This project is an initiative begun by Buffy Sainte-Marie through her Nihewan Foundation with the mission of providing an interactive learning experience for children to develop more authentic understanding of Native American culture and contributions to society. The Cradleboard website includes their own curriculum for different contexts of study, some of which are available free of charge and some of which require a subscription. The site includes links to multimedia resources for students and teachers, links to external websites organized by tribe (both Canadian and American), and a complementary project with chat rooms and discussion boards to help people connect. The overarching goal is to connect non-Aboriginal classrooms with authentic Aboriginal resources in order to address misconceptions and build a culture of understanding and appreciation.
People’s misconceptions of Aboriginal peoples are often due to what they see or read in mainstream media. I found this video that talks about how misconceptions can be driven and perpetuated by the media. Interestingly, it also touches on journalism, and how journalists often lack a solid background or knowledge on Aboriginal peoples; therefore, they are more likely to “buy into” and promote the myths that are already established.
In searching for how Aboriginal peoples are portrayed in the media, I stumbled on this article News Stereotypes of Aboriginal Peoples.
The article examines how Aboriginal people are typically shown on the news when an individual is either: a warrior, drumming, dancing, drunk, or dead (WD4). It speaks of various stereotypes that are based on untruths and how they are perpetuated by selective media coverage and false assumptions.
The article is posted on a site called “Reporting in Indigenous Communities”. Upon further exploration, I found out that this site’s purpose is to guide and educate journalists that are reporting news in Indigenous communities. It describes ways in which reporters can help serve Indigenous communities by providing quality news coverage. This site also has many valuable resources such as historical overviews, glossaries of terminology/definitions, government acts, residential schools, Indigenous media/blogs, and many more.