Module 3 Entry #5

White House Blog

Today was the White House Tribal Nations Conference. The link I have provided is actually the White House blog which includes transcripts of President Obama’s opening remarks at the conference. Today he signed a memorandum indicating that there would be stronger ties between 564 federally recognized tribes and the White House. I’m not sure if this is simply more lip service to the indigenous people of the US but I found it very interesting that President Obama has directed each and every government agency to have a detailed plan of how they intend to improve meaningful consultation and collaboration between the federal government and the Indian nations. I guess we wait and see.

Links include live streaming to interactive discussions with Obama, tribal leaders and agency officials.

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Entry #4


A website I came across while researching The White House Tribal Nations Conference. This site is a 24-7 news and communication tools for First Nations people. Links include:

Rezreels : a link which allows people to share their story digitally. Their focus is on Indian youth and getting their story out using modern film making tools. This initiative is a joint effort between MyTribeTV and the US Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development.

MyTribe Education:  a partnership again with US IOIEED to create opportunities for distance education fo Indian people

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog 5

I was beginning to notice that the same sites keep appearing which reminded me of when I was young and took a year off to travel around India and Malaysia. After so long on the road things start to look the same and I got to the stage where I became blasé and would write off places because at first glance they looked pretty much like the last place I stopped at. Surfing the net is a similar experience, maybe even worse as I know what I want and there is so much junk to wade through. I was about to reject this page, but I had to leave for a meeting and when I returned it was still open. I was about to close the page when I noticed that it had a link for an educational magazine which made me curious. I checked it out, expecting at any minute to be asked to pay and it didn’t happen. Finally I have found a site, with articles written by recognised educators, which appears to really address the issues I am interested in and which doesn’t want me to pay a day’s wage to see if it is relevant. At the moment most of the articles are in Spanish, but it looks as if they plan to have an English version soon.


Magazine Article

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog 4

I was becoming a little discouraged when I came across this site. It was not exactly what I was looking for, but it does highlight what I consider to be some of the most worrying concerns about indigenous education in Mexico. The main article deals with setting up an Indigenous university with foreign help. I was not surprised to read that the university has a problem getting its studies recognised as many Mexican private schools have a similar problem. There also appears to be a problem with funding and that is another key aspect as education and technology are not cheap and very often people worry about the cost of setting something up, but in the long run it is the day to day costs that can be an even bigger challenge. This site also made me conscious of the need to have joint ventures (government and private sector))as many legal and social problems could be avoided in this way.  

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog 3

While I was continuing my search for something which could show that there is a technological infrastructure which could be used to benefit indigenous students, I came across this website. At first I thought it was just what I was looking for and I even downloaded the pdf file:

 which talks about a new educational plan for my state. I was very disappointed to find that while it mentions indigenous education and the need for more teacher training, there are no specific plans about how to increase the educational opportunities for remote communities, solve the problems of which dialects should predominate in textbooks or improve the level of teachers of indigenous education. There was also no mention of what can be done to protect cultural divergence and this document seems to be promoting the predominance of education in Spanish rather than suggesting ways in which each community could study in its own language and with its own customs and traditions.

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Module # 3 Weblog # 3

Indigenous Research Applications in Social Work

This is an annotated bibliography that I found. The reason that I posted this is because it offers opinions and commentary on the research methods used in a large selection of books. Many of these books would be useful for out final research projects. There are roughly 20 books found in this bibliography including those that concentrate on proper research in Indigenous education, science and social work.

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Module # 3 Weblog # 2

Ottawa sends body bags to Manitoba reserves

This is a perfect example of not understanding and respecting other cultures. This whole incident could have been avoided with a minute amount of research and understanding of the cultures involved. At the beginning of the H1N1 scare the Canadian government made an improper and disrespectful mistake by sending body bags to First Nations reserves in northern Manitoba. The reason that I chose this article is that is shows what happens when one doesn’t conduct themselves in a manor appropriate to the culture that they are working with. It is considered to be inviting death to the community, which I assume is not necessarily the message that the government wanted to convey.

By not taking cultural beliefs in to account the government had a self created controversy. The communities were looking for help to fight this virus. These communities are among the hardest hit by this new ‘super flu’. They were looking for medication, not what the government sent to them. This is a prime example of why one needs to respect other cultures beliefs and act accordingly when working with them.

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Module # 3 Weblog # 1


The ethics of research involving Canada’s Aboriginal populations

This is a letter, published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) that discusses terminology. The author expresses her concern about the term Aboriginality in medical journals and studies.  “Aboriginality” is a social construct with little grounding in the day-to-day realities of the heterogeneous groups to which it refers. Tremendous cultural, historical, socioeconomic and political diversity exists between and within these groups.”

Another aspect of this article is that the author talks about the ways that academic research will have to evolve to create an appropriate relationship with Aboriginal communities. “I have come to understand that it is only through an approach of mutual understanding, respect and partnership that academic research will be able to contribute to improving the health outcomes in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.”

I chose this letter because I fell that it relates strongly and offers a strong viewpoint towards the discussion of appropriate research in Aboriginal communities. This is an interesting viewpoint because it represents an opinion on research relating to medical studies.

November 5, 2009   No Comments