Module 3, Post 5

Petate Productions

Petate is a media production company that “provides multimedia support for non-profit organizations and communities that have the ideas and motivation, but don’t have the means!” Their focus is on Oaxacan indigenous culture as it experiences a mass migration from traditional territories in Mexico into the United States. The word Petate’s most common meaning in Mexico is a woven sleeping mat. Petate Productions attempts to weave the stories and culture of potentially lost voices.

Thinking of their perspective on “lost voices” I wonder if this company will be doing historical documentaries of a diminishing culture as globalization forces the Oaxacan people to migrate due to work. Is this an example of Smith’s places of resistance and hope or a place of memorial and loss? Looking at some of the videos and their abstracts it appears that it shows how people of the Oaxacan culture, people and places are changing due to changes brought on by globalization.

November 1, 2009   No Comments

Module 3, Post 4

Indigenous Bar Association (IBA)

Looking again for resources on Indigenous community realities in Canada I came across the Indigenous Bar Association web site. I’ve taken the objectives of the association from their web site and added them below

1. To recognize and respect the spiritual basis of our Indigenous laws, customs and traditions.
2. To promote the advancement of legal and social justice for Indigenous peoples in Canada.
3. To promote the reform of policies and laws affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada.
4. To foster public awareness within the legal community, the Indigenous community and the general public in respect of legal and social issues of concern to Indigenous peoples in Canada.
5. In pursuance of the foregoing objects, to provide a forum and network amongst Indigenous lawyers: to provide for their continuing education in respect of developments in Indigenous law; to exchange information and experiences with respect to the application of Indigenous law; and to discuss Indigenous legal issues.
6. To do all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects.

The IBA has a collection of excellent links pertaining to Indigenous peoples, their governments, law, and rulings relating to Indigenous people in Canada as well as the US, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. There are research and policy links as well as other Indigenous organizations and news media.

November 1, 2009   No Comments

Module 3, Post 3

Indigenous Community Volunteers

Looking for Indigenous community reality I came upon this Australian Not-for-Profit, Non-Governmental-Organization. ICV’s mission is to help build human capacity and community with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples in order to improve quality of life and inclusion within Australian Society.  ICV serves to link skilled volunteers and communities in need of their skills. Almost like a philanthropic workopolis but with great success stories about the projects they have helped to facilitate and the communities involved. ICV does not charge communities for any of the offered services and works with members of the community or “behind them” as the community sees fit. A guiding principle for ICV is that they do not do things “to” or “for” Aboriginal/Torres Straight Inlander communities, they work with them. Volunteers are provided with cultural workshops by ICV before taking part in any projects as well.

A very interesting group which obviously has had some significant success building human and community capacity. I wonder if there is anything similar in Canada?

November 1, 2009   No Comments

Module 3, Post 3

Indigenous Cultures of Peru

Apulaya describes itself as the “Center for Andean Culture” and offers courses in music, art, workshops in Andean anthropology, and cultural vacation opportunities. This is a commercial venture aimed at a tourist audience and focuses on different aspects of Andean culture including religion, craft, people, places, and art. An interesting offering is the opportunity to create your own mini-documentary that will contribute to another documentary they title the “Tourist’s Myth and Reality.”(

With a short session on Andean philosophy and a session on film making I am quite curious to see the results of this kind of “venture.” Will these tourists coming into a single community with limited understanding of anthropology or ethics with regards to anthropological studies benefit or hinder the community? This seems to me to be obviously more of a commercial than a cultural venture and I wounder whether this could possibly serve to further colonize an Indigenous people or does it offer another “space of resistance and hope” as Smith would suggest. I guess we will have to wait and watch for the documentary.

Smith, Linda, Introduction to Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, London: Zed Books Ltd, 1-18

November 1, 2009   No Comments

Module 3, Post 2

Indigenous Media Institute (IMI)

I was curious about schools or programs specifically focusing on developing media programs for Aboriginal/Indigenous youth. I found this recent program (earliest intake of students was July 2009 and currently accepting for January 2010). It is a six month program designed to get students into an entry level graphic design position. Is is currently listed as a private post secondary but at the moment is not accepting tuition, only students paid for by the Province of Alberta or the Government of Canada.

They are located in Edmonton, Alberta and has been created with a curriculum partnership with GURU Digital Arts College and currently offers their curriculum as a starting point and is working on expanding their own curriculum. Our school district has found great success in partnerships in trades and technology with local colleges and this may be another area to look at. Northern Lights College had spoken about a media dual credit opportunity but was delayed due to some reorganization. Perhaps a renewed focus on an Indigenous media program may help restart the discussion!

November 1, 2009   No Comments

Module 3, Post 1

Indigenous Knowledge – IK Notes from the World Bank,,contentMDK:20663953~menuPK:1693277~pagePK:64168445~piPK:64168309~theSitePK:825547,00.html

The World Bank shares these IK notes that details development challenges and solutions found using indigenous knowledge. It is updated monthly and available by email however when I’ve tried to sign up it does take me to a page regarding Afghanistan. Still looking around for that proper link.

IK notes started in 1998 and have a monthly IK note until the end of 2006. The IK Notes feature an in-depth look at the developmental initiative and how the application of local/indigenous knowledge has lead to solutions that improved the quality of life in the target community.

November 1, 2009   No Comments