Posts from — December 2009

Club Amick (DGM Module 4-5)

Club Amick is an aboriginal children’s literacy project founded by former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable James Bartleman, and continued by current L-G, The Honourable David Onley. The program helps aboriginal children to cultivate a love of reading and to build home libraries by sending them a themed book and newsletter four times a year. The goal of developing literacy amongst aboriginal youth is one very close to Bartleman’s heart: as a half-native child, he grew up in poverty in Orillia, Ontario, but discovered a love of reading that eventually led him to be appointed the Queen’s representative to the province.

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December 2, 2009   No Comments

CEFIKS (M4, #5)



The Center for Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CEFIKS) is a non-profit, NGO based in Ghana.  CEFIKS’ stated three main goals are: 1) the inclusion of indigenous knowledge systems in Africa (more specifically Ghana) 2) the empowerment of disadvantaged groups in rural and urban areas in gaining access to and also in utilizing both indigenous and emerging information communications technologies 3) the utilization of indigenous knowledge systems and other forms of information for capacity building as a way of accelerating socio-economic development in rural and urban areas of Ghana and throughout the West African region.

The CEFIKS website shares the organization’s mission statement and strategy.  Of particular interest to a researcher, this website makes available publications and documents on issue ranging from Indigenous Health Knowledge, Access and utilization of safe motherhood services of expecting mothers in Ghana and Plant and biodiversity, herbal medicine, intellectual property rights and industrial developing countries.

December 1, 2009   No Comments

Barrick Gold Corporation (M4, #4)

Barrick Gold Corporation – Indigenous Cultures


Barrick Gold is a gold mining company which is dedicated to “finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner”.  Barrick Gold’s website has a section dedicated to its corporate responsibility.   In this section, amongst other topics, Barrick Gold’s shares the reality of its relationship with Indigenous communities.  The corporation focuses on the positive impact it has supposedly had on these communities, however, more usefully it offers links to outside related reports.  Examples include: Historic agreement reached with Western Shoshone tribes, cultural preservation and cross-cultural understanding, and ICMM’s resources on engagement with Indigenous Peoples.  On the following page, the corporation emphasizes its role in cultural preservation.  Additional information is provided through this link: Cowal Mine: A Study in Sustainable Development,  case study on the Donlin Creek project in Alaska and Overcoming substance abuse in Alaska.

December 1, 2009   No Comments

Te Köhanga Reo—Maori “Language Nests”

This website describes and provides a history about Maori Language Nests in New Zealand.  In the Köhanga Reo (language nests), young children (often selected from less advantaged homes) are cared for by Maori elders and other adults completely in Maori.  The conception, organization and promotion of this very successful initiative were part of a grass-roots effort that began in 1982, as Maori elders became concerned about the future of their language and culture.

These “nests” or daycare facilities support language revitalization theory by facilitating the transmission of language between generations—what some say is the key to successful revitalization.  Language nests led to language classes for the parents, instruction in Maori for school-aged children, and influenced educational policy.  This website is a must for anyone who would like to know more about the “language nest” model of revitalization.

There are a variety of links that can be navigated throughout the site including an About Us section (this gives a great deal of information about the program’s particular details as well as some of the history behind it) and an events section (various conferences are listed here).

December 1, 2009   No Comments

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke ‘elikōlani : University of Hawaii’s College of Hawaiian Language (M4-4)

Home to one of the most renowned and successful language revitalization programs in the world, the University of Hawaii Hilo’s College of Hawaiian Language website is an excellent place to start to research Hawaiian language or language revitalization.  As the website proclaims, the College has two divisions, the Studies and Academic Divisions; the Studies Division is where students learn and learn in the Hawaiian language, and the Academic Division is devoted to linguistic and cultural research.

Of interest on this page is the fact that it is a completely bilingual (Hawaiian and English) or monolingual (Hawaiian only) page, and upon arriving, one will notice that English is not the dominant language.  This is living evidence that language revitalization can be successful in many ways.  The second thing to note is the page on the Indigenous Teacher Education Mission.  The University is seeking out Hawaiian people with a strong language and cultural background to be trained as teachers for the many immersion schools in Hawaii.

Overall, this is an informative, general information site about a culture that is making use of technology to enhance the language revitalization process. (If you would like more information on the history of their tech-based language revitalization program, read Mark Warschauer’s work, in particular:

Warschauer, M. & Donaghy, K. (1997). Leokï: A powerful voice of Hawaiian language revitalization. Computer Assisted Language Learning 10(4), pp.349-361.

December 1, 2009   No Comments