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

Forum – The Asianart.com 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.

Asianart.com Bookstore – Order Books directly from the vast lists at Amazon.com.

About Asianart.com – 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

URL: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/

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

URL: http://www.nativeweb.org/

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

European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights Module 2-5

European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights (ENIAR)


 This site is somewhat unique from others I’ve viewed because it has been developed by a United Kingdom based European support group for  support of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Its “aim is to promote awareness on indigenous issues and to provide information for Indigenous Australians about Europe and international organizations. ENIAR is not affiliated to any government or commercial bodies, is non profit- making and run entirely by volunteers.” 

The site covers the following key indigenous Australian issues:

Art, culture, health, history, human rights, language, law and justice, native title to mention a few.  Each subject or issue leads to a page with considerable amounts of information and external links.  For example, the Aboriginal art page has an ongoing news letter, and the following is only a portion of the external links:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resource links

On the front page is has extensive coverage on what is called the Stolen Generation.  It speaks to previous overt Australian Government policies to forcibly remove children from their homes in an attempt to assimilate them into European society. 

I don’t know if this site is in partnership with a Aboriginal group(s), however, it clearly identifies the origin and purpose of the site.  In light of the amount of external links alone, it warrants a cursory inspection.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Media Awareness Network (M2-5)


The Media Awareness Network (MNet), is a Canadian-based non-profit organization that promotes critical media literacy education and digital literacy.  This website is likely one of the most comprehensive collections of media and digital literacy resources on the web, and is a “must see” for any K-12 teacher.  Because MNet is a Canadian organization, a quick search within the parameters of province, grade level and subject area will yield lesson plans and other resources which are custom made for Canadian K-12 education.  The MNet database is so vast that it is often best to do a keyword search in order to find something suitable for the topic that you want to work with.

A basic search using “aboriginal” as the key word yields several useful, current and engaging resources.  Lesson plans and resource suggestions for all grade levels and a variety of subject areas are present, many of which deal with the issue of stereotypical representation of aboriginal culture in the media and racism.  In addition, there are also some lessons that deal with aboriginal history in the arts media.  These lesson plans are highly engaging, categorized in age-appropriate groupings, and relate directly to many provincial learning outcomes Canada-wide. The following is a selection of available aboriginal media resources available from MNet:

Media Portrayals of Aboriginal People—Introduction

Native Names and Imagery in Sports

Aboriginal People in the News

The Development of Aboriginal Broadcasting in Canada

These lessons are a great way to share a bit about aboriginal culture in a classroom setting, and are sure to spark some great discussions!

October 19, 2009   No Comments

The Aboriginal Multimedia Society (M2-4)


AMMSA is an aboriginal communications organization that works to facilitate fair and objective news coverage for and by aboriginal people. Originally founded in 1983 under the Alberta Societies Act, AMMSA has survived as a society through membership subscriptions and government funding when available.  The society manages several communications ventures Canada-wide, and provides training and support for other Aboriginal groups looking to establish their own communication ventures.

In addition to providing support and managing a network of information and communications, AMMSA provides via their website, an extensive listing of links to other special interest resources.  There are sections for Career Opportunities, Community Events, Scholarships, Health Information and Book Reviews as well as educational links and historical information.  Since its incorporation in 1983, the society has been able to maintain its vision and commitment to the aboriginal population, despite various funding cuts and challenges.

Of special interest may be the education section of the site which offers links to Windspeaker online, an aboriginal-content news source for all ages. Windspeaker’s classroom edition caters to issues in aboriginal education, and attempts to highlight issues for youth.  There are also lesson ideas offered on this page, and from what I have seen, it appears to be yet another great resource, and example of the use of technology to promote culture.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

First Perspective: National Aboriginal News (M2-3)


First Perspective is a website devoted to Canada-wide aboriginal news issues.  In addition to a listing of recent headlines affecting Aboriginal Canadians and Aboriginal issues world-wide, the site also offers a listing of news releases, employment opportunities, Aboriginal event listings, and links to regular Aboriginal journalistic columns such as Under the Northern Sky.  Several advertisements also are present on the page, all related to Aboriginal events and issues.

One ad that caught my eye was a small one in the corner of the main page.  There is a First Nations art image in black and red with a caption that reads, “Learn More about B.C. Hydro Careers”.  Clicking on the image takes you to a pdf full page ad, targeting prospective aboriginal employees.

I could not get a sense of how well-used this resource is, but it appears to be updated regularly and the news feed is current.  This could be a great site to introduce students to, especially at the secondary level.  First Perspective is a great example of the use of internet technology to connect aboriginal people in Canada.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Shared Learnings (M2-2)


As I mentioned in my previous post, Shared Learnings is a document that was published in 2006 by the British Columbia Ministry of Education.  The purpose of Shared Learnings is to assist teachers in the incorporation of B.C. Aboriginal content in various K-10 subject areas.  It is the goal of the Ministry and document collaborators that through the resources presented in this document, teachers will feel more comfortable in including aboriginal content in their program, and in turn, aboriginal and non-aboriginal learners alike will become engaged with the content, developing an understanding of and appreciation for traditional knowledge.

The resource is divided up into sections based on grade level and subdivided by subject area.  In addition to providing curricular connections, Shared Learnings provides resource lists in each section, instructional strategies, ideas for projects and activities, sample lesson plans, ideas for planning and implementing your program, as well as strategies for discussing sensitive issues.

Shared Learnings, in my experience, is a resource that is widely unknown to practicing B.C. teachers, and upon stumbling across this resource again myself, I am reminded that I need to go through it again to see how I can improve my practice.  In my experience, many teachers often push aside aboriginal content in favour of the need to “meet literacy or numeracy outcomes”.  Through the use of Shared Learnings as a starting point, I think that B.C. teachers can in fact guide students toward meeting all outcomes, through the incorporation of traditional aboriginal content, rather than in addition to exploring aboriginal content.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

SD #71’s Index of Websites by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples (M2-1)


This page, a subpage of the B.C. School District #70 (Comox Valley) website, outlines some online resources pertaining to aboriginal education, political and historical information, as well as sites for aboriginal youth.  The site is a good starting point for researching aboriginal issues in Canada, and all links are current and functional.

Perhaps one of the most useful points for educators might be the lesson plan section.  Here, I found a project created by a team of middle school teachers from all over Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast called “Social Justice through Literature Written by Aboriginal Authors”.  In the activities and lessons that are presented here, students are encouraged to think critically about aboriginal values and history through a social justice lens.  The literature that is used in the lessons is referenced for the most part, but teachers could likely adapt the lessons to use local stories and work.

The project is designed as an extension to a document published by the B.C. Ministry of Education in 2006 called Shared Learnings, a document created in order to help facilitate the incorporation of B.C. aboriginal knowledge into the K-10 classroom.  Lessons are also laid out with direct reference to the B.C. Prescribed Learning Outcomes for Language Arts and Social Studies 6-8.  Finding this project was timely for me, as our local union embarks on the creation of a Social Justice committee.  With the relatively recent creation of the Social Justice 12 course in B.C., I believe it is imperative that middle and elementary schools follow suit.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Indigenous Perspectives on Globalization: Self-Determination Through Autonomous Media Creation (M2, #3)


This is a thought-provoking article examining, among other issues, how Indigenous cultures have been resisting the forces of globalization while also asserting their autonomy and right to self-determination for over five centuries.

The article goes on to discuss how it’s important for Indigenous peoples to be in control of media representations of themselves so that dominant stereotypes about their communities are no longer perpetuated. Needless, to say this is a challenge for any culture outside the mainstream, Indigenous or otherwise.

Despite many challenges, the range and creativity of Indigenous media production in Canada and around the world is now quite substantial. With large, successful Indigenous-led film festivals, such as The ImagineNATIVE Aboriginal Film and Media Arts Festival in Toronto firmly established, it’s anticipated that this positive momentum will continue.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Teaching Respect for Native Peoples (M2, #2)


This site struck me as a great resource for teachers with many suggestions of ways to ensure that Native students feel respected and valued in the classroom. In addition, it provides ideas for teaching about Indigenous cultures in appropriate ways. Although many of these points might seem obvious, it’s helpful to read through as even one or two of the suggestions might be easily implemented to positively impact teaching practices.

Although I agree with many of the suggestions on this list, some I wasn’t so sure about. For example, the suggestion: “don’t single out Native children, ask them to describe their families’ traditions, or their peoples’ cultures.” Some students might enjoy teaching about their culture, especially if they can do so in a way they are comfortable with. In my experience, most students enjoy talking about their interests, traditions and culture, especially if they feel secure and confident in their learning environment.

I like how the suggestions are concise and well organized in an easy to read bulleted list. This information is presented as pertaining to Native cultures, but most of the suggestions are applicable to any culture.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Native Planet: Preserving Cultures, Empowering People (M2, #1)


The strikingly vivid colours  and images throughout this website reflect the uniqueness of Indigenous cultures. It was created to give native peoples a voice and to showcase how world cultures are working to protect their traditions despite globalization.

One of Native Planet’s main goals is the creation of authentic cultural documentaries as a means of empowerment. Many of these emphasize how Indigenous cultures are traditionally great examples of sustainable living.

Also, there is an intriguing section on Indigenous mapping of world ethnic cultures. The primary goal here is to produce a comprehensive database of Indigenous communities, including information on the successes and challenges they face. This completed database will be available to the public with the aim of providing a comprehensive resource of factual, unbiased information for interested students and researchers.

Native Planet is a non-profit organization and on each page of the site there is an area where visitors can make donations to futher their projects.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Library of Parliament – Supreme Court Decisions on Aboriginal Fishing Rights Module 2-4



For those interested in researching or reading more in-depth about the application of Canadian law in regards to Aboriginal cultural rights may find this site on Supreme Court decisions of interest.

The site provides overviews of Supreme Court decisions regarding Commercial fishing rights, Bands by-law limitations to regulate fisheries.  In total 7 cases are outlined with an overall conclusion.

The cases are as follows:

A. Sparrow

B. Van Der Peet


D. Gladstone

Band By-laws can not regulate fishery

A. Lewis

B. Nikal

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Centre for Constitutional Rights – Aboriginal Cultural Rights Module 2-3

Website: University of Alberta


Centre for Constitutional Rights

Aboriginal Rights Background

In light of the discussion on cultural rights, I thought it relevant to post an excerpt from the University Alberta’s description of Aboriginal cultural rights in regards to the Canadian Constitution.  For those interested cultural rights this site has numerous further readings that would be a great place to start researching.

Aboriginal rights are communal rights, shared by all members of an aboriginal group rather than being specific to an individual person. Because of this common nature, aboriginal rights are not defined the same way as the individual common law rights shared by all Canadians, such as the right to vote, freedom of religion, or freedom of expression.[11] Many aboriginal rights are cultural rights. The purpose of section 35(1) of the Constitution is to reconcile aboriginal peoples’ rights to traditional customs and practices with European law and the present-day rule of the Crown.[12] Cultural rights include the activities practiced by all aboriginal peoples in general and certain aboriginal groups in particular, for example the right to speak indigenous languages and the right to perform traditional customs such as dances, songs and ceremonies. Rights particular to certain aboriginal groups depend upon the historical practices and customs of each group. This includes, for example, the right to fish or hunt in a certain area regardless of whether or not one has title to that land. Cultural activities such as hunting, fishing, language and art are the most basic type of aboriginal rights, and may exist without aboriginal title to land. In order to establish that an activity is an aboriginal right, it is necessary to prove that the Aboriginal group bringing the claim practiced this activity, tradition or custom and that it was culturally important at the time of European contact.[13]

Government Links

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Jane May Allain, “Aboriginal Fishing Rights: Supreme Court Decisions” Library of Parliament (October 1996)

“Aboriginal Rights” Canadian Human Rights Commission

BC Treaty Commission

“Aboriginal Canada Portal” Government of Canada

“Treaty Policy Directorate” Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (26 July 2006)

“First Nations Land Management Act” Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (23 April 2004)

Further Readings:

“Canadian Native Law Cases – Case law 1763-1978” University of Saskatchewan

“A Brief Introduction to Aboriginal Law in Canada” Bill Henderson Virtual Law Office

“Aboriginal Rights and Title in Canada After Delgamuukw: Anthropological Perspectives” Aboriginal Rights and Title

Aboriginal Law and Legislation

“First Nations Treaties, Law, and Land Claims Theme Page” Community Learning Network

“Aboriginal Rights” The Canadian Encyclopedia

Action for Aboriginal Rights

Centre for Indigenous Sovereignty

October 19, 2009   No Comments