Module 4, Post 5 ~ National Aboriginal Health Organization

I was reading a news article about H1N1 and thought about and it struck me to look up Aboriginal Health. I was quite please to find an extremely rich site with NAHO. Currently (Nov 24, 2009) it has a youtube video of two young women throat singing which is always amazing to listen to! It is trying to engage with Aboriginals online using various social media from youtube, twitter, facebook, blogger, picasa gallery (great pictures!) etc. NAHO is designed by and controlled by Aboriginals committee to improving the health of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Health Canada is a core supporter of NAHO.

NAHO hosts a tremendous number of publications including a seasonal bulletin, research papers, information on resource extraction, traditional healing and health, and midwifery amongst many others.

The site also includes links to sub programs aimed at First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. They also National Aboriginal Role Model Program (NARMP) and further links to Aboriginal Children’s early leaerning, Journal of Aboriginal health, and another one to have a look at is Many Hands One Dream (

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Module 4, Post 4: Digital Drum

“It’s a running gag amongst some Inuit and social scientists that a traditional Inuit family consists of a mother, a father, children, and an anthropologist.” – from Geronimo’s blog. Had to include that as it made me chuckle and think back on several discussions about research and videos during the course.

Digitaldrum is one of Linda Smith’s examples of a space of resistance and hope. Digital drum allows for Aboriginal people to upload video, audio and write stories on blogs. Digitaldrum is supported by the Aboriginal People’s Television Network and by Canadian Heritage. It is a place for people to share culture, language, stories, and experiences.

I have thought about how can you easily store and transmit culture that has been orally shared for centuries. This social medium allows for people that have access to the technology and high speed internet to do it quite easily.  A question occurs, what about Aboriginal people that do not have access? I think that access needs to be provided to everyone through whatever means possible. This site can act as an amazing community as well as an archive.

One that is worth a watch is a poem called “Heaven’s Fiddle” read in a beautiful video. I hope you take a couple of minutes to watch it

One other thought I had regarding how to engage in another culture and the effect we can have on it by engaging. Through this medium I am able to view, consume perhaps, some parts of the culture without affecting it. It allows me a view into families and stories that otherwise I would not likely have the opportunity to be part of. While I think it is best to experience cultures face-to-face in an immersive way, this at least may be more accessible to start.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Aboriginal Education videos

Here are a number of videos from the BC Principals and Vice-principals association.  Very informative.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Post 3 ~ Canadian Aboriginal Festival

Back on the celebration focus again. This came up with a search on Native Canadian Celebrations. It is even happening this week in Hamilton!

The festival has many features including Pow Wow, Canadian Aboriginal Music, Awards, Education Day, Performing Arts, fashion, markets, Lacrosse, workshops and traditional teachings. The site includes a slideshow and videos with some amazing pictures and footage of previous years’ festivals.

The education day provides some teaching resources and a short handout for students. There are lots of activities for students and teachers to participate in throughout the day. This would likely be an excellent couple of days for students and teachers to participate and experience so much of the Aboriginal culture. It would be very advantageous for teachers especially those who are wanting to integrate more Aboriginal stories, and language into our regular teaching as another point of view for our students to learn from. I find myself wishing this was more accessible for everyone to attend!

November 25, 2009   No Comments

The Drinking Song Music Video

Another song about alcoholism and the effects of colonization.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Tru Rez Crew — I’m A Lucky One

Excellent blend of music, technology and aboriginal culture.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Skin is my Sin

Another song by War Party dealing with the challenges of being First Nations.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Feelin’ reserved – War Party

It occured to me that perhaps doing a Youtube search of Native Rap would be fruitful.  Low and behold there was many Canadian rappers that were mixing video, technology, music, story telling in the form of rap that told the story of contemporary Native culture.  I hope you enjoy them.  They video/songs could easily be incorporated into a media literacy programme that uses technology to pull together all the elements that we have been discussing in Etec 521.  Enjoy.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Post 2 ~ Reconciling Western and Aboriginal Science

Reflecting on the students in my elective senior science courses that I taught, there were very few if any Aboriginal students in the classes. I never had any conversations with our Aboriginal Support Teacher about students in those classes, not because they weren’t requiring support, but because they weren’t there. I hadn’t really thought about it with the rest of the busy life of a teacher going on I didn’t always reflect on the class makeup. I had many other Aboriginal students in jr science courses that were required or computer courses that were electives. I wonder now if the reason for that is that our western based science classes are terribly disengaging for Aboriginal students?

The SciDev policy brief looks at whether Indigenous Knowledge should be added into western science lessons. It speaks to global sustainability issues, resource rights of Indigenous peoples, globalization, colonization, collaborative partnerships, local validity and accuracy of IK.

After completing our final paper I did look into the inclusion of IK into science courses from a Elementary Science Literature Review ( and see quite clearly that this is a direction that education needs to go to to serve the needs of all of our students. While it will certainly serve the needs of our Aboriginal students, it is another way to tell the story of science which helps any learner who is having difficulty. Teaching of science, especially abstract or microscopic kind of concepts requires great story telling. Being able to access another source of stories or analogies would make me a better science teacher for all of my students.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Post 1: CBC Archives ~ Celebration of Aboriginal Heritage

Is I quickly approach the end of my MET program I thought of looking for something celebratory. So this came up with a search for Aboriginal celebration.

I’ve often used or suggested to other educators that there is something for any classroom on CBC archives as well as Aboriginal Studies.

This page holds 15 audio and video clips that feature notable Aboriginal personalities as well as Aboriginal culture. I’m currently enjoying listening to Buffy Sainte Marie talk about her experiences as an Aboriginal person in mainstream media as well as other Aboriginal people. I enjoyed her story of insisting that any of the Aboriginal characters on a television program should be played by Aboriginals, she said she hadn’t been asked to do a television program since.

Along with Ms. Sainte Marie they have Architect Douglas Cardinal, Matthew Coon who paddled to New York to protest the Great Whale Project, Georges Erasmus and his view of the future, Phil Fontaine who discusses residential school and his life in politics, Elijah Harper and his vote that blocked Meech Lake, Tom Longboat a marathoner, Alanis Obomsawin an Abenaki singer and activist, Bill Reid and his beautiful art, Louis Riel, the legend of Nokomis, Winona and the birth of Nanbozho, History of baggataway (lacrosse), and a look at the first Arctic Winter Games.

Some are short clips, and some are longer. All have some profoundly important person or events with respect to Canadian and Canadian Aboriginal Society.

This is only a selection of the clips available on the archive. There are several other links on the page that lead to an in-depth CBC piece on Aboriginals, National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, National Aboriginal day, and more. I think I’ll spend a bit more time here before looking for other links and watch and listen to some amazing people and the events that have shaped my understanding of our Canada.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Aboriginal success stories.

Look and listen to these short videos featuring the success of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Northern communities. Whether it’s about education, culture or governance, they all have the same goal – improving the quality of life of Aboriginal people across Canada.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Congress of Aboriginal People


The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, (CAP), is the national voice of off-reserve Aboriginal people throughout Canada.  We are a grassroots-driven, national voice for our communities, advocating for the rights and interests of off-reserve and non-status Indians and Métis people, living in urban, rural and remote areas of Canada.  The Congress is at the leading edge of issues and opportunities that impact Aboriginal peoples across Canada.

Founded in 1971 as the Native Council of Canada, our initial goal was to re-establish recognition of our constituents as Aboriginal people, and to obtain fundamental Aboriginal and human rights for them.  Our work continues today as the effects of urbanization and globalization are increasingly felt in social and economic trends that have direct bearing on off-reserve Aboriginal peoples.

Seventy-nine per cent pf Aboriginal people live away from Indian Reserves, while Aboriginal policies and programming in Canada is directed to on-reserve “First Nations” people at a ration of over 8:1.

The goals of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples are targeted to achieving social and economic equity for its constituents in housing, health care, education, employment and economic development.  A key component of CAP’s mandate continues to be advocacy for Aboriginal and treaty rights for Métis and non-status Indian people.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) serves the interests of on-reserve Indians.  The Métis National Council (MNC) represents some Métis people. The Inuit are represented by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), and Aboriginal women, by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).

Yet, there remains a large gap in program and service delivery once individuals leave their on-reserve communities, or in the case of the Métis, if they cannot trace their ancestral lineage back to what the MNC term as the “Métis homelands” in Western Canada.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the organization that advocates on behalf of the “Forgotten People”, those who are otherwise voiceless at the National level.  We have a distinguished thirty-seven year history of undertaking research and program/service delivery, as well as carrying out ongoing government relations.  All these efforts seek to build mutual understanding and broader acceptance of the off-reserve status, non-status and Métis constituencies.  The Congress is also a recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) with the United Nations.

We are here to amplify the voice of our people at all levels, from local to global.  We are committed to ensuring that Aboriginal people attain a standard of living equitable to all Canadians.  We seek to engage others – to participate, contribute and to gain benefit – to consider and influence the effects of our collective decisions on behalf of future generations, so that our children and grandchildren can inherit healthy and sustainable communities and enjoy the prosperity they so richly deserve.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Non status Native People

“Non-status Indians” commonly refers to people who identify themselves as Indians but who are not entitled to registration on the Indian Register pursuant to the Indian Act. Some of them may be members of a First Nation.

The Office of the  Federal Interlocutor works with Métis, non-status Indian and urban Aboriginal organizations, as well as with provincial governments where appropriate, to find practical ways to improve the quality of life of Métis, non-status Indians and urban Aboriginal people.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Supporting Urban Aboriginal

The Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) is a community-based initiative developed by the Government of Canada to improve social and economic opportunities of Aboriginal people living in urban centres.

Through the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, the Government of Canada partners with the Aboriginal community and local organizations, municipal and provincial governments and with the private sector. These partnerships support projects that respond to local priorities and advance the UAS national priority areas of: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Urban Aboriginal

The term – Urban Aboriginal people – refers primarily to Inuit, Métis and First Nations currently residing in urban areas.  According to 2006 Census data, off-reserve Aboriginal people constitute the fastest growing segment of Canadian Society. In 2006 a full 56% of Aboriginal people lived in urban areas, up from 50% in 1996.  The cities with the largest Aboriginal populations were Winnipeg (68,380), Edmonton (52,100), Vancouver (40,310), Toronto (26,575), Calgary (26,575), Saskatoon (21,535), and Regina (17,105).

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians works closely with provinces, national Aboriginal organizations, federal departments and organizations towards improving the services available to off-reserve Aboriginal Canadians.

November 25, 2009   No Comments

Sooke School District – Aboriginal Support

There are approximately 8500 students registered in programs from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in School District #62 (Sooke). Aboriginal students make up approximately 8% of students enrolled in School District #62 (Sooke).
Of the Aboriginal students 19% are First Nations living on Beecher Bay, Pacheedaht or T’Sou-ke reserves while over 80% live off reserve throughout the Sooke School District. Many of our students are non-status or Metis from regions across Canada.
Over 750 students receive support and enrichment through Aboriginal Education services.

November 25, 2009   No Comments