The Black Book

bbd_vert_logo The quote on the home page of the The Black Book site reads, “It’s taken sixty thousand years, but finally the portal to Indigenous media and the arts in Australia is here.”    This is one of many sites that features Indigenous communities in Australia using the Internet and multimedia to share their traditions, stories, and arts to inform local communities and the broader global audience.   The Black Book has two main sections: the directory and the library.  The Directory includes over 2700 listings of  Indigenous organizations that work in the arts, media and cultural areas.  The library contains over 2000 pieces of artistic work including work from the 1890s to now. The work is categorized into publications, music, screen productions, documentaries, plays, features, and albums sections. The site also serves as an up to date information portal about events in the country, jobs and training, and leading Indigenous artists.  The Black Book site was inspired by the The Brown Pages, a similar site created by the Maori community.

The Inspiration page on the site links viewers to the following “trailblazers”

Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Bob Maza
Russel Page
Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Michael Riley
Kevin Smith
Pauline McLeod

The Black Book logo [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2009, from The Black Book website.

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 5 (A.Davidson)

Redefining how success is measured in Aboriginal learning

First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning Model

Description & Relevancy

I really appreciated the visual model depicted with this discussion on determining success in indigenous life-long learning. The emphasis on the natural world, cross-cultural aspects of knowledge and knowing, and location of learning are all relevant to the ideas explored in this module and throughout the course.


PLEASE FOLLOW LINK 1/2 down this page (directly under the image on the page) to the detailed PDF version of the model.

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 4 (A. Davidson)

Scientific Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity

Description and Relevancy

The concise information provided on this page connect well with the educational perspective discussed by Tim Michel as well as the broader themes that underpin module 4. This page is a sub page of the website  for Aboriginal Education Research Center (AERC) at the University of Saskatchewan. This information is included with several other sub-topics that are part of the program devoted to indigenous education. Most significantly this page includes a comprehensive bibliography on the topic (as do all of the other topic descriptions) that is useful for researchers seeking further information. Another interesting project that is part of the AERC is a project titled Learning Indigenous Science from Place. This project endevours to connect Indigenous science knowledge in Saskatchewan to First Nations worldviews and perspectives. Again, this is very closely aligned with the cultural perspectives and natural world focus explored in this final module.



University of Saskatchewan

Learning Indigenous Science from Place

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 3 (A. Davidson)

Sky Stories: A First Nations Journey Teacher’s Resources


Description & Relevancy

This educational opportunity and resource looks excellent. I wonder if any of you who teach and live on the West Coast have had a chance to view this at the HR MacMillan Space Centre? Sky Stories is the work of Margaret Grenier who has both Gitxsan and Cree ancestry, and holds a Masters Degree in Education. The focus of this multi-media presentation is to offer several  unique perspectives of the night sky by way of indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing. This excerpt from the teacher’s research package offers a more articulate description of what students will potentially learn through this experience:

Sky Stories is a unique planetarium experience that introduces students to Aboriginal perspectives of the night sky and diverse ways of knowing.  It describes the understandings of the night sky from three First Nations’ oral histories in British Columbia and the Yukon; the Wsanec moon calendar, the Gitksan origin story and Tlingit aurora borealis stories. Grandmother, Grandfather and Raven guide the audience through the journey as the audience travels from story to story, each in its own setting. The relationship between the Elders and the youth, the female roles and the male counterparts frame and balance the overall piece. This balance between young and old, male and female is reflective of the circular and non-hierarchical way of knowing where even time is non-linear but part of a continuum.

note: Andy Everson: created the Sky Stories logo. Retrieved November 20, 2009 from Sky Stories Teacher Resource package.


Quick View

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 2 (A. Davidson)

Gitxsan proposal

Description & Relevancy

This is a link to an article that outlines a recent proposal by the Gitxsan people to give up their historical status Indian designation. This would see the Gitxsan people relinquish their reserves, tax exemptions, housing and other historical financial supports.  On the other hand the proposal includes a share of resources from their traditional territories, which cover 33,000 square kilometres of northwestern British Columbia. The thrust behind this proposal is self-determination and the desire to improve quality of life through that process. I considered the Gitxsan proposal as I listened to Tim Michel (video interview Module 4) share a personal story and  discuss his sense of being ‘separated and alienated’ from his own traditional lands. Perhaps this type of governance would help overcome this idea.


Globe & Mail Article

Gitxsan Chiefs Office

The Delgamuukw Decision


November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 1 (A. Davidson)

Not Strangers in These Parts | Urban Aboriginal Peoples

Description & Relevancy

I thought I would share this policy research initiative that explores numerous issues related to the experience of urban aboriginal peoples in Canada. It is one of the source materials which I have used to support my research paper which explores the role of modern technologies in connecting urban and off-reserve aboriginal people with their cultural past, quality of life, and educational opportunities. There are several papers included in this index that represent numerous viewpoints and disciplines. When considered against some of the focus areas we have explored in this course about identity and indigenous ways of knowing and how those connect to land,  the papers in this volume offer a unique perspective to be considered from the urban aboriginal perspective.


November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 5 – Going Home


Coming to the end of my journey it seemed fitting that I should show you my home and a little of the reality we face here. This website shows both the beauty and the poverty of our towns, the traditional skills of the Indigenous people and the lack of modern technological skills. Here you can see a sample of the Regional dances, food and handicrafts, although you may need to clean up the images.

Here in Oaxaca these are daily activities and so sometimes we become blasé about them. Please look at the architecture, check out the tin roofs (even in the city they are common) and the Colonial buildings of which there are still many.

Look at the children in Asunción, some of them are wearing their school physical education uniform. Government schools are not free (the Parents association charges a fee) and uniforms are obligatory and not cheap. Yet the children are happy and playing in the street. Our life here is more communal than in other cities and although Oaxaca has one million people it is still like a small town.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me and if you ever come to Oaxaca we can eat some dead grasshoppers (chapulines) and drink some mescal with worm salt together.

November 21, 2009   2 Comments

Module 4 Weblog 4 – Global Voices


I chose this website for its content in Spanish, but I am including the link to the English version. This website can be visited in many languages and I think that is what captured my attention. It is a place where the young seem to have found a space in which they can communicate across the globe. Maybe this is not specifically an Indigenous website, but I think it is a model of what would be achieved.

This global site has a place for up to date news and also for the past. I am including a link to the Mayan Blog as it is well worth a visit and it is an example of how universities can help to store information, although I think after all I have learned that it would be better if they could empower Indigenous groups to protect their own heritage.

This webpage has links to Twitter and Facebook, both of which are common tools for any young people with a connection to the web. A lot has been said about the negative effects of Globalization, but I think the young people here have found a way to cross barriers instead of bludgeoning them down. The writers and translators are not paid, but they are given credit.  

Indigenous page

Mexican Page

Mayan Blog

English Version

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 3 – Homemade

This website is a government controlled site and it is worth checking out. In contrast to the United Nations website, there are some problems with the layout of the pages of the official home page in Spanish. There is so much information that it is very hard to navigate, even my children told me that it was just too confusing to be useful. The search option only checks out government pages and again I found it difficult to use. It is obvious that someone has tried to find lots of important health related, cultural and educational links, but for example some of the links are broken and others disappeared. I next tried the simplified homepage and I must admit it was a lot easier. There was less information, but I think that most people would find it more manageable. The Indigenous homepage also appeared to have les information than the official page, obviously I couldn’t check the content. The English and French homepages seem geared more to tourists, although if you click on the health news the information is in Spanish..

Official homepage:

Simplified homepage:

 Indigenous homepage:

 English homepage:

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 2 – UIT

I had recently learned that there are Indigenous groups in Mexico that are creating their own discourse and while I was looking for more information I came across this website. At first I was enchanted as the images are incredible. However as I began looking for who controlled the site, I became aware that it was neither an Indigenous, nor a local site. I finally had to investigate what UIT stood for and I was very quickly disenchanted. This appears to be a United Nations project to make access to telecommunications more equitable. This explains why the website is in Spanish and English, but not in any of the indigenous languages.

It is worth visiting for the photos and a lot of really useful information, there is an e-learning section with ideas such as how to set up and use a free Moodle platform, although I could only find it in English. There is information on “plataformas” in Spanish, but it wasn’t as clear as the English site. I would recommend this site to anyone in education as I think they may find some useful tools here, but I don’t see this site as being very helpful for a lot of indigenous communities.   

United Nations

Indigenous Portal

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Weblog 1 A Real Muse

I came across this website when I was looking for articles which were up to date and more academic than I had found on other sites. The title maybe a little pretentious, but I was certainly inspired. One of the problems I had was that it took a little practice to get used to refining my search word by word; as I am used to Google where I can almost write questions. The other problem was that there are so many interesting articles that I tended to get sidetracked and although I could argue that all of them were in some way related to my research, the truth is that I spent a lot of time reading fascinating articles but that cut into my writing time. I suggest that you visit this site in the vacations or when there is no imminent deadline on the horizon.

November 21, 2009   No Comments

The narrative within a 2 cultures – east and west – mod4 post2

You have got to watch this video from TED about the cultural differences of myth between India and the West. It is a real eye opener.

Does this sound familiar?

I think Devdutt Pattanai does a great job talking about the narrative in both cultures. Now that we are becoming a global society with more informal conversations between cultures, we can create a new narrative that could include the preservation the planet. Our Western culture is all about concur and take what you need NOW before your death. Other cultures, like India, belief in multiple lives therefore you have to preserve the earth for your next life. (I might be wrong here)… but it is exciting to learn about how other cultures view the world.

Aboriginal culture is all about being one with the mother earth, respecting her and preserving her. We have the cultures on this planet that can help the West change our ways. Technology can help facilitate the communication between cultures. Social media and social networking allows all voices to be heard. Educational Technology can connect students from differently countries to discuss and learn from each other.
Can we change the Western narrative if we listen to other narratives?

I hope so. It may be our digital generation that moves our cultures together to create a new narrative that protects the planet

November 21, 2009   No Comments