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

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


The Indigenous Research Center of the Americas (IRCA) is housed in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Based on a hemispheric perspective, IRCA seeks to understand and express both the local and global dimensions of indigenous peoples in the American hemisphere. IRCA is an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional research program established with an interest in and commitment to the demographic, social, economic, political and cultural importance of indigenous peoples and the issues of self-determinatation, sovereignty and self-development. The Center has a particular interest in the global and transnational connections of indigenous peoples as well as their growing participation in the reshaping of local, regional and national identities and communities. IRCA provides an open forum for indigenous scholars, indigenous community, spiritual and political leaders and non-Indigenous researchers who are concerned with developing a hemispheric and interdisciplinary approach to the past, present and future realities of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

The previous description was taken in its entirety from their homepage, as I would not be able to succinctly paraphrase it without leaving out meaningful details. The information presented on the site is indeed limited, but potentially very useful and will most likely grow.  There are currently six research publications available, which are posted in one of the following categories:

  • Culture and identity
  • Health and food
  • International agreements
  • Technology and communication
  • Territoriality

November 23, 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. http://www.umanitoba.ca/centres/cahr/about/background.html

November 18, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Entry #2

Math needs to listen to other cultures

I think the title of this article says it all. Although this is not a ‘living’ webpage I really believe that this article is a must read for educators. Whether a math teacher or not, the idea of the social responsibility factor in education is appealing. “Ethnomathematics’: I love it. Another example of what traditional scientific knowledge has to offer the western view.

November 11, 2009   No Comments

Aboriginal Education Research Network (M3-5)

The Aboriginal Education Research Network or AERN is a voluntary forum of educational stakeholders and academic institutions in Saskatchewan whose goal is to foster collaborative research in Aboriginal Education.

The objectives of AERN are to:

  • forge stronger links between research and educational practice and research and policy development;
  • develop a comprehensive research agenda and identify provincial research priorities in education;
  • develop a code of ethics and research protocols for shared research initiatives;
  • build and promote the building of capacity in the area of Aboriginal education research;
  • communicate research findings among members, the wider educational community and the general public;
  • collaborate in specific research projects through joint grant applications and pooling of research resources;
  • identify sources of funding for research; and,
  • uphold high ethical standards and levels of research expertise in the province.

The network has been developed with the help of numerous government groups and educational institutions throughout Saskatchewan and has amassed a wealth of Aboriginal research including some of the following articles which I found of some relevance to course materials:

These articles apply well beyond the context of Saskatchewan and delve deeply into Aboriginal Education in Canada.  Anyone looking for relevant and engaging research in any of these topics should explore the resource and see if these articles are useful for current research.

November 9, 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 #5 (A. Davidson)

Aboriginal Ethics Guide Ethical Research

Description & Relevancy

This is a short piece by Marlene Brant Castellano who is involved with an Interagency Panel on Research Ethics. They are currently developing new information that will add to the growing body of literature on the ethics of research with First Nations research subjects and situations. This new perspective and consideration into research ethics includes the perspective that Indigenous traditional values and beliefs add to the overall understanding of ethics. The result is that their work considers ideas such as the following traditional virtues into the ethical guidelines for research:

  • Kindness implies respect for the dignity of the others involved, not dominating or pressing our own agenda at the others’ expense
  • Honesty involves communicating our principles and intentions as the basis for relationship and ensuring free, informed consent for actions taken
  • Sharing recognizes that the common good requires give and take by all, with respect for the different gifts that each party brings
  • Strength is courage to stand firm for our principles; in some cases, strength is resilience, as in the capacity to bend to circumstance while holding on to important values



CIHR guidelines for health research

National Aboriginal Health Organization Journal of Aboriginal Health (article)

October 30, 2009   No Comments

Indigenous Education Institute

whatwedo_left_01The mission of the Indigenous Education Institute (IEI) is to preserve, protect and use Indigenous knowledge in current settings.  They have developed projects to preserve  Indigenous knowledge and protocol to protect it.  It is governed by a board of directors, International Advisory Council, and an IEI Elders’ circle.

Current projects include:

  • Cosmic Serpent, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded professional development project developed to increase the capacity of museum practitioners to bridge native and western science learning in informal education settings.
  • Sharing The Skies: Navajo Astronomy, A Cross Cultural View.Also available are the CD Stars Over Dine Bikeyah, and the poster Dine (Navajo) Universe and original and giclee paintings of Navajo constellations
  • Paradox and Transformation is published in a peer reviewed journal, the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium, Volume 2, 2006, by
    Dr. Nancy C. Maryboy, Dr. David Begay and Mr. Lee Nichol.

The site provides links to:

Aboriginal Education Research Centre

Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre

The Cosmic Serpent [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2009, from Indigenous Education Institute website.  http://www.indigenouseducation.org/index.html

October 24, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 5

Cultural Diversity

“The Cultural Diversity Program at the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) is a research unit, which focuses on immigration, multiculturalism, and ethno-racial relations from a social and economic perspective.”

This web site is divided into the following pages:

-What’s new?

-Cultural Diversity Program FAQ

-Research Reports and Interesting Articles

-Network on partner violence against immigrant and visible minority women


Unfortunately it seems the site hasn’t been updated since 2006, but there are some good articles and links that could be useful for research.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 3

Open Learning Exchange Nepal

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal is a Nepali non-governmental organization dedicated to assisting the Government of Nepal in meeting its Education for All goals by developing freely accessible, open-source Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based educational teaching-learning materials.

This is directly taken from the “Who We Are” page on their website that also explains their mission and organization.  They also have a “How We Are Doing” page with a workflow chart to graphically describe the process they use to develop teaching materials.  Objectives and goals along with a prospective timeline are outlined on their “What We Are Doing”.  Finally and possibly most useful to my research is the page on “Why Open Learning” where they justify the use of ICT and open source educational materials.

They have recently launched a digital library and include a link on their homepage.  This is also a great resource as it contains: literature, art, course related materials, reference materials, other educational materials, teaching support materials, newspaper and magazines, maps, videos, etc.  Be sure to click on the British flag in the upper right corner if you can’t read Nepali.

October 19, 2009   No Comments

M2 – WS 1

The World Bank

Despite some ethical issues I have with this organization, their web site has a wealth of useful information.  After selecting a country (I am researching Nepal), you are presented with a variety of information such as:

-Country Overview

-News and Events

-Data & Statistics

-Publications & Reports

-Projects & Programs

-Public Information Center


If that wasn’t enough, they list much more information by three main areas.  The first is Topic, which includes: Education, Social Protection, Decentralization, Governance, etc. In the Most Popular area, there is a video called Nepal’s Journey, Doing Business With Us, FAQs, etc.  Then there are Resources For: Businesses, Media, NGOs and Researchers, which include:



-Information Centers

-Country Data

-Global Databases


October 19, 2009   No Comments

Aboriginal_peoples_in_Canada – mod2 posting5


I don’t know why I didn’t think of wikipedia before, but this page has a great list of resources and information on the  Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Since I am a totally rookie, this site is a great jumping point for me.

I am still in the search for bogs, so if anyone finds some please let me know.

October 18, 2009   No Comments

M1-WS 2: Center for World Indigenous Studies


The first three lines on the website read:

  • Access to indigenous peoples knowledge and ideas
  • Conflict resolution based on mutual consent
  • Protecting the rights of indigenous peoples

The site was established in 1994 and is the non-profit research and education organization’s online presence.  The organization offers education programs as well as internships and fellowships through their Fourth World Institute. Their web site offers access to multiple sources of information about indigenous issues such as online Fourth World Journal, the Fourth World Eye blog (eZine), a Forum for Global Exchange, the Chief George Manuel virtual library, a media center with video and audio media, photo galleries, etc.  The site has a much more modest collection of external links.  As this is an .org web site, donations are solicited.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

Centre for Sámi Studies (DGM Module 1-5)


This website wasn’t quite what I expected, but it is still of interest as an artefact of cultural identity. The Centre exists as a research unit within the University of Tromsø, Norway. As such, the website presentation is suitably dry and academic. In the description of the campus, I found the Sámi Cultural House to be strikingly similar to the way Laurentian University’s new Native Centre has been planned, incorporating natural building materials, natural surroundings and traditional structures (turf hut : teepee). Culturally, this centre seems to be on the outside looking in, as far as I can tell without learning to read Norwegian. Even with studies on Indigenous Policy, Rights and Development, Sámi language courses and cultural events, the centre’s activities appear to be more of a portal between Sámi and Nordic cultures than a participatory player in Sámi culture.

Resources linked from this site include:

Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples
for researchers, development workers, administrators and activists.
Read more …

Survey of Sami and Indigenous


The Indigenous University

Studies and Related Activities

Research and Reports

Strategic Planning

September 24, 2009   No Comments