Posts from — October 2009

Module 3 Weblog #5 (A. Davidson)

Aboriginal Ethics Guide Ethical Research

Description & Relevancy

This is a short piece by Marlene Brant Castellano who is involved with an Interagency Panel on Research Ethics. They are currently developing new information that will add to the growing body of literature on the ethics of research with First Nations research subjects and situations. This new perspective and consideration into research ethics includes the perspective that Indigenous traditional values and beliefs add to the overall understanding of ethics. The result is that their work considers ideas such as the following traditional virtues into the ethical guidelines for research:

  • Kindness implies respect for the dignity of the others involved, not dominating or pressing our own agenda at the others’ expense
  • Honesty involves communicating our principles and intentions as the basis for relationship and ensuring free, informed consent for actions taken
  • Sharing recognizes that the common good requires give and take by all, with respect for the different gifts that each party brings
  • Strength is courage to stand firm for our principles; in some cases, strength is resilience, as in the capacity to bend to circumstance while holding on to important values


CIHR guidelines for health research

National Aboriginal Health Organization Journal of Aboriginal Health (article)

October 30, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog #4 (A. Davidson)

First Nations Voice (On-line News and Media Center)

In Partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press

Description & Relevancy

One of the strong themes that run through the course and this module in particular is the need for First Nations people and communities to tell their own stories. To get an authentic and accurate understanding of issues related to First Nations people research on any level via print, film, print-news, radio broadcasts and other forms of media must be conducted through a First Nations perspective. This news publication was conceived to achieve such a goal and to act as a means to educate First Nations people themselves and the general public from a First Nations Perspective.


October 30, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Entry #3

The March Point Video reminded me of a CBC documentary I watched some time ago about the Arctic Bay Video Club and the Youtube hit Don’t Call Me Eskimo  There are a great deal of similarities between the two projects. The link I have provided here is not only the video but part one of the CBC documentary that aired back in 2007. It brings to light some of the issues faced by aboriginl youth in the north and highlights the success of the Arctic Bay Video Club. I liked this project because it deals with Canadian youth.

October 28, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Entry #2

What I Learned In Class Today

This is a website based on a project developed by the First Nations Studies Program at UBC. I found this site fascinating. Students, instructors and adminstrators (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) at UBC were interviewed about their most memorable classroom experience.

The 20 minute video is well done and speaks to many of the issues Aboriginal students face in the classsroom. For some reason I was expecting the memories to be more childhood related. This was a very interesting perspective. 

Along with the video the site includes discussion topics, workshop resources as well as background information on the project. An excellent resource for educators.

October 28, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog #3 (A. Davidson)

Julie Gough – Tasmanian Aboriginal visual artist

& Julie Gough’s Website

Description & Relevancy

These sites highlight the artistic pursuits of Julie Gough and the themes that she explores through her artwork. There are links to her various works of art, writing, and reviews. When considering the focus in this module on the impact of outside researchers on indigenous communities I was deeply interested in the following piece and description….

jg_themes_1The Whispering Sands (Ebb Tide), 1998
mixed media, dimensions variable
photograph courtesy the artist

The Whispering Sands (Ebb Tide) installation comprises sixteen lifesize portraits pyrographically (hand-burnt) onto 5 mm plywood. These figures were placed in the tidal flats at Eaglehawk Neck, Southern Tasmania during November 1998 in the ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ Exhibition. The portraits represent British individuals, collectors, who historically and subsequently impacted on Tasmanian Aboriginal people through their accumulation of material culture, stories, anthropological/medical information, human remains, and even Aboriginal children in the names of science, education, history, anthropology and the increase of their own personal status and power.


Julie Gough’s Website

October 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog #2 (A. Davidson)


First Nations Environmental Health Innovations Network

Research Ethics Protocols and Guidelines (Page)

Description & Relevancy

This page is part of the broader website of the First Nations Environmental Health Innovations Network that endevours to:

“…have a central role in knowledge transfer, facilitating research partnerships, and showcasing best practices in environmental health research with First Nations.”

The page highlights the existing major concerns related to research practice in First Nations communities and frames the idea that each community is unique and a variety of research methods and protocols are being developed to address the sorry past of research in First Nations communities.  As well, this page includes a great number of links to Aboriginal groups and organizations that have developed research protocols and guidelines for conducting research with indigenous populations.


October 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog #1 (A. Davidson)

Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP) or Self-Determination Applied to Research:

Description & Relevancy

This paper explores the themes and questions we are examining related to research ethics and indigenous communities. The paper highlights where past research practices have been conducted from a colonial perspective and is critical of the research relations with Aboriginal people in the past that has, among other things, violated community cultural expectations. Following this review of past practice the paper then chronicles improvements in the ethics of First Nations research and how OCAP offers some options for improving the relationship between indigenous communities and academic research.

Interestingly, throughout the paper,  there are a number of excellent artistic representations of the dilemmas that have plagued research into First Nations Communities. I found these to be quite helpful in synthesizing some of the big issues in this field.


October 27, 2009   No Comments

March Point Movie

trailer_thumbThe March Point official site includes a link to the trailor and  a synopsis of the story of how the became to be made.  The creation of the March Point documentary is an excellent example of how the use of technology can facilitate a more balanced education and healthier student .    The filmmakers, three once ambivalent and troubled teens from the Swinomish Indian Tribe, combined film production skills with traditional knowledge to heal and gain vision for their lives as they created a documentary centered around the disastrous effects of oil refineries on their land.

Links available on the site include:

Native American Public Telecommunications

Independent Lens

All Roads Film Project

March Point logo [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2009, from March Point website.

October 24, 2009   No Comments

Indigenous Education Institute

whatwedo_left_01The mission of the Indigenous Education Institute (IEI) is to preserve, protect and use Indigenous knowledge in current settings.  They have developed projects to preserve  Indigenous knowledge and protocol to protect it.  It is governed by a board of directors, International Advisory Council, and an IEI Elders’ circle.

Current projects include:

  • Cosmic Serpent, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded professional development project developed to increase the capacity of museum practitioners to bridge native and western science learning in informal education settings.
  • Sharing The Skies: Navajo Astronomy, A Cross Cultural View.Also available are the CD Stars Over Dine Bikeyah, and the poster Dine (Navajo) Universe and original and giclee paintings of Navajo constellations
  • Paradox and Transformation is published in a peer reviewed journal, the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium, Volume 2, 2006, by
    Dr. Nancy C. Maryboy, Dr. David Begay and Mr. Lee Nichol.

The site provides links to:

Aboriginal Education Research Centre

Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre

The Cosmic Serpent [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2009, from Indigenous Education Institute website.

October 24, 2009   No Comments

CSS Podcasts: First Nations Defense Assignment (DGM Module 2-5)

Calgary Science School teacher, Neil Stephenson, has posted this blog entry, describing a social studies assignment he has used with his Grade 7 students. Embedded in the blog are YouTube videos of an explanation of the assignment and a student’s final product, and PDFs of the assignment resources that Stephenson used. It is important to keep in mind that this is primarily a history lesson, but one through which the teacher is attempting to develop empathy on the part of his students for First Nations peoples subjected to colonialism and Eurocentrism. The danger with this type of activity is that students may end up with a romanticized and out-dated image of First Nations peoples. This is somewhat evident in the embedded student video. I wonder if a good companion assignment would be to talk with First Nations elders, to explore what they would say now in a similar situation.


October 21, 2009   1 Comment

Anglican Indigenous Network (DGM Module 2-4)

Created in 1991, the Anglican Indigenous Network (AIN) is an international network in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The aims of the AIN are:

Our Aims:

  • We are indigenous minority peoples living in our own lands.
  • We are committed to the Anglican tradition while affirming our traditional spirituality.
  • We have discovered that we have many things in common: a common spirituality, common concerns, common gifts, common hopes.
  • We believe that God is leading the Church to a turning point in its history and that the full partnership of indigenous peoples is essential. Therefore we pledge to work together to exercise our leadership in contributing our vision and gifts to transform the life of the Christian community.

This website provides a history of the AIN and links to other resources. It is not exclusively Indigenous, but is an expression of the struggle for Indigenous identity within the Anglican Communion. This struggle has led, recently, to the appointment of a national Indigenous Bishop whose role it is to provide episcopal ministry to First Nations Anglicans in Canada.

One of the more intriguing links on this site is the “Stories of the Night Sky” Project for First Nation, Metis and Inuit Youth aged 16 to 19 news item. A portion of the description of this project follows:

In recognition of the UNESCO International Year of Astronomy 2009, The National Association of Friendship Centres will work toward developing a website to showcase First Nation, Métis and Inuit “Stories of the Night Sky” from across Canada. Fourteen young people will be chosen to participate in this project, one from each province and territory. Status or Non-status First Nation, Métis, or Inuit are all invited to apply. Each participant will have online media training to develop their interviewing and camera skills; we don’t put you out there alone, there will always be someone available to you for guidance.

The perks: you get to keep the camera, there is a small stipend when your part of the project is completed, and your work will be on a web site dedicated to “Aboriginal Stories of the Night Sky” that will play a part in the preservation of Aboriginal languages, traditional knowledge and culture.


October 20, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 5

Cultural Diversity

“The Cultural Diversity Program at the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) is a research unit, which focuses on immigration, multiculturalism, and ethno-racial relations from a social and economic perspective.”

This web site is divided into the following pages:

-What’s new?

-Cultural Diversity Program FAQ

-Research Reports and Interesting Articles

-Network on partner violence against immigrant and visible minority women


Unfortunately it seems the site hasn’t been updated since 2006, but there are some good articles and links that could be useful for research.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 4

Asian Art

This web site is an on-line journal for the study and exhibition of the arts of Asia.  It is a fairly simple, no frills website, but offers a lot of good resources such as the following.

Associations – A list of associations, institutions and projects.  Many of these are interested in the preservation of certain art forms.

Exhibitions – Asian art exhibitions from museums, galleries and universities.

Articles – Articles written by scholars, experts, students and lovers of Asian art.

Galleries – Galleries and private dealers of Asian art and antiquities.

Letters – Letters Department, where visitors can post comments, reply to other letters, and access the latest letter from the editor.

Forum – The Forum, where visitors essays, long letters and reviews of travel or exhibitions are posted as separate pages.

Calendar of events – A calendar of upcoming events worldwide: Exhibitions, Auctions, Seminars and Conferences. Events can be posted here.

Links – This is where you will find an ever-expanding list of other interesting websites. There are other sites specializing in the arts of Asia, other sites on Asia in general and other interesting places in other categories. Bookstore – Order Books directly from the vast lists at

About – An article that tells you something about the journal, its editors and its philosophy. Updated very occasionally.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 3

Open Learning Exchange Nepal

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal is a Nepali non-governmental organization dedicated to assisting the Government of Nepal in meeting its Education for All goals by developing freely accessible, open-source Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based educational teaching-learning materials.

This is directly taken from the “Who We Are” page on their website that also explains their mission and organization.  They also have a “How We Are Doing” page with a workflow chart to graphically describe the process they use to develop teaching materials.  Objectives and goals along with a prospective timeline are outlined on their “What We Are Doing”.  Finally and possibly most useful to my research is the page on “Why Open Learning” where they justify the use of ICT and open source educational materials.

They have recently launched a digital library and include a link on their homepage.  This is also a great resource as it contains: literature, art, course related materials, reference materials, other educational materials, teaching support materials, newspaper and magazines, maps, videos, etc.  Be sure to click on the British flag in the upper right corner if you can’t read Nepali.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 2

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization

This is another massive web site with an incredible amount of information available.  Their main goal is “to build peace in the minds of men” and they are “working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture.” The site is divided into five main themes:


-Natural Sciences

-Social & Health Sciences


-Communication and Information

Within each of these main themes, there are sub-themes.  For example, the Culture page lists:

-Cultural Diversity

-World Heritage

-Intangible Heritage



-Normative Action


In addition to these sub-themes, there are several featured articles and videos a section of services such as publications, statistics, databases, cultural journals, etc. and a list of communities which are links to other organizations divided into four categories including public and private sectors, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors for Culture, etc.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

TakingITGlobal: Indigenous Peoples (M2, #5)

This is an aesthetically pleasing site created by youth interested in global issues and creating positive change. The content is quite well-written and broken down under subheadings including:

  • Issues
  • Understanding
  • Imagining Histories
  • Interviews

A powerful interview excerpt from Maria of the Cree people deserves careful consideration: “Aboriginal people have been abused in every meaning of the word, but yet our society still has the audacity to ask, “what is wrong with those people, why are they the way they are?” A look past the superficial textbook knowledge would reveal a much darker and hidden history that would explain away any such judgments.”

Each of the subheadings is also linked to a discussion board. In all, quite an effective, interactive and informative site!

October 19, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 1

The World Bank

Despite some ethical issues I have with this organization, their web site has a wealth of useful information.  After selecting a country (I am researching Nepal), you are presented with a variety of information such as:

-Country Overview

-News and Events

-Data & Statistics

-Publications & Reports

-Projects & Programs

-Public Information Center


If that wasn’t enough, they list much more information by three main areas.  The first is Topic, which includes: Education, Social Protection, Decentralization, Governance, etc. In the Most Popular area, there is a video called Nepal’s Journey, Doing Business With Us, FAQs, etc.  Then there are Resources For: Businesses, Media, NGOs and Researchers, which include:



-Information Centers

-Country Data

-Global Databases


October 19, 2009   No Comments

Media Stereotyping: Common Portrayals of Aboriginal People (M2, #4)

This site, created by the Media Awareness Network, focuses on how Aboriginal people have been misrepresented in the media for over a century. It then goes on to explain how, in the 1980s and 1990s, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) made an effort to improve the portrayals of Aboriginal people in its television dramas such as The Beachcombers and North of 60.

Common stereotyping traps include:

  • Romanticization (indian princess, native warrior, noble savage)
  • Historical Inaccuracies
  • Stereotyping by Omission
  • Simplistic Characterization

I was especially interested in learning more about “stereotyping by omission”, as I hadn’t really considered to what extent this has/does occur. The statement that Aboriginals are “the only population to be portrayed far more often in historical context than as contemporary people” is quite disconcerting. In Canada, the National Film Board tried to counter this cultural amnesia by producing a  four-part drama series entitled Daughters of the Country (1986) — created to “re-open the history books” and document the evolution of the Métis people through the lives of four strong women.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Module 2, Entry #5

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues


The UN permanent forum on Indigenous issues’ goal is to “discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.”  The website is an excellent resource for researching and better understanding the community reality of the addressed Indigenous communities.  Events and speeches are shared on the website facilitating access to primary sources.  Also, the UNPFII releases a newsletter which although focuses on its work rather than the actual communities it is working with can be very informative.  Topics addressed by the UNPFII include but are not limited to: Children and Youth, Women, Climate Change.  These topics are briefly discussed, the organization’s implication in regards to these topics is discussed, and opportunities for the public to get involved are shared.  Each section contains more links to articles and other UN efforts.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Module 2, Entry #4

Native Web


NativeWeb  is an educational organization that uses technology to disseminate information “from and about indigenous nations, peoples, and organizations around the world; to foster communication between native and non-native peoples; to conduct research involving indigenous peoples’ usage of technology and the Internet; and to provide resources, mentoring, and services to facilitate indigenous peoples’ use of this technology.”

NativeWeb offers an extensive resource section that links to information about topics as diverse as literature, food, arts, and events.   Most topic sub-categories link to at least a dozen websites.  This is an invaluable tool for research on indigenous knowledge.  Also, the website has a special section dedicated to books and music.  The books and music profiled all link directly to Amazon where they can be purchased.  These can be very useful primary sources for researchers.

October 19, 2009   No Comments