an organization that works to promote Indigenous participation, practice and entrepreneurship. They work with the Torres Straight Islander peoples in Australia to deliver content and work directly with the community to strengthen their digital economy in a constructive way. The IDX runs workshops and programs. They have a comprehensive strategic plan to ensure that they are reaching their goals. One of their main priorities is strengthening relationships and raising awareness about their organization. One way they are reaching this goal is by having the IDX awards which highlight successful projects and stories of those working in the technology industry.

Here is video about the organization:

Module 3 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

Below you will find some additional resources on Spirituality in Indigenous Education:

  • Battiste, M. (2008, March 26 -29). Nourishing the Learning Spirit: Elder’s Dialogue. Saskatoon, SK: Aboriginal Education Research Centre, University of Saskatchewwan. Retrieved from
    • This is an outline of the proceeds from a conference of elders from diverse language groups gathered to discuss the concepts of lifelong learning and the learning spirit.
    • They define the ‘learning journey’ as a “holistic outcome of diverse conditions, contexts, relationships, education, training, and connections with a living universe” (Battiste, 2008. p. 12).
    • They discuss how an acknowledgment of the spirit world is an integral part of the learning journey and must be honoured through ceremony and relationships with spiritual leaders in the community.


  • George, N. (2008). Aboriginal Adult Literacy: Nourishing Their Learning Spirits. Saskatoon, SK: Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved from
    • This is a literature review on Aboriginal literacy designed to provide information and direction for those working in the field of Aboriginal literacy.
    • It describes people as having a body, heart, mind and spirit, with spirit being the most important part because that is the essence of who you are. Therefore, they state that it is imperative that adult educators engage learners spiritually by helping them make meaning out of what they are learning, in order to help them answer their deepest questions, as these are a people who believe that we are one with creation, not separate from it.
    • The learning spirit is the state of being that facilitates learning and will help a person fulfill his/her purpose for being in this life.


  • Kitchen, J., Cherubini, L, Trudeau, L., & Hodson, J. (2009, Fall). Aboriginal education as cultural brokerage: New aboriginal teachers reflect on language and culture in the classroom. McGill Journal of Education, 44(3), 355-376. Retrieved from:
    • This is an interesting report on six Aboriginal teachers in Ontario using a talking circle to explore their roles as teachers as they prepare their students to walk between two parallel but very different worlds.
    • They state that Aboriginal education is oriented around a ‘spiritual centre’ and that it is important that aboriginal teachers attend to their own healing if they are going to be expected to heal and teach others.


  • Micallef, S. (2017, January 23). Our dreaming: The Indigenous link between the physical and the spiritual. SBS Radio. Retrieved from
    • “Our Aboriginal spirituality is a link from the past to the present a shared pathway that helps us to understand more about where we come from and who we are as people.” (Micalleff, 2017, para. 16).
    • This site tells a particular creation story. However, more importantly, it explains the importance of handing down ‘dreaming’ stories as part of Aboriginal education in Australia. These stories link people over time to physical places in creation. Micallef also describes how the land then becomes a cultural connection to their prehistoric history.


  • Weenie, A. (2012). Toward and understanding of the ecology of Indigenous education. Retrieved from
    • This article discusses the concept of ‘spiritual ecology’ which is the “application of special intellectual, ritual, psychological, and spiritual teaching tools that facilitated deep levels of learning and understanding” (Cajete, 1994, p. 223, as cited in Weenie, 2012, p. 59) and which is the essence of meaningful and constructive Indigenous curriculum.
    • For Weenie, ceremonies and traditional activities, like storytelling, provide a ‘spiritual sustenance’. In time, the deep significance of these teachings can induce direct and powerful understandings of basic truths about how to interact with the world.
    • The Elders teachings that ‘everything has a spirit’ leads to the principle of living in harmony with the environment and developing healthy communities.

M2: Cross-Cultural Science Teaching. Susan Beeley

I have, at this point, decided to stick to where the majority of my experience lies and work with Math and Science teaching and how to best give Indigenous ways of knowing value and authenticity within these subjects (though I will likely focus on Science).  For this reason I have spent the past few weeks trying to academically familiarize myself with some of the key foundations I am hoping my assignment will be based on.  My resources are, as a result, largely academic/scholarly papers.

Website: Siwal Si’wes Library

This is a digital collection of resources made available through Mission Public School District.  The intent is to support teachers as they attempt to integrate authentic Aboriginal knowledge and beliefs with the content of   BC’s new curriculum.  In addition to providing resources to support curriculum it has a wealth of information for anyone wanting to better understand how Aboriginal content enhances curriculum content.

Paper: Indigenous Knowledge and Science Revisited

This is another paper by Glen Aikenhead.  This paper is a “guided tour” through three different ways of knowing science and nature (Eurocentric, Indigenous, and neo-indigenous (many Asian nations).  The paper does a great job out outlining the key differences, of interest here, between Eurocentric and Indigenous ways of approaching both knowledge and what it means, and what it is to live in nature.  If further goes on to suggest some practical ways that the two views can be taught through the premise of two-eyed seeing, though this link is not explicitly made.  A summary paper of the key differences can be found at Two-eyed seeing: a cross-cultural science journey.

Paper: Two-Eyed Seeing and other lessons learned within a co-learning journey of bringing together indigenous and mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing.

This paper outlines the unfolding of the Integrated Sciences program at Cape Breton University.  This program was intended to put science learning into an Indigenous context in order to encourage Indigenous people to engage with and pursue further education and careers in science given a  recent history of limited numbers.  The central premise of the program was two-eyed seeing as presented by elder Albert Marshall.

Paper:  Sense of Place in the Practice and Assessment of Place Based Science Teaching.

Resources prior to this one have been focused largely on exploring the difference between Eurocentric Science and Indigenous ways of knowing in science.  A major difference between the two is the importance given to “place”.  If we are to integrate the two approaches to “science” successfully it provides an excellent starting point from which we can move forward in linking both approaches to the local environment and community.

Paper: A Deeper Sense of Place

This paper takes a more intimate look at how research in the field of science can draw upon the knowledge of local Indigenous populations to carry out truly collaborative research.  A number of topics are covered in the book, but the chapters that are of most interest to me involve consideration of climate change and of resource management.

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC)

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AbTeC is a network of academics, artists and technologists whose goal is to define and share conceptual and practical tools that will allow Native people to create new, Aboriginally-determined territories within the web-pages, online games, and virtual environments that we call cyberspace.


AbTeC’s roots lie with a project called CyberPowWow, a pioneering on-line gallery and chat space for contemporary Aboriginal art. It was through CyberPowWow that we realized that, even on the Internet, Native people need a self-determined place to call home.
From this beginning AbTeC has moved into training native youth how to use the tools to new media to express themselves through video games, websites and performance art.