Tag Archives: indigenous knowledge

Module 4 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

The list of resources below continues my research into Indigenous spirituality and its incorporation into education. A more recent theme found is the link between spiritual strength and resiliency among Indigenous people.

  • Fleming, J., & Ledogar, R. J. (2008). Resilience and Indigenous spirituality: A literature review. Pimatisiwin, 6(2), 47-64. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956755/pdf/nihms762.pdf
    • This article discusses the uniqueness of Indigenous spirituality in that it is closely bound to cultural practices and daily living. Therefore, when researching the topic of Indigenous spirituality and resiliency, a holistic approach is needed.
    • One conceptual framework suggested is that of ‘enculturation’ or the degree to which spirituality is integrated within the culture which, in turn, leads to protective factors, such as better academic achievement and lower substance abuse.
    • Another framework is ‘cultural spiritual orientation’ which is also predictive of protective factors against substance abuse and suicide, but which can be distinguished from the specific spiritual beliefs of the tribe in question.
    • The goal of the research is to enable communities to use their own cultural and spiritual traditions to promote resilience.

 

  • Grieves, V. (2009). Aboriginal spirituality: A baseline for Indigenous knowledges development in Australia. The Candian Journal of Native Studies XXVIII(2), 363-398. Retrieved from http://www3.brandonu.ca/cjns/28.2/07Grieves.pdf
    • This article discusses how essential it is to include spirituality in any study looking at Indigenous knowledge. Spirituality is the basis for the cultural concept of ‘personhood’ which involves their relationship to others and to the world. It is intricately tied to the notion of well-being and thus must be included in any discussions of healing from colonization.

 

  • Ontario Human Rights Commission. (2017). Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed: 11. Indigenous spiritual practices. Retrieved from http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-preventing-discrimination-based-creed/11-indigenous-spiritual-practices
    • This website discusses the duty to accommodate Indigenous spiritual beliefs and practices under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
    • It begins by discussing the historical context of the suppression of Indigenous spirituality due to colonialism and the desire to prevent any further denigration of Indigenous spiritual practice.
    • The site discusses the legal framework which protects the rights of Indigenous people to practice their spiritual traditions.
    • It then goes on to describe some ceremonial practices and customs, including the scheduling of such events and the need for access to sacred sites and objects.

 

  • Stevens, N. (2010, November.) From the inside out: Spirituality as the heart of aboriginal helping in [spite of?] western systems. Native Social Work Journal, 7. Retrieved from https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/bitstream/10219/389/1/NSWJ-V7-art8-p181-197.pdf
    • This piece discusses the reclamation of traditional spiritual practices within Indigenous communities and specifically how spiritual strength fosters general resiliency.
    • It is written from a social worker’s perspective on how to honour and integrate the spirituality of Indigenous clients.
    • Stevens sees spirituality as an important component of healing for everyone, but for Indigenous peoples, it is also central to identity, purposefulness and resilience which can be seen to be manifested in their daily living.

 

  • Wane, N. N., Manyimo, E. L., & Ritskes, E. J. (Eds). Spirituality, Education & Society: An Integrated Approach. Toronto, ON: Sense Publishers. Retrieved from https://www.sensepublishers.com/media/973-spirituality-education-society.pdf
    • In this book, each chapter is filled with stories of how a limited recognition of spirituality decreases the richness of learning experiences, especially for those who see the world holistically, wherein everything is interconnected.
    • In addition, an absence of spirituality in education, under the auspices of ‘rationality’,  undermines the knowledge foundations of Indigenous societies and belies the fact that we are connected to each other and the world in subjective ways.

 

 

Resources on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Culturally Responsive Education

Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives into Your Teaching Practice 

http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/deepeningknowledge/Teacher_Resources/Infusing_Aboriginal_Content_and_Perspectives_into_Your_Teaching/Infusing_Aboriginal_Perspectives.html

  • This source comes from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), and is a collection of various topics relevant to indigenous education, ranging from incorporating indigenous ways of knowing into mainstream curricula to video interviews with Elders sharing their perspectives on education. Formats include books, videos, resource guides, and websites. This curated selection is noteworthy for its range of perspectives.

 

The Challenge of Indigenous Education: Practice and Perspectives 

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001347/134773e.pdf

  • This document from UNESCO is divided into 3 parts: challenges to indigenous education, criteria for good practice, and lastly, case studies surrounding quality education of indigenous peoples. It is especially interesting to view the case studies, as they are focused in various parts of the world, and the way in which challenges were presented and dealt with in the given cultural setting. Not all case studies pertain to preK-12 education, but also highlights training, and community learning settings.

 

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Towards Equity and Inclusivity in Ontario Schools

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/CBS_ResponsivePedagogy.pdf

  • This document from the Government of Ontario provides short points that are easy to read, and hence offers an efficient reminder of characteristics of a culturally responsive classroom, and ways to achieve it. It is a well-organized document for reading purposes, and provides guiding questions along the way to help facilitate one’s own practice. It also includes a plethora of relevant references at the end, on related topics. This source is developed in collaboration with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

 

First Peoples Principles of Learning 

https://firstpeoplesprinciplesoflearning.wordpress.com

  • As stated on the website’s homepage, the resource was developed “to help educators in British Columbia understand how they might incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL) into their classrooms and schools.” It is set up as a blog that includes background information on the FPPL, and insight into what “authentic” resources are. There is also an activity section created to coincide with each of the principles, and to promote conversation about indigenous learning in the community.

 

Strong Nations

http://www.strongnations.com

  • This website is a resource full of books related to the First Nations in Canada, as well as in the United States. It is a great resource for educators looking for supplementary material about indigenous cultures, by providing books and lesson plans for sale. The site is definitely a “store,” and thus will work for anyone looking to buy materials for their classroom, but not useful for gaining any free knowledge.

 

First Nations Eduction Steering Committee

http://www.fnesc.ca

  • As an added source, I thought I would shed light on this one again, though I have previously posted relevant information from it, but only regarding specific content on the site. It offers many resources, links, information about programs and events, and more on indigenous education. As our discussion has grown to incorporate a large variety of topics and challenges, it seems fit to include the wider site as relevant, since it also provides information on language, local education agreements, special education, and relevant publications. The Committee behind the website was founded in Vancouver by a group of participants at a First Nations education conference.

 

Module 3 Weblog – Anne Coustalin

For this module’s Weblog, I focus on teachers and educators as I explore the following questions: How can we prepare ourselves to teach from a land-based approach? Where does land-based education fit with place-based learning?  What examples are there of students using land-based education to walk in both worlds?  I also continue my journey exploring two-eyed seeing and how it helps us understand integrative education.

 

CBC UnReserved interview with Tasha Spillet: Indigenous Learning on the Land instead of a classroom

In this interview, Tasha Spillet a Cree and Trinidadian Winnepeg educator describes the importance of land-based education for students but also for educators. Ms. Spillet is one of the instructors in the University of Saskatchewan’s land-based education cohort masters degree. She describes how land-based education shifted the way she views herself and the world and she speaks to the importance for educators of engaging in their own land-based education (instead of just reading articles about it). Another interesting feature of this interview was that Ms. Spillet spoke to land-based education in urban settings as benefiting indigenous youth, many of whom are disconnected from their cultural identity and need to be encouraged to also see their urban landscape as their land: “Underneath the concrete is still our land” (Spillet, 2017).

For more about this program, see this article: Land-Based Education: Taking Knowledge back to its roots

 

Land-based learning brings native and non-native cultures together

(Newspaper article)

“The First” Land-based learning camp (video)

This camp is hosted by the Living Sky School Division. It is purposefully intended to serve Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and restore or rebuild their connection to the land and to each other. Discussion about the initiative emphasizes teaching students to walk in both worlds.  “In these classes we have kids that come from both cultures . . . It is important for kids of native culture to realize the importance of keeping their own culture, but it’s just as important for western people to understand that it is a blessing to have First Nation culture alive”.  The speaker is Kim Pasche, a Swiss-born experiential archeologist and one of the instructors at the camp. He emphasizes to students that all of them (Indigenous and non-Indigenous came from hunter-gatherer society, but for some of them that society has been lost. Indigenous Elders and educators join non-Indigenous educators to explore the land from both perspectives simultaneously.

 

Indigenous Land-based Learning Programs

This site, created by a fellow UBC student for ETEC 521, highlights several different land-based learning initiatives offered in Canada (and one in the United States). While discussion of the programs on the site is limited, it does offer a brief analysis of the focus and approach of each camp and serves as a useful portal to investigate different land-based learning initiatives. It includes reference to Integrative Science camps in Nunavut that use Two-Eyed Seeing as their guiding philosophy.

 

Green Teacher: Education for Planet Earth  (Fall 2009 issue)

This issue is dedicated to exploring Two-Eyed Seeing: Integrative Science. It is a treasure trove of work on two-eyed seeing and offers many concrete examples of two-eyed seeing in the context of education. It also links to work on walking in both worlds.

From the editorial: “In this issue we present some of the learning activities that they and others have designed for teaching science in this way, thus enabling students to take the best from both world views, Indigenous and Western” (p. 2). The issue starts with an excellent article by Hatcher, Bartlett, Marshall and Marshall “Two-Eyed Seeing: A cross-cultural science journey” and also includes trans-disciplinary, cross-cultural science units on:  birds; traditional medicines; Traditional legends and astronomy; and Solstices and Equinoxes. This issue is highly recommended to anyone looking for a deeper understanding of Two-Eyed Seeing and concrete examples of what it looks like in the classroom.

 

Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society (December 2014 edition)

I came across this fantastic Special Issue on Indigenous Land-Based Education in my research. It has a number of great articles and in particular a valuable editorial essay entitled “Learning from the land: Indigenous land based pedagogy and decolonization” by Matthew Wildcat, Mandee McDonald, Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox and Glen Coulthard. I appreciated the connection drawn in this article and in the entire issue between land based education and decolonization. I also appreciated the ability to learn about the related experiences of several different Indigenous groups within that context.

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 http://aerc.usask.ca/downloads/Nourishing-the-Learning-Spirit-Elders-Dialogue-8.pdf
    • 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 http://fneii.ca/NourishingSpirits_LitReview_en_1_.pdf
    • 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: http://mje.mcgill.ca/article/viewFile/2853/3980
    • 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 http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/culture/article/2017/01/18/our-dreaming-indigenous-link-between-physical-and-spiritual-world
    • “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 http://mfnerc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/007_Weenie.pdf
    • 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.

Module 1 Weblog

I would like to focus my research on the instructional design of e-learning in higher education that incorporates the Indigenous experience and meets the needs of Indigenous learners. I tried to get resources specifically from higher education, but found one with K-12 resources:

Cape Breton University. (n.d.). MIKM 2701: Learning from Knowledge Keepers of Mi’kma’ki [Course Description].

This course answers calls from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into higher education curriculum) by sharing the “history, culture, and wisdom of Indigenous peoples in Mi’kma’ki and across Canada.” It is offered for-credit or for general interest to the public. Classes from the Winter 2016 offering were live webcasted and then archived online.

Indspire (n.d.). K-12 Institute: Successful Practices.

This Canadian Indigenous-led registered charity includes 1000 resources in their online resource centre for Indigenous education stakeholders. Proven practices in the form of research, models, frameworks and educational strategies are shared for K-12, across subjects, provinces, grade levels, topics (e.g., online learning, holistic learning practices) and Indigenous affiliations.

Koissaba, B.R. (2014). E-learning principles and practices in the context of Indigenous peoples: A comparative study. Cultural Survival Quarterly.

This article is published by Cultural Survival, an organization that “advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience” (Cultural Survival, n.d.). The article highlights cases of e-learning in Indigenous communities from Australia, Kenya and the United States, and includes recommendations to develop e-learning practices that better serve the needs Indigenous communities.

Reedy, A., Gulwa, H.W., Charles Darwin University, & Marmaruni School. (2016). Online learning and teacher education: The experiences of Indigenous teacher education students. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 20, 40-51.

This article looks at the needs of Indigenous post-secondary students taking online courses in Australia. The data was collected through “yarning,” a conversational research method, and a research study into the experiences of Indigenous post-secondary students in order to inform the design of online learning environments.

The University of British Columbia. (2017, February 21). ‘The little MOOC that could’: Online course promotes Indigenous ways of knowing [Media Release].

This is a media release about a massive open online course (MOOC) that introduces participants to indigenous histories and worldviews and shares teaching tools on indigenous education. The third offering ran in Winter 2017 with 8,200 registrants (mostly educators), and the next offerings are slated for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018.

Module 1 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

As mentioned in my introductory post, I am interested in how educational institutions may create spaces and opportunities to honour the spirituality of individuals and communities. Therefore, I am interested in researching how Indigenous people incorporate spirituality into their own educational programs.

The following resources represent my first foray into cyberspace to find out what’s going on out there. (The sites found are listed in alphabetical order by author.)

  • Battiste, M. National Working Group on Education and the Minister of Indian Affairs, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2002, October 31). Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education: A Literature Review with Recommendations. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada. http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/education/24._2002_oct_marie_battiste_indigenousknowledgeandpedagogy_lit_review_for_min_working_group.pdf
    • This literature review discusses Indigenous knowledge and recommends an educational framework and steps to improve the educational outcomes of First Nations peoples. It admits that in calling itself a ‘literature review’ it is a attempt to describe Indigenous knowledge through a Eurocentric lens. However one must start somewhere, so this is a review of the existing literature on Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy which the author hopes will, in turn, inform educational reform.
    • Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, pedagogy in First Nations education, epistemology, learning processes, cognitive other

 

  • Bell, N. (2017).  Teaching by the medicine wheel: An Anishinaabe framework for Indigenous education. Canada Education. Retrieved from: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/teaching-medicine-wheel
    • The Medicine Wheel is a symbol used by many Indigenous cultures to represent the importance of the interrelatedness of all things. In this article, Bell explains how the Medicine Wheel may be used as a guide along an educational journey. In fact, she describes how honouring the gifts of each of the four directions may lead us to different learning processes as we move from standard linear models to the spiraling concepts of (a) awareness (East) with the call to envision or ‘seeing it’, (b) understanding (South) with the call for interrelationship over time or to ‘relating to it’, (c) knowledge (West) with the call to reason or to ‘figuring it out’, and finally, (d) wisdom (North) with the call for movement or to ‘doing it’. Bell then goes on to describe how this pedagogy has been used in practice.
    • Keywords: aboriginal, curriculum, educational change, elementary school

 

  • Brandhagen, K. (2017, May 24). Book review. [Review of the book The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality, by Blair Stonechild. AdvanceSouthwest.com-Arts & Culture. Retrieved from http://www.advancesouthwest.com/knowledge-seeker-embracing-indigenous-spirituality/
    • This is a book review of “The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality” by Blair Stonechild. The review is helpful because Brandhagen describes its ties to education, specifically to the history of Stonechild’s experience and challenges faced in a post-secondary education environment. It also describes the ‘sacred activity’ of learning and how “creating a new First Nations education system was one of the ways to bring focus back to honouring First Nations culture, community, language, and spirituality after the residential schools had existed for generations for the sole purpose of destroying those very relationships” (Brandhagen, 2017, para. 4). The description of learning as a sacred activity is an important one, as it speaks to the impact of education on individuals and communities. Although written by a Canadian from a Canadian-Indigenous perspective, Stonechild has researched the spirituality of Indigenous cultures from around the world, giving it a relevance beyond our borders.
    • Keywords: Indigenous spirituality, education, oral knowledge, First Nations culture

 

  • McDougall, C. (2017, February 6). Shawane Dagosiwin: Faculty of Education to co-host national Indigenous education reseach forum. UM Today News. Retrieved from http://news.umanitoba.ca/faculty-of-education-to-co-host-national-%E2%80%A8indigenous-education-research-forum/
    • This is a brief announcement from the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, indicating that they would be co-hosting the Aboriginal Education Research Forum and the Canadian Symposium on Indigenous Teacher Education. It took place April 24th and 25th, 2017. Of interest to me is that this year’s theme was Embedding Spiritual and Sustainable Wisdom in Education and Research as and Act of Reconciliation. The hope is that by honouring “the need to value Indigenous knowledge traditions…will ultimately positively impact educational outcomes” (McDougall, 2017, para. 3). It is my belief that by respecting students as whole beings with spiritual needs and perspectives will support them in achieving their educational goals.
    • Keywords: Shawane Dagosiwin, aboriginal education research, Indigenous education, spiritual wisdom, reconciliation

 

  • McDougall, C. (2017, April 26). Conference showcases spirituality in reconciliation. UM Today News. Retrieved from http://news.umanitoba.ca/conference-showcases-spirituality-in-reconciliation/
    • This is the follow-up story to the above announcement. It describes how the keynote speaker’s (Dr. Chantal Fiola’s) spiritual journey not only shaped her identity but also informed her research and teaching practice. She makes the astute comment, “Many people think that spirituality is important to education. It’s just that for several generations, it was a particular kind of religion that was taught” (McDougall, 2017, April 26, para. 4). This not only refers to the sad history of Canada’s residential school system but can also be said to refer to all parochial schools and colleges with religious affiliations. Therefore, the connection between religion and spirituality is not new, it is just now being allowed to be revived in certain communities. So she asks, “What actions are we taking in our classrooms, and in our school systems to make space for different spiritualties?” (McDougall,2017, April 26, para. 6). It is a good and relevant question.
    • Keywords: Shawane Dagosiwin, spirituality in reconciliation, spirituality in education

 

  • Stonechild, B. (2014, June 12). Bringing spiritual teachings into education. Retrieved from http://www.cea-ace.ca/blog/blair-stonechild/2014/06/4/bringing-spiritual-teachings-education
    • Stonechild has seen the full spectrum of aboriginal education in Canada, from being a residential school survivor to helping develop a First Nation-controlled post-secondary institution. In this article, he summaries his view on the importance of spirituality in education. He explains that aboriginal spirituality is about establishing a health relationship with all things, especially with one’s family, nation, and Nature itself. On this physical journey, learning is a sacred mission. Those who have lost touch with their spiritual roots may forget the importance of maintaining healthy interrelationships and so turn to substance abuse, crime and gang activities. Therefore, researching, writing and teaching about the principles of Aboriginal spirituality is very important at this time.
    • Keywords: aboriginal, educational change, equity, student success, transformation

 

Continue reading

5 links on decolonization and its link to education

Cultural Connection and Tech Make School More Relevant for Indigenous Teens. Retrieved from https://www.teachontario.ca/community/explore/teachontario-talks/blog/2016/03/07/cultural-connection-and-tech-make-school-more-relevant-for-indigenous-teens

The article displays two projects undertaken by a high school teacher in northern Ontario to encourage indigenous students’ engagement in school. Through the projects, students were connected with the indigenous communities. Indigenous heritage was worked into their subjects with the help and involvement of their communities. The project was successful and it showed that building relationship with Indigenous students is an important factor in getting them engaged. What I found very interesting is that the Lakehead District School Board to which this school belongs, has created an Elder-Senator Protocol to assist school staff to understand how to engage elders’ help for school activities.

 

What works? Research into Practice. Retrieved from http://fneii.ca/Toulouse.pdf

This is a paper written by Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse on Integrating Aboriginal Teaching and

Values into the Classroom. It is based on the claim that raising indigenous students’ self-esteem is a key factor in their success at school. The article lists strategies on how to create and nurture educational environments that honours the indigenous culture and language. It stresses that meaningful representation of indigenous people’s contributions and innovations should be incorporated in schools.

 

Charles Clarke success story – Aboriginal Human Resource Council. Retrieved from https://aboriginalhr.ca/en/resources/success-story/charles-clarke

This site has many success stories of indigenous youth. However, the one that struck me the most is the story of Charles Clarke. From having picked up the identity of the school clown at the elementary school, through a life of addiction, and finally being stabbed at the age of 21, he finds his identity after a six-week treatment at a center on Six Nations reserve. His healing happened through teachings of aboriginal people and made him find his spirituality. He eventually went back to school and went on to post-secondary education.

 

Aboriginal Education in Timmins. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiffbeMPusY

This is an interview about aboriginal students in Timmins. All three interviewees talk about lack of confidence being a major issue for indigenous students. These are some of the issues raised:

  • First Nations schools are federally funded and they are underfunded. This causes a gap between students’ levels when they come to city schools from reserve schools.
  • Bringing the culture into the school and classroom makes the students proud and increases their self-esteem.
  • The way education was used to oppress people has affected many parents to not value education. Some even protect their children by not sending them to school.
  • Now, there is a process called Education Jurisdiction, where First Nations people will have more control over funding and more control as to what programs are run to better meet the need of the students.
  • First Nations people are just beginning to be empowered, but it will take time.
  • To gain self-esteem, the history of aboriginal people has to be taught in schools since there is still racism and stereotype out there.

 

Aboriginal Education. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DZC5Cezs1o

A debate on challenges of aboriginal people to get higher education and closing the gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginals college/university attendance. Many issues are discussed, including the following:

  • There are many barriers such as remoteness of reserves where families are (lack of family support), financial barriers (Metis don’t get any funding), and culture shock from moving from reserves into large cities.
  • To apply for scholarship, students need to write an essay but this goes against their humble culture. (I found this point interesting. It shows how the western education system does not understand the indigenous values yet)
  • Non aboriginal students should also learn about the aboriginal history. Aboriginal ways of knowing should be taught in public schools.
  • There is no mechanism for a long term planning.

My Research Findings – 2

One of my concerns for my research assignment is emotion. Coming from a scientific background and being in the industry of metrology, measuring is important to understanding. For example, how does a person know how far they will have to travel if there was no measurement of distance? This same thought process is occurring when I am attempting to associate emotion among First Nation people. One website noted some valuable information to help me better understand the direction I am wanting to take my research assignment to.

http://www.tier360.com/creativecms/pages/can-emosions-measured

There is huge economical value in the measurement of emotion in the business industry. It made me consider how indigenous people would recognize and become emotionally concerned with symbols. Example is the Thunderbird and the Whale. From one tribe to another, they could mean different things.

Another note relating to Module 2 is the aspect of how media can affect the self-recognition. I noted in the social media that the actor Adam Sandler had some dispute with fellow Native actors. It appears that Adam did not intend to upset his fellow Native actors by the script. My question is, why did it affect those actors enough for them to walk off the stage during mid-production?

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/04/23/native-actors-walk-set-adam-sandler-movie-after-insults-women-elders-160110

Our class module did note that emotion could be considered to be deeply embedded into Aboriginal culture, so how can we associate that emotional aftermath from the actor and the script that was meant to be humorous. There a few releases from Adam noting that “the movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous. It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke.” So is it ok since he makes fun of other cultures and beliefs? How does this satire affect the view of each culture represented?

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Netflix-Defends-Adam-Sandler-Native-Americans-Walk-Off-His-Movie-71059.html

Another notice during my research is the suicide rates among first nation people. Could this be related to emotion or lack of understanding on emotion. The Globe and Mail had an article indicating that suicide is a deep concern. There is a sense of hopelessness, which struck me after watching the video for our module. So, after reading that article my question is how can we view hope then? I agree that hope is not an action plan, but what does it provide for people and more specifically, for First Nation people. Is the term hope part of the culture of First Nations in British Columbia? Now going from different sources, I am noticing a variation of statistics. My concern at that point is how do we determine which information is correct? If we are putting the community on a state of emergency, what is the guidelines to initate? Is it when 1 in 10 people are attempting suicide? If the preventative methods are not effective, according to who?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/cowichan-chief-says-sense-of-hopelessness-leads-to-suicides/article4178628/

Angela Wilson is forcing readers to question the authenticity and the source of our writings. I like this resource since it is ensuring that as I write my research assignment, that I want to consider the source of information that I will be obtaining it from. All of our discussion posts are asking critical questions that cause the audience to bring about their own interpretation of the information read. What drives our interpretation? As Dr. Brown noted, that any of our thoughts are started by an emotion, we feel something before we think something. Emotion takes precedent to our thoughts and actions.

http://pages.ucsd.edu/~rfrank/class_web/ES-114A/Week%203/WilsonHistoryAIQ20-1.pdf

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the source of this information but I remember awhile back someone noted to me this:

Our being can be identified as this:

Our Input determines our actions. The repeated action will define our behaviour. A collection of behaviours will develop our character, and our character is what will bring about our legacy.

Input is affected by the surroundings, environment, educators, and community.

Input–> Action –> Behaviour –> Character –> Legacy

I try to keep this in mind whenever I am analyzing myself/life and circumstance.

A closer look at Indigenous communities in Canada

Resources on my journey of learning about Indigenous Communities across Canada and the world.

These sites provide a good foundation and starting point for my research around Indigenous communities.  As I read and research and gain a better understanding of the issues that Indigenous communities face, this will help me to drill down to a particular area that resonates with me.

#1 http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/aswt/

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I live in the province of Alberta, so I think that it is important for me to start where I live and become aware of the resources that Alberta has for learning about its Indigenous communities. Walking Together is a First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) resource that guides educators, to understanding the FNMI perspectives and broadening worldviews around the issues the FNMI communities face. It lays out well the protocols around knowing how to build relationships with Indigenous communities.  It offers a holistic way of navigating the journey of understanding the worldview of FNMI peoples. There are videos from Elders about Indigenous worldviews, oral traditions, and understanding a deep connection to the land. There are insightful conversations that present a clear practical guide to understanding how to access, approach and be respectful in utilizing FNMI resources.

#2. http://files.unicef.org/policyanalysis/rights/files/HRBAP_UN_Rights_Indig_Peoples.pdf

Another Alberta connection: Renowned First Nation activist Dr. Cindy Blackstock, a member of the Gitksan First Nation and Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Associate Professor at the University of Alberta prepared this document in collaboration with UNICEF.  The primary focus of the document is Indigenous adolescents; it speaks comprehensively to the rights of Indigenous peoples in 90 countries across the world. It advocates for their protection by governments all over the world.  It offers adolescents in global Indigenous communities, a solid foundation for knowing and understanding their rights. The word bank and the quiz in this document are useful tools. It is interesting to see that the theme for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9 was : Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education.
#3 https://fncaringsociety.com/i-am-witness

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Dr. Cindy Blackstock is regarded as being the single mom of hundreds of First Nations children and this website features the tireless work that she does on behalf of Canada’s First Nations children.  It details the work being done to reconcile the differences in the treatment of Canada’s Indigenous children versus non-indigenous children in the welfare system. Most importantly, however, the site gives practical actions that can be taken by every Canadian to bring about positive changes and make a difference in the lives of Canada’s Indigenous children. Find information about creating hope for Canada’s First Nation children and seven (7) ways to take action to restore dignity to Indigenous children. These include joining the movement, Jordan’s Principle.  Learn more about Dr. Blackstock in her interview on the National with Peter  Mansbridge. She speaks about the work that needs to be done by Canadians to become fully cognizant of Canada’s invisible and ‘normalized racism’ in its treatment of its Indigenous families. She speaks about the racism of government’s fiscal policy, by the way in which money is allocated to Indigenous vs non-Indigenous children in the welfare system.

 

#4 http://secretpath.ca/

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Secret Path is a multimedia project by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire. It is a song and a graphic novel about a young First Nations boy who died a half-century ago after running away from one of the residential schools. The money from the new album and book will be used to help the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation identify some of the children who died at the schools and were buried in unmarked graves. It will also be used to commemorate their lives and, in some cases, return them to their home communities.

#5  http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=813

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) web site documents  Canada’s movement towards healing. It helps the nation to come to a deeper awareness of the effects of residential schools on Canada’s First Nation Population. It contains the TRC report of historical documentation of abuse that Indigenous children faced in residential schools. The true stories of residential school survivors bring life to the Commission. The site documents the call to action and changes that are being made to bring reconciliation and healing. One example of the changes that have come about as a result of the TRC is  -schools in Toronto are now starting each day with a First Nations lesson. This is an excellent way for all students in Canada’s public school to show respect to the teachings of Canada’s First Nations People, and it is movement in the right direction in the restoration of their culture.

 

 

5 interesting links on Indigenous Knowledge

I hope you find some of these links helpful and interesting.

This article which includes a video is about a school run by the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, a First Nations non-profit organization. The vision is to help indigenous students succeed while keeping their identities and sets of values. Students come from different reserves and they are set up in boarding homes. Each student is assigned a “prime worker”. As students cannot get education in their reserves, they leave their families to attend this school. The goal is to help them gain the skills and confidence to find employment on reserves and take pride of being part of the indigenous culture.

The information on this webpage is put together by the chiefs of Ontario.

“The Chiefs of Ontario is an advocacy forum and secretariat for collective decision-making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nations communities located in Ontario.”

The page gives a basic perspective of the indigenous peoples of Ontario’s views of their land, their rights and their culture.

This website is a multimedia teacher education program by launched by UNESCO and is a resourceful site where you can find explanations on indigenous approach to learning and a comparison with learning in western cultures.

Video called: Knowledge as a Key Site for Decolonization. In this video, Dr. Marie Battiste talks about the critique of the institutions that have created assimilation and forced integration; the fact that the western educational system has been forced on Indigenous peoples has eroded their knowledge system. She talks about the attempt to restore and regenerate the Indigenous knowledges to be able to pass them on to the next generations.

This document is prepared by Dr. Marie Battiste for the National Working Group on Education and the Minister of Indian Affairs. It does a comparative analysis of Eurocentric theory of knowledge and the Indigenous approach to learning. Its goal is to make policy-makers understand Indigenous knowledge and it makes recommendations on how to improve educational outcomes.