Office of the Wet’suwet’en (M1, #5)

I think this website is a prime example of an Indigenous group using technology in positive way. I like how the site contains various links, even to Wet’suwet’en on Facebook and a “Word of the Day” section.

There seems to be a high level of determination among the Wet’suwet’en people to preserve their culture, to encourage healthy lifestyles, and to work toward a successful future for their Nation.

I would encourage viewing of the embedded YouTube video clip that focuses on the important role of tradition – very inspiring!

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Module 2 Weblog #3 (A.Davidson)

Judgement at Stoney Creek (Google Books preview)

Stoney Creek Woman: The Story of Mary John (Google Books preview)

Relevance & Description

I moved to my hometown of Vanderhoof in the summer of 1977 just as the criminal case that this first book, Judgement at Stoney Creek,  was shedding a national spotlight on the town and exposing the brutal racism that was a reality there. As an 8 year old I was unaware of all of the criminal proceedings and ‘news’ and only discovered this issue when I read the book in University, in the early 1990’s,  far from my hometown. Of course I recognized the stereotypes and racism that were at the heart of this chronicling as I had observed and lived with them in the intervening years.

The second book, Stoney Creek Woman: The Story of Mary John, tells the story of a powerful community advocate who was integral in preserving her communities language, traditions, and serving as a role model for many. I remember Mary working in my elementary school and sharing her culture with all of us following the tragedy recalled in the first book mentioned here.

I include these here because, although there are still many issues facing the people of Sail’uz First Nation (formerly Stoney Creek), there has been much positive change in the past 30 years. Technology is one way that they like others First Nations groups are engaging in cultural preservation. As well, these stories expose a different stereotyped image of First Nations than the ‘primitivist perplex’ Prins speaks of that is present in media worlds. I think technology and media can help to move past these damaging stereotypes.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Media and Digital Tech Empowering Indigenous Survival (M1, #4)

I really like how this website contains numerous hyperlinks, making it easy to learn about several projects that use technology to empower the cultural survival of Indigenous people.

It is inspiring to see that technology is being used to fulfill the needs of individual Indigenous people and/or groups, rather than pushing for assimilation to a “mainstream” model of technology.

This article increased my awareness of initiatives that are being undertaken to ensure that Indigenous people benefit from the use of various technologies and media.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Seventh Generation Club (M1-5)

The Seventh Generation Club, sponsored by the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA), First Nations Health Council, and the Vancouver Canucks, is a club for First Nations youth in B.C.  They offer educational incentives and support for students in making healthy choices, staying in school and staying active in their community.  Through incentives such as prizes, contests, free daytimers, and free sports and science days, the Seventh Generation Club aims to support First Nations youth in creating a vision of their own future.

I found this website while I was searching for youth and culture information, and then I received in my mailbox at school, Seventh Generation Club agendas (daytimers) for my First Nations students.  Most of my students (grade 7 at a 6-8 middle school) are proud to be a part of the club—they use their SGC agenda rather than the school agenda, and they take the newsletters home.  I have a group of students who are proud to be First Nations, and are proud of their culture, and it is really great to see—I wonder how much influence the club has had on them, or whether the efforts made by both the communities and school district are coming to fruition. Either way, the site is intriguing, and certainly offers some great opportunities for B.C. First Nations youth.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Abnet Listserve – BC Ministry of Education (M1, #3)

This website describes an initiative by the BC Ministry of Education to create a forum which encourages open discussion for those involved in Aboriginal education in British Columbia.

The Abnet forum works similar to Vista in that discussion topics can be started by any listserve member, and similar ground rules apply to ensure respect for all contributors.

In addition to facilitating communication on issues surrounding Aboriginal education, Abnet is also used to publish notifications of events and provides access to relevant resources.

As an educator, this looks to be an exciting project with the potential to positively impact Aboriginal education.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

M1-WS 1: Cultural Survival

This website is dedicated to the preservation of Indigenous cultures around the globe.  On their homepage, a powerful short video encourages help from those that visit the site.  Below that window, there is an area where news and updates are posted.  There are five tabs directing the browser to their ‘Homepage, “Programs”, “Publications”, “What you can do” and “Donate Now”.  By far the most useful resource the website has for research is the publication section.  There is even a search field at the top of all pages of the website.  Over 35 years of articles on indigenous issues worldwide can be accessed on the site.  When I searched for articles on Nepal, there were nearly 100 articles for me to choose from!  There is an advanced search option that will allow a much more specific search.  I was expecting that I would be prompted to sign up for a membership to be grated access to these articles, but then I realized that it is a .org site.  Donations are optional.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

M1-WS 2: Center for World Indigenous Studies

The first three lines on the website read:

  • Access to indigenous peoples knowledge and ideas
  • Conflict resolution based on mutual consent
  • Protecting the rights of indigenous peoples

The site was established in 1994 and is the non-profit research and education organization’s online presence.  The organization offers education programs as well as internships and fellowships through their Fourth World Institute. Their web site offers access to multiple sources of information about indigenous issues such as online Fourth World Journal, the Fourth World Eye blog (eZine), a Forum for Global Exchange, the Chief George Manuel virtual library, a media center with video and audio media, photo galleries, etc.  The site has a much more modest collection of external links.  As this is an .org web site, donations are solicited.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

M1-WS 3: Refworld

The extended title of this web site is “Refworld: The leader in Refugee Decision Support”.  Its primary focus is on refugee rights and consequently overlaps with indigenous issues.  The site is backed by the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

This site is a gold mine of information about anything you could imagine dealing with refugee/indigenous issues.  You can search by country, region, ethnic group, topic, publisher, document type, etc. and also has an advanced search option as well as search tips.  When I searched for Nepal, I found a short article titled, “State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009 – Nepal”.  It was very concise yet informative.  As if this isn’t enough information to last a year or two, the site also boasts an extensive collection of external links (2323 to be exact).  It’s possible to browse the links by type, topic, region and country.  If there are still too many results, it’s possible to search for a key word in the findings.

With so much information offered here, it does take time to sort out what is relevant to your research area; however, there are tools available to help in your search including a personalization feature that requires you to subscribe to the site.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

M1-WS 4: Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities

Formed in 1991, NEFIN is a member of the United Nation’s Working group on Indigenous Populations.  Their mission “is to acquire social equality and justice for Indigenous Nationalities by preserving their distinct social, political, cultural and linguistic identities and by promoting their representation in very aspect of national life.”  Aesthetically speaking, this is a beautiful and well designed web site.  There is a slide show with fantastic photographs of various different Indigenous people from Nepal rotating on the homepage.  Half of the text on the site is in English and half is in Nepali, although all of the control text (buttons, menus, etc) is in English. The site has a lot of demographic and statistical information available about Nepalese people that could be used to argue a certain educational need or solution.  There are many articles and papers about development projects and initiatives currently happening around the country.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Using technology to re-create a traditional community support system (M1, #2)

This recent media article examines an initiative that uses the power of technology to assist in problem resolution. Many Indigenous groups are looking for ways  to restore the “community mentality” that has been damaged through assimilation.

As such, this website explains how the Blood Tribe Health Department has created the Indigenous Peoples Wellness Management System (IPWMS) with the goal of  creating a digitally linked web of communication between agencies to ensure support for troubled youth.

The hope is that the IPWMS will make it easier for service providers to work together, thus improving people’s quality of life. This iniative is a clear example of how technology can help Indigenous people improve their community reality.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

M1-WS 5: National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities

This web site is the online presence for a Nepalese governmental organization. “The main objective of the NFDIN, is to ensure the overall welfare of the 59 enlisted indigenous nationalities who live across the country.”

The information available on the site is limited and of course specific to indigenous Nepalese nationalities.  There are several interesting articles about the current state of affairs in Nepal and some of the social injustices and human rights violations that are happening.  It is interesting to learn how the Nepalese government is doing and plans to do to help her indigenous populations.  Unfortunately some of the articles are in Nepali, and I have yet to learn that language.  It is possible to subscribe to their newsletter by sending them an email.  Hopefully (for me) it is in English.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 weblog 3 (Chantal Drolet)

State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009

Written by Minority Rights Group International (Unicef):

The report reviews the challenges that minorities and indigenous peoples face in education and strategies to overcome them. The recommendations are first and foremost built on the existing international legal framework of the right to education, minority rights and the rights to non-discrimination and to equality.

Resources available:

Recent and detailes reports:

  • Overcoming exclusion in education
  • Fulfilling the right to education for minority and indigenous children: were are we in international legal standards?
  • The gender dimension of minority and indigenous education
  • Status of ratification of major international and regional instruments relevant to minoriy and indigenous rights

Links to other sites:

  •  Contributors are listed at the end
  • References are provided after each report Usefulness for research on Indigenous knowledge, media, and community reality:

Very detailed reports about various countries in the world. Quantitative and qualitative analysis are provided. You will find tables, diagrams and many images depicting the state of minorities and indigenous people on our planet.


September 28, 2009   No Comments

The Impact of Technology on Indigenous Peoples (M1, #1)

This website offers an overview, and links for  further research, into how technology is being utilized by Indigenous groups around the world. I found this to be a great starting point for our Module 1 focus on the global and local in Indigenous knowledge.

There are resources posted in response to six key questions, covering topics such as:

  • a general overview of how technology affects Indigenous people
  • beneficial uses of new technology
  • problems created by the “digital divide”
  • using new technology to promote history and culture
  • how technology has changed communication
  • encouraging utilization of technology in Indigenous communities

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 weblog 2 (Chantal Drolet)


Here are a variety of excellent short films about indigenous peoples around the world.

Bolivia Indigenous Media

  • Excellent short film (8:44 min.) with eloquent aboriginals explaining why their radio station is important to them.
  • Address: Bolivia indigenous media


Indigenous People’s Role in the Media


Breaking Down Stereotypes: the Adam Beach story


Indigenous Voices 2009: A Media Celebration of Identity


Jerry Mander – Globalization and Indigenous Cultures

 These films are very instructional. They present a number of fresh perspectives on Native peoples. I recommend watching them for more insights on indigenous points of view.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 weblog 1 (Chantal Drolet)

Liberating Voices

A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution

Indigenous people in rural and urban areas in developing and developed countries around the world need to create —as well as use —information and communication systems to promote education, health, governance, cultural life and many other important values.

Resources available:

Polished visual patterns are contextualized and followed by discussions and issues on various indigenous subjects of interest.

Example of themes:

Linguistic Diversity
Arts of Resistance
Roles in Media
Influencing the Design of Information Technologies
Mobile ICT Learning Facilities for 3rd World Communities
International Networks of Alternative Media
Control of One’s Representation
Solidarity Networks
Ordinary Protagonists and Everyday Life

 Links to other sites:

 Alternative Media

Offers multiple links to excellent artistic representation of indigenous realities concerning themes like:

  • Digital divide
  • Education
  • Media critique
  • Engagement
  • Etc.

Usefulness for research on Indigenous knowledge, media, and community reality:

This richness of representation in media production results in additional diversity of ideas and perspectives in the media. Positive consequences can be: more interest for political participation and knowledge about rights.

Indigenous people who are denied their voice will find it difficult to fight oppression, work with allies, or maintain their culture. Without the means to make their voices heard, communities become atomized within themselves and invisible to the outside world.


September 28, 2009   No Comments

Report on Improving Education on Reserves Blog #5

Report Title: Improving Education on Reserves: A First Nations Education Authority
Author: Mechael Mendelson

Published by:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy

This report addresses and questions why no progress has been made on measurable graduation outcomes for youth on reserve since the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples asked the question: “Why, with so many sincere efforts to change the quality of Aboriginal education, have the overall results been so
disappointing?” [Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples 1996].
To quote Mendelson(2008)
Education is the bootstrap which First Nations communities must use to improve their
social and economic conditions. Like all others in Canada, Aboriginal children need to acquire an acceptable education to have a chance of succeeding in the modern economy. An acceptable education is more than high school graduation – a post-secondary diploma or degree, or a trade certificate, is required – but high school graduation is the door through which most students must pass to go on to post-secondary schooling. The most recent Census statistics, backed up by departmental data, show that this door is shut for the majority of students on reserve (pg2).

Although this report addresses the issue of education on reserve, it does so from a higher level systems approach.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Canadian Council on Learning – Aboriginal Knowledge blog #4

Canadian Council On Learning (CCL)

Redefining how success is measured in Aboriginal Learning

This presents a First Nation Holistic Lifelong Learning Model. The model reveals the link between First Nation lifelong learning and community well-being and can be used as a framework for measuring success in lifelong learning.

The tree depicts the connection between the individual sustainability and sustainability of the earth.
The roots emphasize an interconnectedness of life events;
Just as the tree draws nourishment from the ground, so does the individual learn from the world around them, clan, family, community environment.

The root also represents the inter-whined presence of indigenous and western knowledge which from the tree trunks core learning develops.

At the centre of the tree trunk rings – reviews the learning rings of the individual. Spiritual, emotional, physical and mental through which learning is experienced holistically.

The Aboriginal Knowledge Learning Centre

This page has numerous reports on Aboriginal education.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Multiliteracies Learning Initiative (Blog 3)

Multiliteracies Learning Initiative

What is the story behind the term multiliteracies? It was first coined by a group of scholars, known as the London Group, in 1996 to address the need to revitalize literacy pedagogy in response to the diversity of literacy and modes of communication in our society – hence multiliteracies (multiple literacy practices). These scholars recognized that the traditional understanding of literacy – written text and speech – were collapsing. Not only does this term reflect the changing environment of literacy and communication technologies, it underscores the transformation of information communication technologies (ICTs) from an adjunct course delivery tool to an integral element of course pedagogies.
Multiliteracies approach recognizes the diversity of cultures and communication in our society. This, I believe, provides an opportunity for an inclusive, and holistic approach to learning. Under the multiliteracies framework the site focuses on: multimodal literacy, critical literacy, creative learning literacy, collective intelligence, and finally reflective risk taking.

The site is early stages of development so it doesn’t have established links and significant publications. This is a site to keep one’s eye on to determine if it in fact develops into a productive and resourceful site. The blog section is active and has some interesting insights.
For example, under the blogs there is a youtube clip
The Full Monteverdi which uses Renaissance vocal music to create a contemporary drama. The film is sung throughout and the only other audio that can be heard is background noise from the setting (a restaurant).


The blogger states that this clip really opened his eyes – learning how powerful music and film could be to convey a message and asking what else could he need his eyes open to see? I thought this is particularly relevant to this course for me as a causian white male trying to grasp a further understanding of the relationship between and amongst Indigeneity, technology and education. As a beneficiary of the dominant culture do I need to have my eyes open to see? In other words, what have I been unable or unwilling to see?

September 28, 2009   No Comments