Tag Archives: Community


  1. Lakeview’s Circle of Courage

This video was created by the students at Lakeview Elementary School in Quesnel, BC. The children at the school demonstrated the 4 components from the Circle of Courage (belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity) through the use of acting, animation and documentary. The focus of my group’s research paper is looking for educational benefits for the dominant society in addition to the Indigenous community. “Indigenous knowledge is not just for Indigenous peoples, but is a way of thinking holistically about the connections between the natural world and human consciousness” (Marker, 2017). This video demonstrates how a variety of students, both of Indigenous and non-Indigenous decent, used their knowledge of the four components of the Circle of Courage and create examples that they may encounter in their everyday life. The commentary in the video is not always fitting as some of them were laughing and what not, but overall the examples were well done. Lastly, the students utilized technology very well in this video. Lastly, the children in the video did a great job of using the Core Competencies (communication, thinking, and personal & social) from BC’s Redesigned Curriculum to apply what they are learning into a meaningful way.


  1. Global News: Failing Canada’s First Nations Children

This video made me realize the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in all communities, especially highly populated Indigenous communities. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) describes social and emotional learning (SEL) as, “The process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions” (CASEL, 2017). SEL has become a framework for how educators, families, and community partners to promote students’ social, emotional and academic learning. According to Statistics Canada, Aboriginal children represent the fastest growing segment [on and off reserves] of Canada’s population (Statistics Canada, 2017); yet, they are the lowest ranking group in the country in terms of health status, as well as social, emotional, and economic well-being (National Association of Friendship Centres, 2017). Canada funds First Nations students wanting to attend high school off Reserve but doesn’t keep track of how many students receive that funding. First Nation’s students must make sacrifices when attending these schools, one being boarding with a stranger. It is extremely hard because they are so far away from their families; living with unknown people and going to school with a bunch of strangers – it doesn’t really feel like home. How can we provide a meaningful education, while meeting the social and emotional needs of these students? “It’s devastating to know that the kids that you’re sending out to get an education come back in a body bag” (Global News, 2016). Racism makes these children feel like an outsider when it comes to afterschool hours, “I mean you come out here and you’re different … you’re looked at differently” (Global News, 2016). The problem is that on some reserves, the primary schools are falling apart, with no high schools at all. When the kids finish Grade 8 they have a tough decision to make – stay here and not get a high school diploma or move away. The rates of unemployment are high, and so are the rates of poverty, addiction and suicide. The Canadian government need to provide the same level of child welfare services on reserves that exist elsewhere.

Module 3 Post 1 (Karyn Recollet)

I have included the academic/artist, Karyn Recollet (Plains Cree), because of her focus on decolonization through the reclamation of space and imagery in connection with grassroots artistic and activist practice. Her writings, nicely position Indigenous resistance through remix culture in context with the historical resistance against settler occupation.

 The below articles, can be accessed through UBC library.

Glyphing decolonial love through urban flash mobbing and Walking with our Sisters

Here Recollet connects two movements, Idle No More Flash Mob Round Dance and the Walking with Our Sisters Movement to the historical usage of glyph making. In her writing, she argues that these forms of resistance are not new to Indigenous culture; rather, extensions of traditional practice. In this way, these forms of resistance through art and movement help reposition and reconnect Indigenous cultures.

Gesturing Indigenous Futurities Through the Remix

In this article, Recollet uses the work of Ay I Oh Stomp as a case study to investigate the possibilities of a the remix as an artistic tool to decolonize settler identity constructions and ultimately create new identity possibilities.


Justin’s Module 3- Post 2 & 3

Post #2- Circle of Courage (STARR Website)

As I’m focussing my research on the “Circle of Courage,” I stumbled upon the STARR website which is dedicated to the mission of creating positive environments where children and families flourish. This organization specializes in residential, community-based, educational and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults and families in communities around the world.

The “Circle of Courage,” came from the book “Reclaiming Youth,” which is a holistic program based on traditional Aboriginal ways of knowing, personal development and community values. In 1997, this website founded Reclaiming Youth International (RYI) which offers strength-based training to professionals such as teachers, counsellors, social workers, psychologists and others working with children and youth to become resilient.

RYI’s uses the “Circle of Courage,” to identify the four universal needs of every child: belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This model is trauma-informed and resilience-focused. Many Indigenous children around the world face challenges daily, including: drugs, violence, gang activity, conflict, trouble in school, and so much more. The model is designed to encourage kids to feel safe and comfortable in an environment of understanding and acceptance.

In addition, there is a resource page that you can access: CLICK HERE


Post #3- First Nations Principle of Learning

When researching about Reclaiming Youth at Risk, I began to look into the co-author of the book, Dr. Martin Brokenleg. Dr. Brokenleg co-developed the Circle of Courage model and provides worldwide training for individuals who work with children/youth at risk. He is a retired professor and was most recently Director of Native Ministries and Professor of First Nations Theology at the Vancouver School of Theology. The following website is a list of publications that he wrote: CLICK HERE.

Dr. Brokenleg has talked about the following topics: Reclaiming Youth at Risk, Growing Your Own Kids, Intergenerational Trauma, Creating a Positive Youth Culture, Building Strengths – Early Childhood, Culture in Classroom, and many more. Since my topic for the final project focuses on Reclaiming Youth at Risk, I will provide a short blurb about the story and an informational video of one of his talks.

For thousands of years, American Indian cultures nourished respectful and courageous children without employing punitive discipline.  Now, recent youth development research is revealing the essential elements in raising confident, caring children.  Drawing on his research with Drs. Larry Brendtro and Steve Van Bockern in their book, Reclaiming Youth at Risk, Dr. Martin Brokenleg presents information on the Circle of Courage which offers concrete strategies for creating environments in which all young people can grow and flourish. Dr. Brokenleg has a resource page that you can access on his personal website: martinbrokenleg.com/resources where you can access more information about his workshop opportunities and presentation slides.

School District 27 (Cariboo/Chilcotin) in the Central Interior of BC put forth an informational video which features Dr. Martin Brokenleg talking about how educators can use the Circle of Courage in their classrooms. At the 2:45 mark of the video, it begins to explain the Circle of Courage model.

Weblog of Websites 1 – Technology in BC

For this first Weblog Posting, I choose to try and focus on a few different areas.  This is an area of study that I am brand new to and feel as if my knowledge is currently quite limited.  I spread my focus onto first understanding the geographic location of the various Indigenous communities, then focusing on Indigenous organizations within British Columbia that have a technology component, and then adjusting my search to focus on looking at the impact of technology on language in Indigenous communities.  The following are some of the various resources or sites that I visited and explored.

  1. First Nations Profiles Interactive Map – http://fnpim-cippn.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca/index-eng.html

This first resource can be used to help identify the geographic location of the First Nations and Indigenous communities across Canada.  This is a very helpful tool for those who may not be overly familiar with the communities that are around them.  Within the interactive map, users can find information about the reserves in the area, links to the specific community’s website, and links to further information provided through the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada government site.

  1. First Nations Technology Council – http://www.technologycouncil.ca/

This link is for the First Nations Technology Council, which is an organization whose focus is on ensuring that the First Nations communities in British Columbia are able to have internet access and the ability to use digital technologies effectively.  Among many goals, one that the Council has is to provide training and education programs focused around developing digital skills.  The most interesting parts of the site are the Talent Development, Bridging to Technology and Knowledge Network tabs.  On those pages, visitors can find various ways to get involved in programs centered around technology or to connect with possible mentors.  The Knowledge Network tab allows you to connect to the First Nations in BC Knowledge Network (https://fnbc.info/), which is a site developed by the FTNC to share resources amongst the various Indigenous communities in BC.  Though to access the resources, you must sign up as a member.

  1. Denise Williams on Internet Technology and First Nations Education https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1RUesqalw4&t=6s 

Denise Williams is Executive Director of the First Nations Technology Council.  After identifying her role, I was able to discover this video of where she shares her views on Internet Technology and First Nations Education.  One of the main points that she makes in the video, is that through increased access to the internet, Indigenous communities can benefit from having better access to resources and experts.  She also goes on to discuss the digital divide that can occur for students depending on how effectively they can access necessary resources and utilize digital technologies.  In addition to her video, many other engaging and interesting videos of similar topics are available in the “Up Next” or “Suggested Videos” sections.

  1. First Voices – http://www.firstvoices.com/en/apps

This site is focused on providing a platform for Indigenous communities to archive and share their language.  Within the site, there are a wide variety of languages available to access, learn about and practice words and phrases.  Each language is offered its own platform, which contains audio files, games, and other useful links or tools.  Most interesting about this site, is the apps page.  Through here, you can find a link to the iOS and Android apps stores, where you can download the First Voices Keyboard app.  This app contains software that allows users to change their mobile devices keyboard to their mother language.  The keyboard software is currently available for over 100 languages of Indigenous communities across North America, Australia and New Zealand.

  1. Kwi Awt Stelmexw: A platform for Arts and Education – https://www.kwiawtstelmexw.com/

This website focuses on promoting the Squamish Peoples culture, language and heritage.  The staff and volunteers involved with the organization look to find ways to allow people to engage with Squamish heritage and to provide educational opportunities based around Squamish culture and language.  The education page on the site provides insight into the different educational programs and opportunities offered.  The main focus within that section is on teaching the Squamish Peoples language and helping those who want to learn and preserve their language.

Module 4: Place and Displacement

  1. Knowing the Land Beneath Our Feet

Knowing the Land Beneath Our Feet is an Augmented Reality tour of the land on which sits the University of British Columbia. Upon watching the creators’ video, we see their intention is to educate and provide the opportunity to connect with the land (unceded Musqueam land). Links below include Eleanor Hoskins blog post entitled “Place Based Learning Technologies” as well as detailed background information about Knowing the Land Beneath Our Feet. Is learning truly place-based when it is virtual? Can one truly connect with the land when it isn’t a real environment? Could augmented reality help people who feel displaced to connect to place – from a distance? Could the creation of such a virtual tour help Aboriginal youth articulate and develop their knowledge of place?






  1. First Mile

First Mile promotes and supports ICTs in rural Aboriginal communities across Canada. The site has a “Community Stories” section which highlights digital developments in these communities, from global citizenship workshops, to how communities are using social media, to physical connectivity. These community stories could serve to inform other participating and nonparticipating communities of potential uses for ICTs in their community. The site also hosts published research related to rural Indigenous communities, technology, and the challenges they may face. It isn’t surprising to see that different challenges are faced and addressed differently depending on the community. Is willingness to welcome digital technologies a major factor in these projects?



  1. Modern Science, Native Knowledge

In contrast to Tim Michel’s thoughts in his interview for week 12 where he indicates that Indigenous people are and feel displaced, this video produced by The Natural Conservancy, emphasizes how the Heiltsuk people feel a direct connection to and responsibility for the land (The Great Bear Rainforest). This is interesting given the detrimental effects of colonization on the Heiltsuk. Jessy Housty articulates the importance of place when it comes to identity, “we don’t make sense anywhere else in the world, this is our place and we have a responsibility to take care of it”. Like when Dr. Walsh (below, see post 4) discusses using multiple ways of knowing to conserve the environment, this too is emphasized, in particular the knowledge of the Heiltsuk people. Is it fair for this responsibility to lie on Aboriginal people, specifically in the preservation of the Great Bear Rainforest? Isn’t it at risk as a result of colonization?


  1. Australia’s Biodiversity: Indigenous Perspectives

Dr. Fiona Walsh, explains the interconnectedness between biodiversity, place, and Aboriginal people in Australia. As an elementary school teacher, who has taught “biodiversity” for a number of years from an exclusively Western perspective, the way Dr. Walsh explains the relationship between humans and plants, from the perspective of using as much knowledge from multiple sources (western science, aboriginal knowledge), provides a good example of how to approach the BC curriculum with Indigenous worldviews authentically. As environmental concerns grow, place-based learning and indigenous worldviews seem to be at the forefront, Dr. Walsh echoes this, suggesting the more knowledge we have, the better equipped we will be to conserve the environment.


  1. Aboriginal communities embrace technology, but they have unique cyber safety challenges


The digital divide in rural aboriginal communities and in lower socio-economic communities is one thing, but there are other challenges that arise in communities that may not have the digital fluency that is required in order to use the internet/devices safely. This article highlights some of the challenges in security and protocol when people in Aboriginal communities have access to a limited amount of technology. This article reminds us that things like cyber safety, money, online passwords, texting, etc. are all products of western society.




Indigenous Knowledge and Community

While completing the readings and viewing the videos for this module, I developed a curiosity for Indigenous knowledge and community.  I wondered how media is used within indigenous communities to share and teach their knowledge within their communities and with others around the world.

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-9-23-22-pmThe first link is to a YouTube video titled “Do You Speak My Language?” created by youth at We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq School in Nova Scotia.  The video is directed and produced by Mi’kmaq youth who interview members of all ages within the community.  The focus questions revolve around learning the Mi’kmaq language, Mi’kmaw.

The second resource is a link to an article titled, ‘As If Indigenous Knowledge and Communities Mattered: Transformative Education in First Nations Communities in Canada,’ written by Jessica Ball.  Media is not so much as considered an important factor in this study, but the findings is of relevance to any indigenous community, is shared via the internet.  The article describes a ‘generative curriculum model’ that was used in a case study completed in collaboration with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council and the University of Victoria.  In the case study, community members were invited to collaboratively teach post-secondary curriculum to help build relevance and connection of European written curricula to the Cree and Dene Aboriginal communities.

The third resource is a link to a media research company called Kwusen Research and Media, which specializes in conducting ‘community-based research on traditional knowledge ad land use,’ used for environmental impact assessments.  They use what they call a ‘participatory approach’ which ’emphasizes community capacity building to engage Indigenous communities in researching their own traditions and land use practices.’  They provide expertise in documenting video, websites, and web-based mapping techniques.  The Community Knowledge Keeper used by Kwusen, is a customized online mapping and data management system which archives support consultation, environmental research, and traditional land use studies for Indigenous communities to share, when faced with land and resource management issues.


An example of work completed by Kwusen is called The Buffalo Hunters with the Mikiswe Cree First Nation.

The fourth resource is an article written by CBC News titled, ‘5 Independent Indigenous Media Sourced To Check Out Online.’  This article discusses how various Indigenous communities across Canada are using media to voice their issues and stories.  Newspapers, websites, radio programs, television stations and magazines have become mainstream within the communities, and with the use of the internet, have become accessible to everyone.

The fifth and final resource is an article titled, ‘Social Media in Remote First Nations Communities.’  The study took place in the Sioux Lookout region of Northwestern Ontario, and explored the link between social networking sites and community resilience.  The evidence of the study suggests of those who lived in the community and were frequent users of social networking sites, created a network of interconnection of information, resources and social activity among each other within the community, as well as in the outlying communities.

Module 3 – Post 2: Emergent Indigenous Identities and Social Media

Carlson, B. (2013). The ‘new frontier’: Emergent Indigenous identities and social media. In M. Harris, M. Nakata & B. Carlson (Eds.), The Politics of Identity: Emerging Indigeneity (pp. 147-168). Sydney: University of Technology Sydney E-Press

This article, while focusing on Indigenous populations in Australia, provides for some interesting insight as to how social media has given rise to significant cultural and social interaction among Aboriginal people and groups. By way of a content analysis, this article contends that popular social media sites, like Facebook, are becoming popular vehicles amongst Aboriginal people, to build, display, and perform Aboriginal identities. Likewise, Aboriginal users take advantages of Facebook as a site for self-representation and as a tool to communicate their Aboriginal identity to other social media users in online communities.

Module 1- Post 5: FirstMile

The FirstMile is a website developed by a partnership between the University of New Brunswick and three First Nations organizations that provide broadband and digital services to communities in their respective regions.  The website focuses on providing connectivity from the perspective of a community of First Nations with the underlying goal that broadband systems are established by and used deliver services to their own communities. The website offers community success stories, news, research publications, and other resources relating to matters of First Nation ownership, control, access to local broadband networks and the data flowing through them.  It provides an interesting look at the way in which First Nations communities are attempting to reframe broadband development and infrastructure in First Nations and inuit communities.

Module 1- Post 3: Community Resilience Through Social Media Use

Ever since I stumbled on the Idle No More movement, I’ve become really interested in social media use by Indigenous people.  Of course, social media is a platform widely used in order to find an audience for airing grievances, but with social media’s capacity for connecting and mobilizing groups, I sought out examples of how Indigenous groups were using this to their advantage.  I came across a study, Research in Brief: Social Media in Remote First Nations Communities, that explores the link between social media and community resilience among some of the most remote First Nation communities in Canada.  The study goes in to quite a bit of depth about the the links between travel and communication online, the ways in which social media are used to preserve culture and maintain communication, and the implications of social networking for community resilience.