Indigenous Geography.net is a website dedicated to bring indigenous and non-indigenous geographers together who believe that geography should be done “for and by the people of an area”. It notes that maps have been important tools for colonization, so this site attempts to use maps to decolonize indigenous communities.
When you read the mission statement, you might think that the goal is to redraw maps until our geography is completely unrecognizable, but as you read more about the associations that contribute to the site, you realize that they want to provide service to indigenous geographers and communities, create partnerships with indigenous communities and explore ethical issues pertaining to research and geography vis-à-vis indigenous communities.
As an ecological topic, I think it aligns well with module 4.
Planners Network: The Organization of Progressive Planning may not be a website that comes to mind as a source for information on indigenous issues, but it has a great article on urban indigeneity from an urban planners perspective. Indigeneity: A Cornerstone of Diversity Planning in Canadian Cities
It discusses some collaborative projects between aboriginal groups and city planners to develop more aboriginal friendly urban communities that will support aboriginal aspirations and self-determination.
The article identifies five priorities:
- Citizen Participation and Engagement.
- Governance Interface between Municipal Government and Aboriginal Peoples
- Aboriginal Culture as a Municipal Asset
- Economic and Social Development
- Urban Reserves, Service Agreements and Regional Relationships
Priority #3 is interesting. The author noted that normally urban aboriginals are portrayed in terms of social problems, so the concept of treating their culture as an asset requires a very welcome shift in thinking.
I think this aligns very well with module 4.
The Urban Aboriginal Primitive Technology Studies & Practice page is a site targeting urban indigenous people that provides information on how to make things like dreamcatchers, crossbows, cattail visors, shelters and pretty much everything other traditional aboriginal practice you could think of.
Although there is no vision statement included, it appears that the goal of the website is to support the development of traditional skills by offering resources and instructional materials (often in video format) among people who do not have opportunities to learn these practices through elders or community members.
The site demonstrates a practical approach to technology and how it can be used to support cultural transmission. It fits in well (I think) with the focus of Module 4.
The Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study is a research project whose goal is to explore the “values, experiences and aspirations” of indigenous people living in Canadian urban areas.
It includes reports specific to a number of Canadian cities (Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, etc) that have a large indigenous population as well as providing a number of other studies, media and resources covering urban indigenous issues.
The site also released Key Findings based on their research. Here is a summary of a few of them:
- Most urban aboriginals feel comfortable in the city but still are connected to their traditional homes.
- Most urban aboriginals have minimal fear of losing their culture.
- Racism and dealing with negative stereotypes from non-aboriginals was a factor in the lives of many urban aboriginals.
The site is worth investigating if you are researching urban indigeneity.
I came across James Clifford on another site while researching my paper. He’s a professor of consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and he writes extensively on indigenous issues, particularly on topics like the indigenous diaspora (as far as I can tell, he invented the term). This is a relevant issue for me as I am writing about urban indigeneity. I think Clifford has interesting things to say about the modern indigenous experience that usually challenge western mythologies.
His site includes many of his publications for download. Two that I have come across before are “Varieties of Indigenous Experience: Diasporas, Homelands, Sovereignties” and “Indigenous Articulations” but some of his other work, which has an anthropological and ecological perspective, looks interesting as well.
Aboriginal Policy Studies is a new online journal edited by Dr. Chris Anderson at the University of Alberta. It is also hosted and funded by the University of Alberta.
It publishes peer-reviewed scholarly work on a range of Canadian aboriginal issues, including urban indigenous concerns, which is the focus of my research for this course.
Dr. Anderson notes in his editorial introduction that a key rationale for the creation of this journal was its recognition of, and focus on, the changing demographics of indigenous identity in Canada, with a shift to greater urban aboriginal populations, as well as Metis, which policy makers have not fully adjusted to.
The content of this website aligns with any of the modules we have covered so far, although I am linking it to Module 3. I recommend a closer look at it, particularly if you are interested in urban aboriginal issues.
Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education is on online journal focusing on global indigenous issues, particularly with regard to education. I found a number of articles that may be of interest to students in ETEC 521 and module 3 in particular.
Here’s a link to an article in the journal: “Reclaiming Indigenous Representations and Knowledges” by Judy Iseke-Barnes & Deborah Danard. This article discusses the use of the Internet by scholars, artists and activists to reclaim indigenous knowledge and to critique the “dominant discourse”.
Here’s another article: “Increasing School Success among Aboriginal Students: Culturally Responsive Curriculum or Macrostructural Variables Affecting Schooling” by Yatta Kanu.
This journal is a great resource. As well, some of the contributing authors (such as Judy Iseke-Barnes) are worth exploring for additional relevant content.
Cultural Survival is an organization that works worldwide with indigenous communities to help defend their lands, languages and customs. Their website includes features of some of their work such as projects like “Celebrating Native American Language Revitalization in Film” as well as publications and opportunities to participate in some of their partnership activities with indigenous peoples.
Revitalization of indigenous languages is a big part of what Cultural Survival does. They help create small community-based radio stations that broadcast in local languages and also help aggregate language-based resources for indigenous communities.
This website does not have extensive academic articles, although these may be available by subscribing to their publications. I think it has some value for anyone looking for examples of language and cultural revitalization to support their research into these areas.
Here is a link to Innovation Canada, specifically to a video titled “Hip Hop Storytellers” which showcases a project launched by Charity Marsh at the University of Regina where young aboriginals use new media (OK, moderately new technology like turntables are involved as well) to tell their stories. It has similarities to the two videos presented in Module 3, and it is closely related to my research topic, which is urban aboriginals and identity.
This is another related page on the website: “An Aboriginal Spin on Hip Hop” as well as a few other topics that show examples of excellence in research in Canada, which is part of the mandate of this site.
Here’s a link to a page on the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences blog (Fedcan blog). The article I have directly hyperlinked to was written by Martin J. Cannon and is called “Changing the Subject in Teacher Education: Indigenous, Diasporic and Settler Colonial Relations.” It discusses a topic that I thought was relevant to Module 3 – namely decolonization as a non-indigenous issue where “settlers” are asked to confront their own relationship with colonization, instead of viewing it as strictly an indigenous concern.
This article is part of a series presented on this blog on Indigenizing the Academy and Indigenous Education and is loaded with indigenous content and links to resources.