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.

Links on the page include:

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December 2, 2009   No Comments

First Nations Information Project (M4-4)

The First Nations Information Project is designed to provide a mechanism to share knowledge, interests, and effective practices connecting the Aboriginal community from around this expanse country and the world.

The site consists of the following main sections:

Some sections are more up to date than others but I found a lot of great information under “First Nations” you will find contact information for many First Nations groups.  The “Native Businesses” section was very interesting as it gives a break down of Native focused businesses by province.  Lastly the “cultures” link puts you in touch with Native Friendship centers and cultural organizations by region.

Overall this site is great for contact and organizational information.  I have never seen such a complete list of organizations, bands and Native companies in one resource before.  It is definitely worth a look if you require this type of information.

November 30, 2009   No Comments (M4-2)

I am not sure how we all missed this site but it is another excellent resource.  In module 2 there were some readings related to Aboriginal groups and their use of discussion boards but throughout the course I rarely found “active” discussion boards with frequent, new content. is definitely a site with an active an active First Nations community.  Among their newest topics are concepts concerning:

I have given many of the posts a quick read and they provide an interesting insight into current issues facing first nations people.

The site also offers some great links to other websites, some of which have been previously mentioned here.

November 30, 2009   No Comments

Elders Speak (M4-1)

In week 10 out reading about Inuit elders really got me thinking about their role in native communities.  Many cultures embrace their elders as a source of wisdom but I am aware of few groups that elevate them to a status equivalent to first nations groups.

The website shares some great information about Native American Elders, Leaders, Seniors and the demographics behind Native communities.  The website is focused on a cross-cultural look at diversity and aging and I must say there is some great information and insight here.

The site is a joint project between the National Indian and Inuit Community Health Representatives Organization (NIICHRO) and the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC) and is focused on addressing issues for elders in first nations communities.

Here are some of the concepts that the site focuses on and their links:

Check out the site for more information and some insight into issues facing Aboriginal elders.

November 30, 2009   No Comments

a Blog – AbTeC – mod4 post5

finally I found a aboriginal blog that is built to participate in networked culture

Form their site

“The main objective of AbTeC is to discover, define and implement methods by which Aboriginal people can use networked communication technology to strengthen our cultures. AbTeC’s Skins project will bring Aboriginal community organizations together with academic institutions to conduct research into the means by which the power of digital and networked technology can be put to use in producing and preserving our knowledge, culture and language. We will work with elder who have stories to tell, bands who have histories to preserve, and Aboriginal language speakers who want to share their knowledge. The goal is to provide conceptual and practical tools that will allow us to create new, Aboriginally-determined territories within the collection of web-pages, online games, chat rooms, bulletin boards and virtual environments that we call cyberspace.”

Love it!

The site cites current projects that include the use of computers in cyber pow wows, 3D story telling and computer programing

November 28, 2009   No Comments

RICTA | Research on ICT with Aboriginal Communities (DGM Module 4-4)

RICTA was established in September 2004 to work with Aboriginal communities, use ICTs strategically and creatively, build local capacity for research, facilitate Aboriginal participation, and to facilitate connection and trust among diverse members. Members include “more than 40 people working with universities, community research institutes, Aboriginal organizations, government and the private sector. Although a Canadian project, there are several non-Canadian institutions represented, including: University of San Francisco; Universidad Metropolitana, Mexico; New Jersey Institute of Technology; University of Vienna; and University of Missouri-Columbia.

The website currently lists five ongoing member projects, and 34 other projects nation-wide. Where applicable, project websites and contact information are included. Also useful is a bibliography of Canadian publications (1980-2005) related to research in ICT use in Aboriginal Communities.

Unfortunately, it appears that this website has not been updated since 2006.

November 28, 2009   No Comments

RedWAY BC News E-zine – mod4 post4

Still on the hunt for some aboriginal blogs I came across RedWAY BC News E-zine; a free on-line electronic magazine connecting 8,400+ international subscribers

The biline reads: “Harnessing Technology to Honour, Inform and Connect Urban Aboriginal Youth to Services, Opportunities, the Community and Each Other.”

This online publication seems like a well put together site with up-to-date information. Some of its contents include:

November 28, 2009   No Comments

Universities and Colleges: Aboriginal Canada Portal (DGM Module 4-1)

This section of the Aboriginal Canada Portal website “contains a list of the university and college programs, courses and services intended for an Aboriginal clientele.” In theory and on the surface, this is a great idea. Aboriginal students can look for post-secondary programs in environments that are designed with their cultural context in mind. However, I am wary of the accuracy of information provided. For example, in Ontario, Algoma University is still listed as Algoma University College more than a year after receiving their independent university charter. Shingwauk University, a First Nations-run university on the Algoma campus in Sault Ste Marie, isn’t even mentioned. One of the two links for Laurentian University (there should be several more including our new school of education, which includes a smudge room on site) is to something listed as “Native Style”, but takes you to a web-page describing my colleague Dr Hoi F. Cheu’s research in Bibliotherapy. While Bibliotherapy is fascinating, and I consider Dr Cheu a friend, it really doesn’t have much to do with the Indigenous experience on our campus.

I also wonder about the purpose and effect of such a website. While there may be positive aspects to being able to find institutions that publicize an integration, or at least an acceptance, of Aboriginal culture, the web-site also gives the impression that these are the only options for Aboriginal students. This implication is reinforced by the following statement and links:

For more information on programs and services available to all Canadians, please visit the following Web sites: Services for Canadians – Jobs, Workers, Training and Careers and Youth.

This section, like most of the Portal, includes a short “Did you know?” fact, sharing bits of trivia about Aboriginal culture and presence in Canada. On the Colleges and Universities pages today, you can find the following tidbit:

Did you know?

The critically acclaimed 2002 feature film “Atanarjuat: the Fast Runner” has all dialogue in the Inuktitut language and was written, filmed, produced, directed, and acted almost entirely by Inuit of Igloolik.

[ More ]

November 27, 2009   No Comments

Canada-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable (DGM Module 3-5)

The Canada-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable took place in April 2004, with a follow-up session in November 2004 and a policy retreat in May 2005. Of particular interest are the Facilitators’ Reports from the November 2004 meetings, with links to summaries of flip charts from the break-out groups, profiles of status and non-status North American Indians in Canada and a variety of background papers on such stakeholders as the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

One of the areas addressed in the Lifelong Learning – Inuit breakout groups is the issue of improving access to Post Secondary Education. Specific recommendations included “Flexibility of program delivery” via broadband, language of instruction, modular delivery, distance education delivery in communities, continue to support learning (by) disabled students, and co-op work experience.

November 24, 2009   No Comments

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

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

Centre for Aboriginal Health Research

menu_r1_c1The Centre for Aboriginal Health Research (CAHR) coordinates research activities to help First Nations and Aboriginal communities to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles and improved health services.  A joint initiative of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and the Foundations of Health, the CAHR works towards integrating scientific and traditional Aboriginal knowledge and approaches to work towards producing new knowledge about health and health care.

The symbol of the turtle logo represents a creation story which is appropriate for the Center’s goal to create new knowledge that encompasses Aboriginal cultural and social realities.  The arrows represent the taking in and giving back of information, the medicine wheel, and the four directions represent the four races on earth, stages of life and the physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological realms of health.

Objectives of the CAHR are:

To support and conduct studies related to traditional healing, prevalent diseases, culture-based approaches to healing, factors that influence health service systems, and addresses gender and age related needs within the First Nations and Aboriginal communities.

To provide community education and training in health research, to facilitate the use of health information and policy development, to advice First Nations and Aboriginal governments on health policy issues.

Links include:

Present Research

Past Research

Publications and Reports

Wilde, D. (designer) AHR Logo, (online image)  Retrieved November 17, 2009  from CAHR website.

November 18, 2009   No Comments

The body and technology – mod 4 post 1

You have got to watch this, it is amazing!!!

A TED video about a technology that allows the user to use/find digital information while  in her/his physical environment. The learner in the physical world interacts with digital data using physical gestures. No longer will we need desktop computers or laptops. No longer will we have to sit for hours in front of a machine interacting with a machine (computer). We can get information while interacting with our physical world.

Pranav Mistry, an MIT graduate student has created a device called the SixthSense that uses our physical gestures and interactions with real-world objects and integrates/combines them with data (digital information) for ‘just in time” knowledge building.

He hopes that this will solve the digital divide. All equipment needed is extremely cheap and the software is open source. You only need a wireless connection to the internet.

Near the end of the video he shows how his device makes working with digital data the same as working with information in a physical form (on paper)

I love it. I can hardly wait until it becomes the norm.

I think this fits in well with aboriginal pedagogy. The learner can be in the natural environment and interact with digital information at the same time.

November 17, 2009   No Comments

Aboriginal Research Ethics Initiative (M3-3)

Spawned by our discussion about questions to consider before researching in Aboriginal communities I started digging around for more information about Aboriginal research.

One site that turned out to be quite relevant is the Government of Canada’s Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) and more specifically their article on the Aboriginal Research Ethics Initiative (AREI).  The site outlines the following framework for research involving Aboriginal Peoples:

  • a commitment to building on local, national and international initiatives
  • engagement of and partnership with the community
  • application of  PRE’s First Principles to this initiative

These general guidelines provide a great basis for research in this field and the following reseources provided by the site offer a deeper look into the Ethics of such research:

Update on PRE’s Aboriginal Research Ethics Initiative (AREI)

Draft 2nd edition TCPS Chapter 9 Research Involving Aboriginal Peoples

Research Involving Aboriginal Peoples in the TCPS

Anyone actively involved with research in Aboriginal Communities should definately consider visiting this site as there is a lot of great information for researchers.  For example here is a quick list of guidelines from the Research Involving Aboriginal Peoples in the TCPS:

B. Good Practices

Researchers and REBs involved with Aboriginal communities should consider the following “good practices,” which have been drawn from the documents referred to above:

  • To respect the culture, traditions and knowledge of the Aboriginal group;
  • To conceptualize and conduct research with Aboriginal group as a partnership;
  • To consult members of the group who have relevant expertise;
  • To involve the group in the design of the project;
  • To examine how the research may be shaped to address the needs and concerns of the group;
  • To make best efforts to ensure that the emphasis of the research, and the ways chosen to conduct it, respect the many viewpoints of different segments of the group in question;
  • To provide the group with information respecting the following:
    • Protection of the Aboriginal group’s cultural estate and other property;
    • The availability of a preliminary report for comment;
    • The potential employment by researchers of members of the community appropriate and without prejudice;
    • Researchers’ willingness to cooperate with community institutions;
    • Researchers’ willingness to deposit data, working papers and related materials in an agreed-upon repository.
  • To acknowledge in the publication of the research results the various viewpoints of the community on the topics researched; and
  • To afford the community an opportunity to react and respond to the research findings before the completion of the final report, in the final report or even in all relevant publications (see Section 2 on information disclosure). Aboriginal Peoples may wish to react to research findings. It is inappropriate for researchers to dismiss matters of disagreement with the group without giving such matters due consideration. If disagreement persists, researchers should afford the group an opportunity to make its views known, or they should accurately report any disagreement about the interpretation of the data in their reports or publications.

November 9, 2009   No Comments

Module#3 Weblog#2 by Dilip Verma

Indigenous Knowledge and Resource Management in Northern Australia

Making Collective Memory with Computers

Web Site:

The IKRMNA was a project that ran from 2003 to 2006 and aimed to support and develop databases that focused on the preservation of Indigenous languages and culture in Northern Australia. It was coordinated by the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems at Charles Darwin University and received funds from the Australian Research Council. The project developed solutions for institutions, Indigenous communities, published papers and developed software. Among other activities, the project developed a prototype digital systems that allows Indigenous communities to develop a collective memory. TAMI (Text, Audio, Movies and Images) is a database and file management system for IK developed specifically to take into consideration the needs of Australian Aboriginal communities. Interestingly they propose the use of Maps and navigation interfaces since IK is place based.

Links from this site:

There is a link to an animation of TAMI

There are many interesting papers such as:

Digital Technologies and Aboriginal Knowledge Practices

& Software for Educating Aboriginal Children about Place

There are several links to other sites.

Of interest is the link to the Aboriginal Mapping Network that helps Indigenous communities to protect and develop land based resources by using mapping tools.

November 7, 2009   No Comments

Sunchild E-learning Community- mod3 post5

watch this video on Sunlife

Sunchild E-Learning Community  delivers courses and student services that are flexible and sensitive to the unique needs of First Nations learners using e-learning tools such as Skype and Wimba.

Based in Alberta, the community is for adult learners and  high school students to further their education without the challenges of geographical location, daycare issues,work and class size.  Often classes are canceled due to the lack of numbers but since Sunchild is online students in remote communities can attend a class that their remote school cannot support.

They have courses for adult literacy as well.  Watch this video

November 7, 2009   No Comments

Journal of American Indian Education – mod 3 post 4

I am starting to rethink my paper thesis. I think I want to change it to how blogs can fit into learning theories of Aboriginals. I was going to examine how blogs work with constructing social knowledge for the aboriginal tribes but I am starting to see how native learning theory and constructivism is very similar and blogs can play a role in constructing social knowledge.

The Journal of American Indian Education mission is:

to improve Native Education through knowledge generation and transmission to classrooms and other educational settings.


November 7, 2009   No Comments

Virtual Tour of Aboriginal Canada – mod3 post4

Virtual Tour of Aboriginal Canada
This site has a visual map search of indigenous populations across Canada. I read the news and hear about various bands but I can’t geographically ‘place’ them. With this site, the maps not only geographically place tribes but with click will open a new window containing specific tribal websites. Not all the links are work but most do.

I can now understand where all the aboriginal communities are in Ontario.

To me this looks like a well-maintained site, with a great deal of sources and it is visually appealing.

November 7, 2009   No Comments

First Nations Pedagogy – mod3 post3

First Nations Pedagogy

for Online Learning

This is a efolio site for June Kaminski, BSN MSN PhD. June is currently a PhD Candidate in Curriculum Studies and Technology Education at the University of British Columbia. She is also a Metis

The site is built to raise awareness of First Nations pedagogy – the ways knowing, learning, and teaching inherent to the traditional methods of aboriginal education.

I was fascinated by the learning theories of this site. The resources lead me to exploring the pedagogy of the First nations. Although not completed it does offer a list of theories that I will explore more deeply. This site got me thinking about learning theories and how some Western theories, mainly constructivism is very similar to First Nation learning Theories. This site will prove useful for my paper.

It connects well with our reading in Module 3 Education Indigenous to Place: Western Science Meets Native Reality

November 4, 2009   No Comments

Our World (DGM Module 3-1)
(Link found on the Educational Resources page of the National Film Board website:

The National Film Board of Canada has entered into partnerships with four First Nations communities to “give young First Nations people in remote BC/Yukon communities a chance to create web stories to tell the world about themselves, their home and their community.”

The Project Vision: “Our World is based on the concept of giving voice and inviting others to hear. The project aims to leave something behind that benefits both the individual and the community. By facilitating active communication and reception, we encourage positive social engagement. It is also about exposing young people to potential future career options by learning how to express themselves creatively with modern, digital media.”

The four current projects are:

  1. Nuxalk Nation – Bella Coola, BC
  2. Teslin Tlingit Council – Teslin, Yukon
  3. DOXA – Connexions, BC
  4. GWES – Hazelton, BC

Each community has a great collection of digital stories (films, stories+audio) – all viewed so far have been narrated in a first language, with English subtitles.


November 3, 2009   No Comments