8th Fire is a four-part mini-series from CBC that examines the past, present, and future of Canada’s relationship to its indigenous peoples. The mini-series’ website includes many resources relevant to indigenous knowledge. Two that I want to highlight are “Maps” and “Aboriginal Filmmakers”.
The “Maps” section includes a series of thematic maps that can be layered over the map of Canada. One map is a Stories Map, which includes dispatches from different First Nation voices across Canada. These dispatches focus on a variety of topics including history and culture to economic development projects. The Treaties and Land Claims map provides a visual overview of historic treaties, Peace and Friendship Treaties, settled land claims areas, and unsettled land claims areas.
The “Aboriginal Filmmakers” section profiles a handful of Aboriginal filmmakers. Profiles are linked to “dispatches” that the filmmakers have created for CBC as part of the 8th Fire Series. Most of these dispatches are short documentaries. I feel this dispatch from Jessie Fraser is timely with our recent discussions around Inuit in Nunavut: An Inuk Reporter in Iqaluit
This website aims to help non-Aboriginal Canadians learn about Indigenous issues. It curates information — articles, videos, maps and links — meant to help non-aboriginal people learn about and connect with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. They have many simple drop down menus at the top of the site such as: Learn the Lingo, Learn the Basics and Learn Issues. There are other sites listed under each of these topics for you to read and learn from. It seems like an excellent source of information.
The Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium in conjunction with Alberta Education has created a website to assist educators in providing an authentic learning experience which reflects the values and traditions of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit populations. These groups have chosen to provide resources which focus on both literacy and numeracy. In addition to free resources which are embedded within this website, there is a travelling classroom library which can be requested by educators. This library provides students with culturally responsive books for loan. The cultural awareness section is meant for educators and administrators who are unaware or require additional information on the needs of these students and their families. This website is an excellent resource for teachers of Aboriginal students. For the purposes of our course, this website provides an insight on the reality of how few literary resources are available for students. For students reading (or seeing) literary representations of themselves is important for empowering them within their communities.
To access this website, go to: http://empoweringthespirit.ca/
Ronaye Kooperberg (Module 3 – Post 5 – Community Reality)
Having completed my B Ed at the University of Alberta, I was quite aware that the Edmonton Pubic School Board (EPSB) had a large program in place to reach the Aboriginal student, family and community as well as the educators of Aboriginal students. The resources within this website are plentiful. Documents for First Nations, Metis and Inuit families to maneuver the educational system, documents to guide young adults in future career pathways, Cree language resources (as many schools K-12 provide Cree as an option for students), family resources for health and well-being. This all-encompassing website replicates the values of the First Nations people as it does not solely deal with education, rather the development of the whole person (and those who support the student). This website is not only useful for those teachers who have First Nations, Metis or Inuit students but it provides an example of how educational boards are reaching out to meet the needs of all learners. From an Aboriginal perspective, I feel this could be seen as a form of media outreach to showcase the efforts of the school board to connect with the Indigenous communities.
To access this website, go to: https://sites.google.com/a/epsb.ca/fnmi-education/home
The Statistics Canada (Stats Can) website is useful for anyone gathering statistical data for their research project. Although this data was generated in 2011 from the National Household Survey, it is still relevant and accurate (as we all know Stats Can generates quality data). This data is separated into three categories, Aboriginal (First Nations people), Metis, as well as Inuit (which would be useful for narrowing your research). Interestingly, Stats Can indicates that the information compiled is incomplete as some groups did not participate in this survey or the survey was incomplete due to natural disasters such as forest fires. So while the information gathered is quality data, it may not reveal the entire aboriginal community experience in Canada.
To access this website, go to: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-011-x/99-011-x2011001-eng.cfm#a9
I found this article interesting because it ties together the conversation around online identities of aboriginal people, cyberbullying, and Nanook of the North. This story covered by the CBC discusses the online harassing of an Inuk throat singer after she posted photos of her infant child next to a freshly killed seal. Anti-seal hunting activists verbally attacked her online until one of the offenders’ Twitter account was removed after a police investigation. Her performances include a version of Nanook of the North where she addresses stereotypes by creating her own music to accompany the famous film. The article includes links to her performances and Twitter feed
The diversity and richness of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples present challenges and opportunities for teachers since educators are required to include Aboriginal perspectives in their lessons. There are currently over 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands in Canada and the First Nations, Inuit and the Metis constitute Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. This Aboriginal Perspectives website contains information that will will teachers in including the different perspectives in their lessons.
The following is an excerpt from their website:
“We have used video material featuring Aboriginal people and cultural activities as a base for constructing teaching resources and we invite teachers to use these resources. We also encourage teachers to use this video material to construct their own lessons.
We have conducted workshops with teachers from grades 3 to 6 to help them include an Aboriginal perspective in their mathematics lessons. On this web site are the lessons, background material on the Aboriginal themes for the lessons, and a description of the material in the kits that the teachers received at the workshops.
Included is a collection of Aboriginal games which provide a rich source of material for the construction of lessons.”
This site is an interesting project aimed to help Inuit university students in Canada have improved access to university education in the Arctic. This program aims to connect students with helpful resources, and times to research Inuit participation in University education throughout Inuit Nunangat; to promote a national discussion in order to improve program deliver and curriculum development.
The web page of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation offers information about its goals as “Nunavut’s public producer” of media, as well descriptions of its current programming. Inuit focused news stories are available as well as video clips from various segments. I was specifically interested in the kids section of site which links to latest issue of the Inuit comic “Super Shamou” and the interactive site of a kids show “Takuginai.ca”, which is offered in two aboriginal languages as well as english and french.
My husband and I have just returned from a two week tour of the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. We came across this First Nation Profiles Interactive Map as we were trying to learn more about each of the territories that we were exploring. This map was published by the by the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to provide information on each of Canada’s First Nations. Its intention is to make the most often requested information more readily available to the general public. Each profile includes the official name of First Nation along with more detailed information about its registered population statistics, election system and governance, federal funding, and various Census statistics. They also contain links to each community’s website. This resource could be used in the classroom to highlight and explore the prevalence and diversity of Canada’s First Nations.