Our World (DGM Module 3-1)

(Link found on the Educational Resources page of the National Film Board website: http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/education/)

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
    Stories: http://films.nfb.ca/ourworld/bellacoola/index.php
  2. Teslin Tlingit Council – Teslin, Yukon
    Stories: http://films.nfb.ca/ourworld/teslin/index.php
  3. DOXA – Connexions, BC
    Stories: http://films.nfb.ca/ourworld/connexions/index.php
  4. GWES – Hazelton, BC
    Stories: http://films.nfb.ca/ourworld/hazelton/index.php

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

Module 3 Entry #3

The March Point Video reminded me of a CBC documentary I watched some time ago about the Arctic Bay Video Club and the Youtube hit Don’t Call Me Eskimo  There are a great deal of similarities between the two projects. The link I have provided here is not only the video but part one of the CBC documentary that aired back in 2007. It brings to light some of the issues faced by aboriginl youth in the north and highlights the success of the Arctic Bay Video Club. I liked this project because it deals with Canadian youth.

October 28, 2009   No Comments

Common Portrayals of Aboriginal People (M2-4)

The discussions related to Nanook of the North as well as many of our readings in this module had us analyzing how First Nations people are depicted in the media and online.  Within the module I kept on thinking the stereotypes the Western world has developed around the Native American persona.

One site that I found summarized these stereotypes in an honest and realistic manner is the Media Awareness Network’s Common Portrayals of Aboriginal People page.  The site digs deep into North American film and television to list numerous ways in which Aboriginal people have been misrepresented.  In their list they touch on some of the following misrepresentations:

  • Romanticization
  • The Indian Princess
  • The Native Warrior
  • The Noble Savage
  • Historical Inaccuracies
  • Simplistic Characterizations

Other sections of the site investigate some very relevant topics including:

October 18, 2009   No Comments

Module 2 Entry #1

Media Awareness Network

 This is the site of a non profit organization dedicated to promoting digital and media literacy through education and awareness programs. Their goal is to have both adults and young people understand how media works. The site has information and resources for teachers as well as parents. There are over 200 lessons available for free for educators.

Specific issues covered at this site include:

Media Violence

Media Stereotyping 

Online Hate

Media and Canadian Cultural Policies

Of particular interest is the ongoing, longitudinal study started in 2000 which is tracking and investigating the behaviors, attitudes and opinions of Canadian youth with respect to their use of the

I just noticed that Al has also used this site. It obviously has much to offer and warrants some viewing by others in the class.

October 15, 2009   No Comments

Weblog 2 Entry #4

Samson and Delilah an Australian film by Aboriginal director Warwick Thornton. I wanted to link this site as I have heard Thornton interviewed before. This film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Foreign Film category. Although it first appears as a basic trailer site as for any other movie I believe the links included make it worthy of a look. There is an interview where Thornton describes how the movie is based on real life experience and where he urges Australian to practice random acts of kindness.  

`Cinema is performance, that`s how us blackfellas have connected with it. It`s where we come from, with our storytelling. A lot of dreaming stories are about moral stories and news and teaching….that`s the way indigenous filmmakers are thinking.`Warwick Thornton.

October 15, 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

Tonto and Tonto Speak (DGM Module 2-2)


This master’s thesis, submitted to Montana State University by Heather Miller in 2006, outlines the development of a Native American film theory. Inspired by Native American literary theory and relying on Creation Stories, Miller’s film theory attempts to address the issue of Native American identity in film.

For Miller, the four main components of her film theory are:

  1. Community and Cultural Applications;
  2. American Indian Thought;
  3. Indian Semiotics; and
  4. History and Politics

Although not technically a web-site, this thesis does contribute significantly to our understanding both of Native American film and of the ways in which Native American film is produced differently from non-Native American film.


October 14, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 weblog 3 (Chantal Drolet)

Native American Wisdom, Sayings, Quotes, Philosophy & Issues

A collection of sayings, quotes and words of wisdom reflecting the beliefs and philosophy of the Native Americans. Also offered are a selection of Native American books and American music.

Articles and links provide information dealing with the issues of prejudice and shameful displacement that are still faced by the Native Americans to this day.

Resources available:

  • Quotes; books; music; meditations
  • Film:
    • Canada’s Complicity in Genocide
      A contemporary David and Goliath tale that will inspire and challenge the reader. It is the personal story of Reverend Kevin Annett, the minister who single-handedly exposed the murder and genocide of aboriginal people by the government of Canada and his employer, the United Church of Canada. This is his own gripping and passionate account of his heroic efforts against insurmountable odds to document hidden crimes among west coast native people after he began a ministry among them in Port Alberni, British Columbia in 1992.

Links to other sites:

  • My Two Beads Worth
    Native American Indian/First Nations/Indigenous Peoples’ News Online.

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

“Pearls of Wisdom” offers an artistic and mystical view of the indigenous world.



September 23, 2009   No Comments

Australia’s Culture Portal: Indigenous film (DGM Module 1-2)


This website is an official government portal to Australian Indigenous film, including a history of Indigenous film that weaves it closely to the developing intercultural dynamic from the silent film period of the 1920’s to present day. The history culminates in a reference to Ten Canoes (de Heer 2006), “Australia’s first feature film to be made entirely in an Aboriginal language (although narrated in English).”

An important inclusion on this page, and that of the Ten Canoes website (well-worth a visit) is the following warning: “This article may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Islander people now deceased. It also contains links to sites that may use images of Aboriginal and Islander people now deceased.”

According to McGrath and Philips (2007), it is a sign of respect to a deceased person not to use their first name, at least in direct reference to that person, for a period of up to several years. Eventually, the deceased’s name will often be used to name a new child in the family in order to maintain continuity in the family.

This Portal also contains links to many other useful resources related to Indigenous film in Australia, including similar sites, film sites, info about Indigenous filmmakers, and so on.

One aspect of this site that I find diminishes the status of Australian Indigenous film is that the government ministry responsible for this website is the Ministry of Culture and Recreation (my emphasis). While recreation, or play, may be a component of cultural activity, it seems disrespectful to put the two on an equal footing.


McGrath, P., & Phillips, E. (2007). Australian findings on aboriginal cultural practices associated with clothing, hair, possessions and use of name of deceased persons. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 14(1), 57-66. Retrieved from http://resolver.scholarsportal.info.librweb.laurentian.ca/resolve/13227114/v14i0001/57_afoacpuonodp

September 20, 2009   No Comments