Indigenous Science Network Bulletin (M1-2)

In researching Aboriginal science education I stumbled upon the works of Australian science educator and writer Michael Michie.  Michie has assembled some great resources as well as founded the Indigenous Science Network Bulletin.  His work has focused mainly on Aboriginal Science Education and how best to integrate modern scientific views with traditional Australian Aboriginal teachings.  This bulletin has been in operation for over 12 years and contains a wealth of information in this area.

Michie has also collected many links in his research and was kind enough to categorize them for readers on a links page.  Although the list is not extensive and was last updated in 2006 the content is extensive and timeless.

Here is a list of some of Michie’s research.  Maybe some of it will be useful for those studying from an Australian or science perspective.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module #1 Entry #5

First Nations Connectivity Research Project

This is an interesting site because it doesn’t necessarily gloss over issues relating to First Nations technology education. It relates itself to examining the projects proposed by the Provincial and Federal government for increasing broadband connectivity to First Nations communities. There is a section that contains the final reports of this project. They are available in PDF form here.

Although the layout of this site is rudimentary at best, it is an excellent example of how a simple website can be used to maintain and transfer information collaboratively.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module #1 Entry #4

“Denise Williams, youth initiative officer for the First Nations Education Steering Committee, tells the Georgia Straight how Internet technology can strengthen First Nations education.”

This is an interesting video. I would consider showing this one to students, or to people that question the importance of internet technology for First Nations students. However, this video concentrates only on the positive and needs to be taken for what it is, not an in-depth article.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module #1 Entry #3

This is a listing of a group of First Nations schools in Quebec. It was put together by the First Nations
Education Council of Canada and has a very simple layout to it. The reason that I chose this site, aside from the interest in being able to view the sites of different communities, is the uniformity and ease of the web site and the links. This site is a very good example of a simple website that can be managed by students and administrators with a minimal amount of web design knowledge. I’ve noticed that with the rare exception all of the school links are based on two templates, which are easy to view and can have information added by students.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module #1 Entry #2

This is a delicious page with some excellent links to information of what broadband technology is. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post a delicious site, it is not a standard webpage, but I felt that the information found here was relevant. As well, for those that are not familiar with delicious, it provides an excellent introduction to the technology. Delicious is a social bookmarking website. Here is an description of what it is.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module #1 Entry #1

Pathways to Technology.

I found this site when researching for topics and information for my abstract. Personally, I like the layout and overall design of the site, but that is not why I’m posting it here. The actual project seems designed to promote funding for technology resources for First Nations communities.

The most informative part of the website is on the ‘About the Project’ section. Near the bottom of the page there is a section on the benefits of broadband that is interesting to read. Under the partners section there are good descriptions about some of the organizations that have helped with the launch. There are some interesting organizations to check out here and use for research in upcoming projects.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – post 5

Thinking back several years, my inaugural web server that I created needed a name. Anyone in information technology is often faced with naming a new server. When the purpose is clear it is often pretty simple to name the server. When it is a little less well defined it becomes difficult. I thought that perhaps to ask our Aboriginal Support Teacher and Aboriginal Support Worker for their thoughts. I asked for a word that would somehow encompass learning or wisdom. Two challenges were with that server names could not use special characters such as apostrophes, accents etc, that and the two local communities’ languages were Beaver and Cree. There was some concern about offending one or the other. Two of our school servers were names after the school mascots, Oscar (seal), and Ookapik (owl) so one of the students suggested that Eagle would be an excellent name.

One of the students in the room while we were having the discussion was asked for his input as well as he had just attended a summer session in Kamloops with the Tk’emelupsemc Native Language Program. So to my point it made me think about Independent First Nations Schools and the Sk’elep School in Kamloops.

The site is very much a school website with information about the school, the curriculum, and their programs. Their vision was interesting as my district has spent a great deal of effort around our vision and mission over the last year of which I have been part. I’ve included Sk’elep’s vision below

“Our vision for Sk’elep School of Excellence is to be a loving, nurturing house that will promote life long learning for all children; develop a strong sense of self pride, belonging, knowledge and confidence while balancing Secwepemc language, history, culture and academic excellence; in partnership with parents, family and community.”

From my experience in the visioning process the ideas of loving, nurturing places and a sense of spirituality or self pride, and belonging were shared amongst the Aboriginal peoples involved in our process as well.

I think I will contact the school and see if I could visit in October when I’m down for TRU/SD73’s TechItUp conference and ask about their vision of technology in a First Nations school

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – post 4

I was thinking about looking for languages for this post but found, in the Artists list on under Languages, Heritage and Culture on the Aboriginal Canada Portal (, an interesting site in French about Les Femmes au Tambour de Wendake enr. It caught my eye as it was a reference to Huron -Wendat women drummers. From my little cultural knowledge that peaked my interest as I though only men were allowed to drum. The site is in French which gave me the opportunity to practice a little too. The history page does make mention of the fact that the Sacred Drum was reserved for the use of men only. The founder of the group asked for authorization in a sacred ceremony and was granted permission.

The Mission page makes reference to a battle of cultures which has resulted in a loss of language and more. The influences of Europeans has resulted in a linear vision as instructed by missionaries and legislation. Many of the Ancestors have disappeared taking with them their wisdom, lessons, and knowledge of the Wendat language.
The groups mission is to help transmit and to spread the Huron-Wendat culture through their traditional art. It is a moving piece of text that sadly I cannot do justice to in a translation or a summary. If your French is good, have a read at (

The site continues with links between the Sacred Drum and Mother Earth, and the Grand Father. It also takes about celebrations and the role of women in the celebrations. There are many further links, pictures, calendars of events etc.

One quote from the lone male member of the troupe, Nicolas Ottawa, was poignant

“Puisque la Vie est une Musique, alors Vivre c’est Danser.” (my translation: If Life is Music, then Living is to Dance.)

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – post 3

The Seventh Generation Club’s mission is

“To create a club where First Nations youth can envision their future by recognizing their own energy, the culture of their people, and the teamwork needed to succeed by giving them opportunities to make healthy life choices, participate in community, and meet the challenges of life.”

The club is an initiative for First Nation students in British Columbia that encourages health, and participation in their schools and communities. The club includes activities for Seventh Generation Club’s in schools as well as stories of “Goal Models” who are students that have shown how keeping goals in mind is important. The club publishes newsletters several times per year with activities, news, facts, surveys, sports, and people features. There is a definite BC focus with surveys and information around healthy living and daily physical activity. Another resource that I’ll be sharing with my teachers and Aboriginal Support Workers.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – post 2

First Nations Education Steering Committee’s website is dedicated to improving education for all First Nations learners in British Columbia. FNESC is an independent society comprised of representatives from First Nations across the province. The site includes current news, events, programs and links to other programs that support education for Indigenous peoples. It is heavy on information but has an excellent collection of published papers on teaching, resources, handbooks, languages etc. I found some great science resources from the Seventh Generation Club and Science World which I will be passing on to my teachers! Here are the 9 free booklets as PDF’s if you are interested, found at (’s/pdf/Science%20Book_10.pdf

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – post 1

I decided to start looking at what websites the Government of Canada. Their alphabetical index has 13 Aboriginal sites under A so I decided to start my links with the Aboriginal Canada Portal. The first cursory glance at this website is impressive. It is the usual format for a Government of Canada website but has links to major Aboriginal groups such as the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Metis National Council, Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers. There’s also a plethora of topics listed from Economic development, claims and treaties, education, environment, health and social services, housing, justice and policing, language and culture, and research. It includes features about current events with an Aboriginal perspective which currently includes the 2010 Olympic Winter Games Artisan Village, and information on the H1N1 flu virus. The subsequent pages which include a tremendous amount of information and links to government services and program, also have informational facts of the “Did you know?” variety that include links to more information. Links also include sources under the link to add some authority to the information. I will be referring back to this website frequently to help with some of my searches as well as hopefully information for my paper.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1, Entry #5

Native Languages of the Americas: Preserving and Promoting American Indian Languages


This website is run by a non-profit organization that makes use of the Internet to promote the preservation and survival of the Native American languages.   The resources on this page help to acknowledge the existence of over 800 indigenous languages.  Furthermore, links leading to statistics, solutions and institutions ensure that many aspects of a language are covered.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1, Entry #4

American Indians of the Pacific Northwest


This website offers a digital collection that has over 23,00 photos and 7700 pages of text  depicting and explaining life, work, clothing, education of American Indians specifically form the regions of Northwest Coast and Plateau in the Pacific Northwest.  The source of these resources are the University of Washington Libraries, the Cheney Cowles Museum/Eastern Washington State Historical Society in Spokane, and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.

The website is easy to search and indeed offers valuable information through primary sources about a variety of topics.   After visiting this site and browsing through its resources, it is not hard to understand why it is an award winning website.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1, Entry #3

A New Understanding of Culture and Communication : The Impact of Technology on Indigenous Peoples


This website provides a pathfinder that is part of a virtual library of educational resources at the Northwest Indian College in Washington.  It was designed by AJ Johnson to facilitate the locating of information about how indigenous groups are utilizing modern technologies.  Sources cited are supposedly mainly free to access.  Covered categories of websites are general overview of technology’s effect, the most beneficial uses of technology, access to technology, the use of technology to preserve, promote and teach indigenous culture and history, and the changes in communication due to technology.    Although the layout is nice and clear, most links are unfortunately inactive.  The sources were current at the time the pathfinder was published (2001) but are now clearly of out date and inaccessible.  The author does provide tips for searching this specific topic on the World Wide Web, yet this is not enough to make this website of interest to a serious researcher.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1, Entry #2

Education World


Education World is an online resource for educators around the world.  The specific page I have linked to focuses on Native Americans, providing educators with ideas for cultural activities, lesson plans, readings and Internet resources.  The web page has been updated this month and all links are active.  This website seems to be a great place for educators to start exposing some elements of indigenous knowledge and reality to younger and older students alike.

September 27, 2009   No Comments