Tag Archives: research

Module 3 Weblog- Erin Howard

In this module 3 weblog, I am beginning to narrow my search to some of the institutions and organizations that are leading and supporting Indigenization strategies for post secondary. I am finding that so much good work has been done, but there are also many lessons documented for the future. Here were some great sites I found this module:

Indigenous Education Protocol: Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) recognizes that colleges serve many Indigenous students throughout Canada, the North included. The organization has clearly defined seven principles aimed at Indigenization of colleges and has encouraged institutions to become signatories by implementing in these principles. So far, there are 54 signatories across Canada. Additional links such as background of the protocol, member documents, resources and FAQ’s are included in the site.

Inspiring Relationships Indigenization Plan: Comosun College

This document was created by Comosun college (Vancouver Island) and was implemented in 2013 and 2014. Although it is a few years old, it has a strong framework for how they approached Indigenization at their institution. They base their strategy on four “corner posts”: curriculum development and delivery, services for students, policy and strategic planning and employee education. Each of these four areas has clear goals and actions to complete. The plan and is laid out in an easy-to-understand format. It includes a comprehensive section on strengths, challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned.

First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

FNESC recognized that they needed a collective organization that was dedicated to the betterment of education for all Indigenous learners from K to post secondary. THis organization practices at the provincial level and works to improve success in education to BC’s Indigenous population through research, communication, advocacy, and networking. This site includes comprehensive annual reports, resources for students and educators, media (videos and images), and opportunities to become involved. They put on a yearly conference that looks fantastic (in fact, it is already full for this coming year!)

BC Campus Indigenization Project: Environmental Scan Summary

This publication is an environmental scan completed by BC Campus that analyzes professional learning resources and opportunities that are available for staff and educators. Their findings are quite interesting and look at the type of training available, training topics, access to resources, authenticity of resources, and engagement of faculty and staff. This provides a great overview to see what is currently being offered and where gaps may still exist.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

I wasn’t sure if I should post this resource and have had it in my “maybe” list since the start of this course. I decided to post it for the reason that none of the indigenization strategies will be as effective unless those of us who are not Indigenous first “unpack our knapsacks” and realize that we inevitably bring our own histories, pasts, values and viewpoints to our interactions whether we are aware of it or not. Recognizing our biases is the first step in removing them and moving forward.

Module Three – Decolonizing Tools + Protecting Stories

The topics I explored in this module relevant to our course are decolonization, research and intellectual property. My research interest, traditional stories, connects to all these areas, and I was curious what practical resources related to these topics are available to storytellers and educators in the media age.

(1) This week! July 20-21, 2017: First Nations Language Conference, Vancouver

Stories are told best in their own language. What decolonizing language initiatives are out there? This week’s Language Learning on the Land conference presented by First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) in Vancouver, BC might have some answers! Here is the summary:

The First Nations Education Steering Committee is pleased to present the First Nations Languages Conference, which is a major networking and professional development opportunity for BC’s school and community-based First Nations language educators and advocates. Together, we will explore the conference theme, Language Learning on the Land, and engage in workshops about First Nations languages teaching methods, assessment tools, advocacy, and technology.

The FNESC is a collective organization focused on “advancing quality education for all First Nations learners” that appears to be very active in organizing a vast array of initiatives, events and programs, such as the upcoming First Nations Language Teacher Mentor-Apprentice Program, Science First Peoples Workshop and Annual Aboriginal Education Conference.

(2) Authentic First Peoples Resources K-9

This resource deserves its own mention. The First Nations Education Steering Committee and First Nations Schools Association partnered up in 2011 to produce a publication of authentic materials. After an open call to Canadian publishers, BC educators developed an annotated list of resources. The guide defines authentic First Peoples texts and helps educators “make appropriate decisions about which of these resources might be appropriate for use with their students.” Updated in 2016, it asserts copyright under Canadian law. Within the document, it gives extended credit to authors, illustrators and contributors under each annotated listing, acknowledging communities and traditions. The free download is available here; printed copies may be ordered.

(3) Decolonizing Pedagogies

It seems appropriate as we move into our instructor’s readings, to cite one of Dr. McGregor’s relevant previous works. Decolonizing Pedagogies is a Teacher Reference Booklet prepared for the Aboriginal Focus School at the Vancouver School Board in March 2012. Fortunately for teachers in British Columbia and beyond, it still lives online. It is intended to explore:

What does “decolonizing pedagogies” mean? Why are decolonizing pedagogies important? What have educational scholars said about decolonizing pedagogies in Aboriginal education? How can decolonizing pedagogies be used in history education? What are the challenges of using decolonizing pedagogies?

What is the difference between revising content and pedagogy? As explained in the document:

Revising the content of education to better reflect Indigenous perspectives is often the focus of curricular reform. However, revising pedagogy used to produce and transmit Indigenous curriculum content can be equally important to effectively changing educational practice to make it more inclusive, holistic and reflective of Indigenous ways of teaching and learning.

A primary takeaway at the end of the document is to remember that decolonizing education is not only about integrating Indigenous content; it is about examining power relationships. The Resources list at the end provides further reading for examination.

(4) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Aboriginal Research

How is research evolving and decolonizing in Canada to include Indigenous methodologies and perspectives? I looked at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Aboriginal Research page to find out. Among many links, it lists tools to support applicants working in Aboriginal research, such as:

The page also links to resources for those involved in Aboriginal research, including: Royal Commission Report on Aboriginal Peoples, Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Universities Canada principles on Indigenous education, Indigenous Education Protocol for Colleges and Institutes, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences: Reconciliation and the Academy and Parks Canada Indigenous Affairs Branch.

SSHRC is active in current research funding, as evidence by its March 16, 2017 press release titled, “Government of Canada Invests in Indigenous Research Projects.” Watch this space!

(5) Law, Research and Working Papers on Intellectual Property (IP)

Here are a few sources I discovered related to IP and cultural appropriation:

(i) First, the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project was a seven-year international research initiative based at Simon Fraser University (2008-2016) that explored “rights, values, and responsibilities of material culture, cultural knowledge and the practice of heritage research.” The project is a practical resource and a network of support for communities and researchers. IPinCH does not appear to have materials after 2016, but does contain excellent articles such as “The Appropriation of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage: Examining the Uses and Pitfalls of the Canadian Intellectual Property Regime” published in November 2015. This project was funded by the SSHRC.

(ii) Moving back in time, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights is a paper published by the Parliamentary Research Branch of the Library of Parliament of Canada in 2004. It addresses:

  • how Indigenous traditional knowledge differs from western science;
  • why and how to protect traditional knowledge;
  • limitations of the intellectual property rights regime; and
  • international initiatives in protecting traditional knowledge.

(iii) Finally, for historical context, I discovered “Intellectual Property and Aboriginal People: A Working Paper” published by the Research and Analysis Directorate of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate of Industry Canada in 1999. Almost 20 years on, it may not be a current legal resource, yet many of the fundamental principles remain, and such a document can provide a reference to understand how far we have (or have not) come in regards to IP law reform.

For current legal advice on IP matters, it is advisable to turn to Indigenous practices within law firms, and Indigenous law firms such as OKT, whose central philosophy is that “there will be no real justice until Indigenous peoples have control over their own fates and futures” and works for clients who want to use Canadian law as a means to help achieve this goal and achieve success on their terms.

Allison’s Cyber Travelling Reflections Part 4

UN Convention
of the
Rights of the Child


This resource showcases the rights of the child developed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Right that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. This is just a snapshot of the 42 articles outlined in the PDF. The following children’s books also outline these articles in kid-friendly language:


I think this will be especially pertinent to touch on when dealing with the topic of Residential Schools and which rights they violated. Some children will be influenced by the wording in these rights, but many will be affected by the pictures detailed in these books.

Operation Street Angel
Ktunaxa Nation


Operation Street Angel is a local program in my area designed to assist those facing poverty. It follows the Ktunaxa Nation vision statement:

Strong, healthy citizens and communities, speaking our languages and celebrating who we are and our history in our ancestral homelands, working together, managing our lands and resources, within a self-sufficient, self-governing Nation.

It is important to be aware of local services available in our own communities. A colleague at my school has been making mittens out of recycled sweaters and her proceeds from selling these are going to the Street Angels. Our students are going to be involved in this project to help give back to our community and grow a connection to the services available.

In Our Own Words:
Bringing Authentic First Peoples Content to the K-3 Classroom


This resource was developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee. With specific primary resources, units include All About Me, Gifts from the Earth, Stories of the Seasons, Our Animal Neighbours, The Spirit of Celebration, The Power of Stories, Making Our Ancestors Proud, and Stories from the Sky. This authentic resource with Aboriginal content also contains a link to a resource guide listing more authentic resources available on these topics. In addition, this resource contains contact information for teachers to connect with local Aboriginal contacts. There are many tips throughout this resource that will help guide teachers through the content while maintaining respect and authenticity.

Two Worlds Meet
Inquiry Project


This link is the link to resources I obtained from a conference I attended this weekend. This presentation was based on an inquiry project that the presenter engaged with her students and schools on Aboriginal topics. Their inquiry project included educating intermediate students using concepts of indigenous knowledge and history in BC’s new redesigned curriculum. Students were put into multi-age and multi-class groups of 5-6 students. Together they created a field notebook and engaged with material containing Aboriginal content. In this notebook students would record images, connections, feelings, and emotions to the content they were learning. Next, students developed deep questions and decided on an inquiry project of interest and meaningful to them. The end result of this project was a museum and community event in their gym with project information on display. I really connected to the format of this inquiry project and hope to try it out with my own students soon.

All About Explorers


This website was designed by teachers to educate students on authentic sources and research on the internet. The website design appears to be a legitimate place to find information about various explorers including Christopher Columbus, Samuel de Champlain, Jacques Cartier, John Cabot, and more. Selecting an explorer takes the viewer to a page of information. At first glance and scanning through much of the information appears to be accurate. However, open a closer read you will encounter some outlandish claims such as Samuel de Champlain founding the Quebecois nordique NHL and Christopher Columbus being fascinated by laptops and cell phones of the First Nations people he encountered. The purpose of this site is to show students how easily one can be misled with information on the internet. I think this will be important for me to use when doing any research projects with my students that includes online research.

Union of BC Indian Chiefs

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs  states their mandate as being “to support projects that promote and provide practical education, conduct community-grounded research, disseminate knowledge and support grassroots project of BC First Nations communities.” A lot of the links at this site are broken (it appears as though they are transitioning to the new site) but the online resources links still work, and there are a number of interesting resources available here. Also, the UBCIC Research site contains useful information relating to specific land claims research (note that the research is directed by the First Nation, with all the information gathered remaining the property of the First Nation). They have also produced a comprehensive research manual.

Government of Canada: Panel on Research ethics

The Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans is a joint policy of Canada’s three federal research agencies (relating to Health, Natural Sciences and Engineering and Social Sciences and Humanities). This is the 2nd edition (dated 2014) which now includes a chapter on “Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada”. Chapter 9 is intended to provide a framework for the ethical conduct of research involving Indigenous peoples. Although it sounds dry, it is actually a pretty interesting read.


Module 4 Post 2

Aboriginal Women & Traditional Healing: An Issue Paper

My previous post shared the Canadian Cancer Society’s thoughts on Traditional Healing and I interpreted from their findings a need for further research on evidence supporting traditional medicine.  This next paper calls for the same, asking that in hopes of encouraging use of traditional healing in Aboriginal communities, that researchers focus on evaluating different methods of healing, and share when these methods do work.  Furthermore, they ask that researchers look at the use of traditional methods in tandem with Western methods, in the hopes that they will provide relief for conditions, help to improve the position of women (traditionally healers) in Aboriginal society, and help to motivate Canadian physicians to avoid dismissing useful methods.

Module 4, Post 5 – Digital Activities

Following the Ginsburg article, I was wondering what other initiatives there were supporting First Nations self-representation in the digital realm.

First Mile is an organization that shares stories of First Nations in ICT. They also conduct research into digital issues.


There are also several initiatives to create digital stories about a variety of First Nations experiences. This website focuses on the experiences of men:


And this one on women: