Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (M4, #5)

Vision: To support the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to achieve full and complete health and wellness by collaborating in decolonizing research and knowledge building and sharing.

This is an amazing site containing detailed information on how the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) is helping Indigenous people realize self-actualization. By understanding how traumatic events of the past (including the impacts of colonization and residential schools, etc) have damaged the spirits of many Indigenous people and led to a justifiable mistrust, it quickly becomes apparent why the quest for decolonization is so imperative.

Return to Wellness – this relatively short video clip is a must view as it effectively explains the goals of the IWRI and how they are working to empower Indigenous people.

Through making the IWRI’s goal of attainment of higher education the norm for Indigenous people, the hope is this will lead to realization of what is perhaps the highest level of wellness – that which comes from being afforded the opportunity to share one’s wisdom and insights in supporting others to achieve their full potential.

November 28, 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

Indigenous Education Institute (M4, #1)

This Indigenous Education Institute (IEI) was created as a non-profit venture “with a mission to preserve, protect and apply traditional Indigenous knowledge in a contemporary setting, that of Indigenous peoples today, around the world”. Representatives from IEI have traveled around the world giving presentations to Indigenous organizations and institutions, as well as mainstream universities and K-12 schools.

Although IEI is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the administrators and board members represent various Indigenous groups. IEI is doing some important work in examing Native and Western Science in order to share awareness of Indigenous research methods and evaluation with the Western World. I was happy to learn that a priority of IEI is to assist Indigenous youth in building positive self-esteem and a strong sense of identity based on traditional cultural knowledge.  Overall, this is an informative and well-organized website!

November 28, 2009   No Comments

A Single Story – – mod4 post 3

Watch this video
Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story
Chimamanda Adichie speaks of her personal search for her culture. She points to how media defines a culture with a single story… a single story that narrowly defines cultures. For Chimamanda, a single story does not define a culture. She warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
Aboriginals also need to tell their stories. They need to find global voices so they don’t become one story… the story the media creates.

If you haven’t experienced then you really must visit. It several videos with diverse topics presented by our leaders/innovators.

Learn more about

November 23, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog #4 (A. Davidson)

First Nations Voice (On-line News and Media Center)

In Partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press

Description & Relevancy

One of the strong themes that run through the course and this module in particular is the need for First Nations people and communities to tell their own stories. To get an authentic and accurate understanding of issues related to First Nations people research on any level via print, film, print-news, radio broadcasts and other forms of media must be conducted through a First Nations perspective. This news publication was conceived to achieve such a goal and to act as a means to educate First Nations people themselves and the general public from a First Nations Perspective.


October 30, 2009   No Comments

Native Planet: Preserving Cultures, Empowering People (M2, #1)

The strikingly vivid colours  and images throughout this website reflect the uniqueness of Indigenous cultures. It was created to give native peoples a voice and to showcase how world cultures are working to protect their traditions despite globalization.

One of Native Planet’s main goals is the creation of authentic cultural documentaries as a means of empowerment. Many of these emphasize how Indigenous cultures are traditionally great examples of sustainable living.

Also, there is an intriguing section on Indigenous mapping of world ethnic cultures. The primary goal here is to produce a comprehensive database of Indigenous communities, including information on the successes and challenges they face. This completed database will be available to the public with the aim of providing a comprehensive resource of factual, unbiased information for interested students and researchers.

Native Planet is a non-profit organization and on each page of the site there is an area where visitors can make donations to futher their projects.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (M2-2)

I stumbled upon this group a while ago while researching Second Life.  Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace or AbTeC is a group of Aboriginal technology and media specialists and what they do is a  bit hard to explain so I will let them do it:

AbTeC is a network of academics, artists and technologists whose goal is to define and share conceptual and practical tools that will allow us to create new, Aboriginally-determined territories within the web-pages, online games, and virtual environments that we call cyberspace. Our multi-faceted effort will include a storytelling series, an ongoing gamesnight, a modding workshop, Machinima, and performance art.

Our main objective is to identify and implement methods by which Aboriginal people can use new media technologies to complement our cultures. In other words, how can we use the exciting new tools now available on the personal computer to empower Native people, especially our youth, to both preserve and produce our knowledge, culture and language in this highly technological society? AbTeC’s roots lie with a project called CyberPowWow, a pioneering on-line gallery and chat space for contemporary Aboriginal art. It was through CyberPowWow that we realized that, even on the Internet, Native people need a self-determined place to call home.

The group has done a lot of very interesting work related to Aboriginals in Cyberspace including research publications,  digital productions and their site also has a very informed blog.  Some of the more intersting and relevant blog posts can be found below:

I think site is of interest to anyone curious about how Aboriginal groups are represented in cyberspace, and more specifically, in modern video games.  There is definitely an interesting body of knowledge emerging from this group.

October 18, 2009   No 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 #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

Module 1, Weblog #5 (A. Davidson)

RedWAY BC News E-zine

Description and Relevance

In my ongoing search for a research topic I came across this site which was linked to the one Sophie posted on First Nations Pedagogy. The purpose of the site is stated in the heading byline:

Harnessing Technology to Honour, Inform and Connect Urban Aboriginal Youth to Services, Opportunities, the Community and Each Other

Once again I found this to be intriguing considering the points of view we explored in Module 1 that questioned the value of participating in the online world from a cultural perspective for First Nations Communities.

The main goal of the site seems to be focused on empowerment for urban aboriginals through employment potential, leadership, community building, advocacy groups, etc…

Features and Links

Some of the areas of interest I navigated to from the home page included:


September 21, 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