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

In Their Own Voices (M3, #3)

This article is essentially a review of the documentary video In Their Own Voices, by award-winning Aboriginal film-maker Coleen Rajotte. This documentary tells the stories of 26 Aboriginal community leaders and the barriers they overcame to achieve success.

The journey to overcome colonization is still ongoing, as many Aboriginal people still feel the effects of past injustices, such as residential schools and the false belief in the inferiority of their people and cultures.

Consequently, in order to heal from the damage of colonization a strong sense of community is imperative. There are many thriving Aboriginal organizations in the Winnipeg area that are working to rebuild collective identity and create pride in being Aboriginal.

Copies of  In Their Own Voices can be obtained from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba.

November 9, 2009   No Comments

Building a “Canadian” Decolonization Movement (M3, #1)

Devin Burke, of the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement (IPSM), presents his views on colonialism. He feels that Canada has been “waging a war” against Indigenous people since 1867 in working towards “assimilation and extermination”. Burke goes on to explain how “this war has often been waged by institutions, through the bureaucracy of Indian Affairs, in residential schools, through the imposition of band councils, and more recently by notorious multinational corporations and the likes of global trade regimes, such as the World Trade Organization”.

My first impression of this article being negative and biased started to change as I reached the part where Burke suggests ways that we can ally with Indigenous people by owning up and taking responsibility for our history. Further, Burke identifies himself as a non-native and states that all Canadians have been affected by colonialism and that we all must assert our autonomy in order to more towards decolonization.

Although I don’t agree with some of the points expressed by Burke, I read his article with interest and feel that it does have an important message regarding the unjust treatment of Indigenous groups.

November 9, 2009   No Comments

Where are the children

Shared Stories is a collection of stories about survivors of the residential schools. Using technology, survivors are able to share and archive their stories. As the number of survivors diminishes, it is important to see and hear their painful stories in order to share a deeper understanding of the trauma that was inflicted on these people, helping to create empathy for them and reconciliation for them.

This site is part of a larger site called Where are the Children? Healing the legacy of residential schools.  The site features a virtual journey through the experiences of survivors of the residential schools operated in Canada.  It is hope that It is their hope that the website will provide healing and restoration to healthy First Nations communities.  The site encourages children to ask their parents and grandparents questions about their families histories.   This site is sponsored by The Legacy of Hope Foundation, Aboriginal Health Foundation, and the Library and Archives Canada.
residential schools

A young student at the Old Anglican Mission School on the Blackfoot Reserve, Alberta, ca. 1900.

Photographer: Glenbow Archives, NC-5-53, Retrieved Nov. 7 from Where are the Children website.

November 7, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Weblog 1

I began by searching for an indigenous website about the use of technology, as most of the sites I have found dealt only with the benefits of educators and governments points of view. I found this website ( and to be honest I was discouraged as it seemed to be a commercial site. I was checking out its links when I came across the which seems to be the mother site. I was impressed with the quality of the links especially ( I got sidetracked from my research and in fact the information and video about the residential schools horrified me ( I remember children being strapped, when I was about 7 years old, in my primary school and the terror it would cause us as we heard it happening. Our parents would always tell us they probably deserved it, but I never agreed and vowed that when I was a teacher no student would ever have reason to fear me.

November 4, 2009   No Comments