The Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre site contains resources focused on information about the Coast Salish, particularly the Stó:lō. Originally established by the Aboriginal Rights and Title department, the body seeks to support and encourage all the Stó:lō to re-establish, protect and assert self-government through research, documentation and communication of Stó:lō rights and title. The Library contains additional resources such as maps, transcripts, oral history, photographs, video recordings, archaeological reports and unpublished material.
In determining resources for students to learn more about Aboriginal culture, I am finding that this course is very helpful in being more aware of choosing the most appropriate resources. The most authentic literature would be that written by Aboriginal people. However, I feel that with research, understanding and empathy, mainstream authors can also contribute. This year, the fictional story, “Reading the Bones” was one of the books chosen for the Reading Link Challenge for students in Grades 4 & 5. This meant that is was read by hundreds of students in British Columbia. This was a modern day story of a young girl living in Crescent Beach who discovers that the town lies atop a 5,000 year old Coast Salish Fishing Village. There is a story within the story, as we learn about the story of an ancient storyteller in the past. In the present story, we learn about the importance of knowing about and preserving the past but also that about the present Coast Salish community.
The book was written by Gina McMurchy- Barber who came to our school for an author visit. I can see this book being read as part of a Literature Circle, with students being asked to do additional research.
On the Path of the Elders, is a free role-playing video game that offers information on the Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe Peoples and the signing of Treaty No. Nine. The player can choose between six games, each having particular educational goals. The player must seek the advice of Elders and interact with other characters within the communities to achieve the goals. For each game, there are also teacher’s guides for grades 4-10 that contains the learning outcomes, activities, and suggested reflection and discussion topics.
In addition to the games, the site also has a rich gallery containing video (Elders stories), audio and photo collections, as well as information on the history of the Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe Peoples.
The article Game on! also addresses the possibilities of using video games as a means for students to learn about traditional knowledge and culture. Students from the department of anthropology and computer science at the University of Victoria, along with researchers, have designed a video game where the player is able to learn about the Coast Salish cultural landscape. As the player “travels” to culturally significant places, the game provides them with information of traditional knowledge through audio, video, maps and photographs.
These are perfect examples of how technology and media can help bridge the gap in education by incorporating Indigenous cultures and knowledges in ways that are engaging, fun and educational.