Tag Archives: maori

Module 4 Post 1: Aboriginal Student Exchange Programs

I think that a key piece in empowering Aboriginal youth is to help them make connections with other Aboriginal youth and communities. The Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada (SEVEC) is a not for profit organization that, in conjunction with the Department of Canadian Heritage, facilitates educational exchanges within Canada, building bridges between young Canadians and providing them with opportunities to learn about the history, geography and cultural diversity of their country.  For example, students from Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus, Ontario have engaged in a cultural exchange with students from Dease Lake, BC. In addition to visiting the host communities, students stay connected via video-conferencing and document their experiences and learning through participant blogs.

At the post-secondary level, the University of Northern British Columbia is now piloting the Cross-Cultural Indigenous Knowledge Exchange with Maori University in New Zealand.  Through this program, students from both institutions will be able to exchange knowledge and experiences in the revitalization of indigenous health, language, cultures and community well-being.



Centre Wellington District High School. (2015). Aboriginal student exchange.  Retrieved from http://www.ugdsb.on.ca/cwdhs-aboriginal-exchange/article.aspx?id=54492

Government of Canada. (2015). Canadian Heritage. Retrieved from http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1266037002102/1265993639778

SEVEC. (2015). Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada. Retrieved from http://www.sevec.ca/

UNBC. (2015). Cross-Cultural Indigenous Knowledge Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.unbc.ca/first-nations-studies/cross-cultural-indigenous-knowledge-exchange


Module 3.5 – Titoki

It’s interesting to see what collaborations between western institutions (like universities) and traditional enterprises can build together.  One such collaboration I came across was the New Zealand organization Titoki which is an educational service bringing interested parties information about traditional Maori medicines.  Through workshops facilitated by a University employed education officer and a Maori herbalist, participants can learn to understand and use traditional medicines.

I’d certainly be interested in finding ways to integrate workshops like these into the undergraduate medical curriculum and perhaps into pharmacy curriculums, given their significance to some Indigenous groups.  Having a knowledge of the utility and spiritual nature of some of these medicines will help physicians respect and understand how and why their patients are using non-Western medicines during treatment.