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 http://www.niichro.com/Elders/Elders7.html 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

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 Native American and Indigenous Studies Association was founded in 2008 as a professional organization dedicated to supporting those who work inside and outside the academic world in the scholarly field of Native American/American Indian/ First Nations/ Aboriginal and Indigenous studies. On this website you will find information about the association’s annual meetings, governing council, and announcements. The website also provides online membership signup, documents, and links to a forum that members and others can use to discuss issues regarding Native and Indigenous studies.

The above description was taken directly from their homepage.  The most useful resource this website has to offer ETEC521 students is the forum although the documents could be useful as well.  As this is a new website, they assure visitors that it will grow.

November 23, 2009   No Comments

Pathways to Technology

antco_micro_logoPathways to Technology initiative is to connect First Nations communities to the world.  Working to bring reliable high-speed Internet, they  recognize connectivity as paramount to closing the socio-economic gap between First Nations and other British Colombians.  The First Nations Technology Council (FNTC) and the First Nations Health Council have stated that broadband connectivity as a priority for First Nations.  Through the dedicated work of the FNTC and its partners, $22.5 million was granted to begin to provide connectivity to all 203 First Nations.  Pathways to Technology  is the overall initiative’s name.  The benefits of broadband the site lists are related to: health care, education and skills development, cultural preservation and revitalization, economic development, land and resource management, and critical infrastructure monitoring.

Links include:

All Nations Trust Company & All Nations Development Corporation

First Nations Technology Council

First Nations Health Council

BC Connectivity Map

Pathways to Technology logo [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2009, from Pathways to Technology website. http://www.pathwaystotechnology.ca/

November 19, 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

First Nations Identity Course (M3-2)

I have been spending some time researching different materials that are aimed at bringing Aboriginal knowledge and history into the classroom.

There are a lot of resources out there and I becoming surprised by the number of them that are developed by educators who are attempting to reach their Aboriginal students through relevant content or promote cross-cultural understanding among their students.

This site is simply a blog article which provides links to a complete First Nations Identities Course.  An overview of this course can be found here.  Feel free to browse these great resources which are all in printable pdf form.

There is a lot of material here and would be very useful for any teacher looking for quality Aboriginal Identity focused materials for the classroom.

November 9, 2009   No Comments

CSS Podcasts: First Nations Defense Assignment (DGM Module 2-5)


Calgary Science School teacher, Neil Stephenson, has posted this blog entry, describing a social studies assignment he has used with his Grade 7 students. Embedded in the blog are YouTube videos of an explanation of the assignment and a student’s final product, and PDFs of the assignment resources that Stephenson used. It is important to keep in mind that this is primarily a history lesson, but one through which the teacher is attempting to develop empathy on the part of his students for First Nations peoples subjected to colonialism and Eurocentrism. The danger with this type of activity is that students may end up with a romanticized and out-dated image of First Nations peoples. This is somewhat evident in the embedded student video. I wonder if a good companion assignment would be to talk with First Nations elders, to explore what they would say now in a similar situation.


October 21, 2009   1 Comment

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

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

First Nations Seeker (M2-1)

In recent readings and posts I have been coming across many first nations groups that I am unfamiliar with.  From  geographical and historical perspectives it is very hard to keep track of the many unique communities across Canada.

One site that has helped me in looking into these groups is www.firstnationsseeker.ca this site lists what appears to most, if not all, of the first nations groups and communities in North America as well as the Caribbean, Russia and Greenland.  The list is organized linguistically which is essentially by geographic region so it is very easy to gain more information about local groups.

For each group a map is provided showing their region as well as any links to native or band sites.  The site lists well over 100 different groups with 1-20 links to individual community sites.

If you are looking for more information on a given first nations group in North America this is a great site to check first.

October 18, 2009   No Comments

Digital technologies and Aboriginal education (M1-3)

In my research I came across a 2009 article that explores digital technologies and their impact on Aboriginal learning in Canada.  Written by Fatima Pirbhai-Illich, K.C. Nat Turner and Theresa Y. Austin and titled Using digital technologies to address Aboriginal adolescents’ education: An alternative school intervention the article is a good read.

The link to the article can be found here, if you click on this RSVPN link it should take you right to the paper after logging in with your UBC credentials.

This article is a very interesting and timely piece that researches how digital technologies can support the learning of Aboriginal students.  More specifically the ethnographic project examines the impact of digital technologies on academic and technological literacy of one class through a number of projects.  The technology-focused and multi-modal activities were capped by a student written and produced public service announcement and some images and parts of the script are included.

The paper provides an interesting snapshot of one group of teacher`s efforts to reach out to Aboriginal students using technology in a Canadian classroom.  Although no astounding conclusions are recommended or made it is encouraging that groups of teachers are taking it upon themselves to take a closer look at how technology can be used to foster and support Aboriginal youth in their classrooms.

September 27, 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 #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

Address: http://www.firstvoices.com/

September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 – Weblog Entry #3 – Bruce Spencer

It’s important for aboriginals to connect with one another so that they can speak with one voice on issues that are common to them all. Whether is here in Canada or somewhere else in the world, the digital divide has played an important role in bringing these aboriginal people closer together.

Aboriginal Connections is a directory that has multiple listings to various Indigenous websites from around the world. There are 967 listings and 16 categories for Canada alone.

Some of my more favorite categories include:
Education (73)
The Arts (152)
Heritage and Culture (53)
First Nations (129)
News and Media (73)

Sites that interested me were:
Aboriginal Children’s Circle of Early Learning a teaching resource site
Haa Ai (Inuktitut for Look at This) a web messaging site
Arctic Studies Center check out the Mask Exhibit
Canada’s Digital Collections An impressive collection

September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module 1 Weblog #2 (Al Davidson)

First Nations Technology Council

Description & Relevance

This site outlines the Mission, Mandate, Goals and the organizational  structure  of the  British Columbia First Nations Technology Council. The relevance of this organization and supporting partnerships to our focus in Module 1 of ETEC 521 is significant, pasrticularly when considering the mission “supporting the full integration of technologies to improve the quality of life for l First Nations in BC,” progressive goals, and support for technology integration which highlight the values of the First Nations Technology Council. In the first module we are asking ‘big questions’ about the paradoxes between indigeneity and technology. When exploring the ambitious and benevolent efforts of this council it seems as if the potential negatives and consequences of technology integration into first nations communities are not at issue. Regardless, the site itself is excellent and contains many links to partners and associated sites that explore the use of and connections between First Nations, technlogy, and education.

Links and Features

There are too many links to list but here are some that have strong connections to our course of study

  •  From the Community Applications page is a link to a documentary titled “Cedar and Silicon” which explores the process of bringing technology to a First Nations community.
  • The Youth Cafe page links to a number of related sites as well as a Film Festival in part supported by the First Nations Technology Council.[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsYbvXZerTY&feature=channel_page[/youtube]

Address: http://www.fntc.info/

September 20, 2009   No Comments

Module 1: weblog 4 (Chantal Drolet)

Assembly of First Nations (Canada)

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. The AFN represents all citizens regardless of age, gender or place of residence.

Resources available:

Links to other sites:

  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Three Fires Confederacy Gathering
  • CMHC – First Nations Market Housing Fund
  • Provincial Territorial Organizations

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

This site offers information both in English and French about all first nation people in Canada.

Address: http://www.afn.ca/article.asp?id=3

September 19, 2009   No Comments

First Nations seeking to cross digital divide.

Published in the online Georgia Straight,  First Nations seeking to cross digital divide, was written by Stephen Hui and published on July 16, 2009. The article discusses a variety of issues: internet connectivity, computers, and technical support, which have created a digital divide in BC for First Nations. The article outlines a variety of plans, councils, and programs which are listed below aimed to decrease the digital divide.

First Nations Technology Council strategic plan
Transformative Change Accord
All Nations Trust Company
Pathways to Technology

Other related stories linked to this article include:
Geek of the Week: First Peoples’ Language Map of British Columbia
Q&A: Grand Chief Edward John on First Nations’ Internet connectivity
Q&A: Indigenous blogger Dustin Rivers on using Internet technology

September 19, 2009   No Comments

First Nations Pedagogy

windsofchange2June Kaminski, the author of the First Nations Pedagogy, is Metis, from Anishinabe and European bloodlines. Born in Ontario, close to Ketegaunseebee Anishnabai, or Garden River First Nations lands,at the time of publishing or updating the website, she was/is a PhD candidate in Curriculum Studies and Technology Education at UBC. Along with information on the theory and curriculum of First Nations pedagogy, the “links” section contains a number of articles related to First Nations Pedagogy, Residential School Trauma, First Nations Educational Governance, First Nations Educational Planning, and First Nations Health/Life Planning.

First Nations Pedagogy  logo [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2009, from First Nations Pedagogy website. http://firstnationspedagogy.com/index.html

September 19, 2009   No Comments