Module 4 Entry #5


A wonderful project between the Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council and Department of Canadian Heritage through Canadian Culture Online. Links to culture and language as well as a pull down menu which discusses items such as Information Technology and Infant Development. It’s incredible and uses Quick Time technology. All sections of the site have sound files done in English and the Nuu-chah-nulth language as well as an option for French language. Definitely worth taking a look at.

November 28, 2009   No Comments

Aboriginal Culture in the Digital Age (M2-5)

I thought I would share this interesting research article discussing Aboriginal Culture in Canada involving digital technologies. The article, written by the Aboriginal Voice Culture Group, explores the future of . This group endeavours to explore the relationship and impact of information and communications technologies on Aboriginal cultures and identity in Canada.

The document directly relates to many of the topics we have discussed this week including:

Is ICT the potent enabler for the promotion, renewal and enrichment of Aboriginal cultures as many claim?  For example does ICT offer new possibilities for the preservation and teaching of Aboriginal languages?  Within the context of increasing numbers of Aboriginal peoples living away from traditional communities in large urban melting pots, can technology help safeguard the right of Aboriginal children and young people to learn their culture and speak their Indigenous languages?

The article is a great read and discusses many of the websites playing a role in helping Canadian Aboriginals to shape their online identity.  Here are some of the sites the article mentions:

October 18, 2009   2 Comments

Weblog 2 Entry #3

Blue Corn Comics

I stumbled upon this site when looking for some material for a class which was actually created by Native Americans. This is a jumping off point for several different publications such as Peace Party (A Multicultural graphic novel featuring Native Americans) and  Newspaper Rock ( A blog which describes itself as a place where Native American meets pop culture.

other important links:

Language preservation : Blue Comics offers a service which create comics in any tribal language. I found this particularly interesting as most students (especially boys) seem to be hooked on graphic novels.

Harmful Effects of Stereotyping

Seeking Native Writers

There is also stereotype of the month contest which includes commercials, prime time tv episodes etc. It includes links for educators. Overall I think an excellent site for using with students.

October 15, 2009   No Comments

Module 2 Weblog #4 (A. Davidson)

Vanishing Voices

Description and Relevancy

This is a link to the digital version of the Calgary Herald which is currently featuring a 3 part series on the struggle to protect vanishing and extinct First Nations languages in Southern Alberta.  I thought it quite timely for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the first article examines the perspective of technology and language for these endangered languages at several points. Secondly considering the Robert Harding article in our current module, that examines constructed stereotypes of Aboriginal people in newsprint media, I examined the article closely to detect any of the stereotypes that Harding and previous studies identified.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 (Will Update)

October 11, 2009   No Comments

Module 2 Weblog #3 (A.Davidson)

Judgement at Stoney Creek (Google Books preview)

Stoney Creek Woman: The Story of Mary John (Google Books preview)

Relevance & Description

I moved to my hometown of Vanderhoof in the summer of 1977 just as the criminal case that this first book, Judgement at Stoney Creek,  was shedding a national spotlight on the town and exposing the brutal racism that was a reality there. As an 8 year old I was unaware of all of the criminal proceedings and ‘news’ and only discovered this issue when I read the book in University, in the early 1990’s,  far from my hometown. Of course I recognized the stereotypes and racism that were at the heart of this chronicling as I had observed and lived with them in the intervening years.

The second book, Stoney Creek Woman: The Story of Mary John, tells the story of a powerful community advocate who was integral in preserving her communities language, traditions, and serving as a role model for many. I remember Mary working in my elementary school and sharing her culture with all of us following the tragedy recalled in the first book mentioned here.

I include these here because, although there are still many issues facing the people of Sail’uz First Nation (formerly Stoney Creek), there has been much positive change in the past 30 years. Technology is one way that they like others First Nations groups are engaging in cultural preservation. As well, these stories expose a different stereotyped image of First Nations than the ‘primitivist perplex’ Prins speaks of that is present in media worlds. I think technology and media can help to move past these damaging stereotypes.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Wade Davis on Endangered Cultures (M1-4)


As a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Davis describes the current state of endangered indigenous cultures through photos and experiences, and describes the alarming rate at which they are disappearing from the face of the planet.  This talk relates to our discussion about whether or not technology is “culturally neutral”.  Davis describes the many similarities among human beings, but also discusses some of the differences in cultural traditions and values, describing the “myriad cultures of the world that make up a web of spiritual life and cultural life that envelops the planet”.

Davis discusses beliefs, and experiences that outline some of the endangered cultures that he has had experience with, and describes some of the challenges that are faced by those cultures.  In closing, Davis maintains that through media (print, electronic, cinematic), National Geographic hopes to foster understanding and appreciation of all cultures, in hopes that precious cultures are not lost to (or in) the masses.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 Entry #4

First Nations University of Canada

First Nations University of Canada (2003)  was formerly known as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College which was founded in 1976. The university boasts programs which are designed to specifically address the needs of Aboriginal communities. Programs at the university include: Indian Communication Arts, School of Indian Social Work, Indian Fine Arts, Intercultural Leadership Program, Department of Indigenous Education, a multitude of programs related to the health sciences and many more.

The FNUC allows students of all nations to learn in an environment of First Nations cultures and values.Their mission statement ” To enhance the quality of life, and to preserve, protect and interpret the history, language, culture and artistic heritage of First Nations.”   


First Nations Veterans Memorial

September 21, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 Weblog #3 (Al. Davidson)

First Voices

Description and Relevance

This interactive website is developed by the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation and supported by the New Relationship Trust, TELUS, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Government of British Columbia. I navigated to this site from the First Nations Technolgy Council Website in my exploration of Language and Technology.

The stated purpose of this site is to “support Aboriginal People engaged in language archiving. language teaching and culture revitalization.”

Features and Links

There are a number of interactive tools that facilitate learning activities. An interactive map connects to a number of language groups across Canada (currently most participating communities are in BC) where learners can then access a variety of interactive tools including:

  • language games
  • audio players
  • alphabets
  • slideshows
  • video clips


September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module #1 Weblog Entry #2

Mission Voices Website

Mission Voices Website is a project funded by the Australian Broadcasting Company and involves the Koorie Heritage Trust  and the State Library of Victoria. The premise of the site is to document the history of six Aboriginal missions and reserves in Victoria, Australia. This is a unique historical account as it includes the voices of the Koorie elders who recount their memories of mission and reservation  life. It is a moving experience which adds a new dimension to the study of history.

Included in the site are collaborative activities for both middle years and high school students. The goal of the activities seems to be to promote the idea of how Aboriginal missions and reserves have shaped the lives of all Australians-past and present.

The site is very powerful. However, one downside is the navigation-it seems awkward and disjointed which is disappointing as this site offers much for educators.

September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – Weblog Entry #1 – Bruce Spencer

Language is one of the most important aspects of a culture. It is used primary for communication purposes but it also helps us to define who we are as a people. Certain characteristics of language, such as dialect, can signify differences that may exist within a given culture. Language can also be used to distinguish one culture from another.
A Canadian Perspective

This site from Natural Canada Resources is loaded with statistical information about the nature and composition of aboriginal languages within Canada. While the information may is somewhat dated, it does have interactive maps that can be used by educators/learners interested in learning more about the current status of Canada’s aboriginal language. Data and Mapping Notes provides additional background information about these maps.

September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – Weblog Entry #4 – Bruce Spencer

It’s always a good idea to stay abreast of current events from around the globe. Perhaps what’s even more important is that we get a balanced representation of these events as they play out on the world stage. Cultural Survival offers readers access to hundreds of articles on issues relating to indigenous peoples from all over the world. But that’s not all this organization does.

Cultural Survival is currently involved in supporting various self-sustaining culturally driven programs for several indigenous communities in different parts of the world. One such project has to do with the deterioration of Native American Languages within the United States. The similarities to our own situation are striking, which is why I would encourage you to explore this site and the program more closely.

Some publications of interest to me were:
“Surf’s up!” NWT Indigenous Communities Await a Tidal Wave of Electronic Information
Indigenous Distance Education
A View from the Yukon Flats: An Interview with Gwich’in Leader Clarence Alexander

September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 Weblog # 1 (Al Davidson)


Description and Relevance

This site has been created by members of the Tsuut’ina First Nation to help preserve and protect a language that is considered to be an “extinct language”

Having a small number of Tsuut’ina students in our school prompted me to revisit this site during Module 1 discussions. It provides an exemplar for First Nations cultures attempting to use modern technology to bridge cultural divides and preserve language. This also provides food for thought when considered against the position of Howe, Craig, “Cyberspace is No Place for Tribalism,” Wicazo Sa Review (Fall, 1998), 19-27.

Links and Features

  • This site includes a downloadable keyboard for Tsuut’ina characters as well as audio and video lessons.
  • Links from this page are to other categories on the Tssut’ina main site including other relevant cultural and historical information that is being preserved through the use of technology.


September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module 1: weblog 5 (Chantal Drolet)

Center for Indigenous Cultural Survival

Indigenous communities around the world are creating programs of significant value to cultural preservation and indigenous empowerment.

Resources available:

  • Links to projects around the world
    • Examples:
      • Amazon / rainforest conservation
      • USA / support for undergraduate and graduate studies for indigenous people
  • Newsletter

Links to other sites:

  1. Center for World Indigenous Studies
  2. Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS
  3. University of Oregon Native American Initiative

Usefulness for research on Indigenous knowledge, media, and community reality:

This site offers an opportunity for indigenous people to participate and strengthen their local communities. It enables the examination and understanding of various strategies and techniques that create a space for the survival of culture and life as understood by global Indigenous communities.


September 19, 2009   No Comments

Module 1: weblog #2 (Chantal Drolet)

Centre for World Indigenous Studies

The Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) is a non-profit research and education organization dedicated to wider understanding and appreciation of the ideas and knowledge of indigenous peoples and the social, economic and political realities of indigenous nations.

Resources available:

  • World Journal
  • International Indigenous Peoples: Includes book reviews
  • Online blog: a daily journal published by the Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) since June 1999
  • A Forum for Global Exchange reports news as well as facilitates active participation by Indigenous people, resolution of violent conflicts, development of international law, and exchange of knowledge and information.
  • The FGE News Page also hosts a large collection of Indigenous related web links.
  • Media Center
    • Indigenous video & audio media
    • Selection of books & maps

Links to other sites

Usefulness for research on Indigenous knowledge, media, and community reality

This site offers education programs; forums for global exchange; a bookstore and many other resources.


September 19, 2009   No Comments