Category Archives: Overview

Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre – Manitoba

This document was found in the “Community Living Manitoba” website. It talks about he opening of the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre (University of Winnepeg) and how this will help bridge the digital divide and help Aboriginal students and community members with the opportunity to explore their past and navigate their future. This Wii Chiiwaakanak project will serve over 800 Aboriginak students at the University of Winnepeg. It will provide them the technology and resources to fully engage with their rich heritage and today’s realities. The centre’s largest funder is the RBC Financial Group in support of The RBC Community Learning Commons. Computer-based learning, mentoring, and urban distance education for Aboriginal children and adult learners is the prime focus of The RBC Community Learning Commons. They will help bridge the digital divide by providing access to and instructional support to computer technology for everyone in the local community. They will also help to nurture the next generation of computer confident literate learners. This document is useful and interesting for those who are doing research about Canadian organizations that have taken action to help Aboriginal communities close the digital divide gap.

Intertribal Times

Intertribal Times is a website comprised of Native and Aboriginal headlines and editorial stories. One can view headlines from 4 different countries: Canada, United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Once one clicks on a headline, the website instantly forwards to the source of the article such as news websites and radio organizations. There also appears to be a discussion forum for people to share their opinions. The threads that I saw seem quite extensive as I am aware that there are so many headlines to discuss. The headlines are very up-to-date and include sources that I would deem reliabe. For Canada, the sources are CBC, the Globe and Mail, and other local newspapers. There is also an editorial section that is organized in chronological order. This website would be very useful for anyone wanting to research the latest news relating to Native and Aborginal communities in any of the 4 countries mentioned above. To comment on articles on Intertribal Times, one must create an account and sign in.

NorthWest Indian News (NWIN)

Northwest Indian New appears to be a very interesting website where one can access issues and events important to Indian people. The website claims to be a positive voice for Indian people and is currently being broadcasted into more than 50 million households throughout Canada and the United States. There are also plans to share NWIN programs with European and Asian audiences in the future. NWIN provides training and employment for tribal members in a non-traditional industry.

There is a section where one can access to watch all the episodes of NWIN. The latest episode available is number 44 from November, 2010. I am interested in searching for more current episodes but I am unsure of when they would be posted if at all. I watched a few of the most recent episodes and they are presented by a Tulalip Tribal member named Carissa Ramsey. She covered topics such as fisheries, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, events at local schools, The American Indian Film Festival, and Native art. There are several other reporters besides Ramsey. They use various locations to report news.

I am glad to see that all the reporters are of Aboriginal decent and are from tribes. I also looked at the credits section of the website and noticed that almost all individuals involved with NWIN are Aboriginal and their bands and tribes are also mentioned. This seems like a reliable website for Aboriginal peoples to acquire information of the latest news that affects Native people.

What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom

This research project, which was developed in the First Nations Studies program at UBC, examines the discussions regarding Aboriginal issues in the classroom at UBC. The film, What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom, which was directed by Karmen Crey (from the Sto:lo nation) and Amy Perreault (who is Metis) covers issues surrounding being Aboriginal including history, art and land claims. In the film, some Native students talk about the experience of feeling pressured to lead discussions for an “aboriginal viewpoint”. At one point in the film, one of the Native students remarks that, “It’s a responsibility sometimes I really relish in and sometimes I really feel like I’m carrying a brick on my back”.  The website continues with Crey and Perrault’s findings and features videos of student and instructor interviews and reaction to the project. For example, the information on the website indicates that many Aboriginal UBC students found many Native cultural discussions extremely traumatic. This experience led to student`s coursework being affected and some who were unable to return to class. As a result, the project was created to develop a better understanding of the issues and to “improve the conversations around politically and culturally sensitive issues in a classroom by asking: how does cultural communication happen in a classroom, and how can it be improved?”  The site has been important to my study because it provided me with more insight into Aboriginal youths’ experiences in the western educational system.  In addition, it is another example of how Native youth are using technologies such as websites and video technology to voice their experiences and concerns.

Native American Indian Resources

In our course reading ‘Cyberspace Smoke Signals’ (Zimmerman et al., 2000),  a website ‘Native American Indian Resources’ created by Paula Giese is described. The link given was no longer active but I was able to find the website using Google. The site contains over 300 web pages organized by the topics: maps, stories, art, astronomy, herbal knowledge, food recipes, books, schools, nations, games, Maya, Arvol Looking Horse, and Pocohontas. The site was last update on 6/11/97 as Paula Geise passed away during the summer of 1997, however it has been maintained but many of the external links appear to be broken now.


Zimmerman, L. J. et al. (2000). Cyberspace smoke signals: new technologies and native American ethnicity, In Smith, C. and Ward, G. K. (eds)(2000). Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World. Vancouver: UBC Press, 69-86.

First Nations Technology Council

The First Nations Technology Council is a site that is council formed, focusing on bridging the digital divide in all 203 British Columbia’s First Nations.  The FNTC’s mandate states that all 203 nations within BC will have: 1. connection with high speed broadband, 2. Have access to affordable, and qualified tech support, and 3. have the skills needed to access technologies that can improve their lives.

The Youth Cafe, is a link within the website that is targeted at aboriginal youth and provides resources that are educational. One of the links, is one targeted to language literacy.  A page catered to the multiple languages spoken in the 203 nations.  Fun, educational, and easy to navigate through. The Youth Cafe also takes note on how the youth are becoming the tech-savy ones and are the ones sharing/educated the elders on new technologies being used.

Youtube clip “How is the wen impacting aboriginal communities”


As I stumble upon more information about the digital divide, more similarities seem to appear in regards to how technology can be used in remote communities.  In this clip, Phillip Djwa brings to the attention that technology (internet specifically) connects in three ways. Health, Education, and Economic Development.  What I didn’t realize, and maybe it is just me being ignorant to the issue is, I didn’t realize that many aboriginal youth when entering his/her junior high/high school years, need to leave their home communities behind and go to school else where.  Holy Smokes!  Can you say a total shake up to one’s life?  The emotions that one would be experiencing at this time, I can’t fathom what that would be like.  Having to leave your family behind would be extremely challenging, and unless you have other adults or elders or anyone to help guide you along, its a no brainer that school isn’t a priority! Who is there to coax you along and provide the encouragement?  E-learning would be something that can be a useful and beneficial tool to help youth and/or adults to be successful with learning in any circumstance. The search continues…

“First Nations Seeking to cross the digtal divide”

Came across this article that discuss the issue of remote communities and the challenges of not having proper broadband connections. The article written in 2009, brings attention to the issue about how First Nations shouldn’t have to choose having clean water or access to technologies, and that both are important to the infrastructure of the community.

One of the video clips within the article showcases an advocate, Dustin Rivers, and how he is using technologies to bridge the divide and reach within and out of the community. By using podcasting and other resources, he is able to reach out in his native language and English to raise various issues.

Question: Albeit, this article was only 2 years ago, is this still an issue within communities? Was the issue of choice ever discussed?

“Paddlers Gathered in Tofino for Pulling Together”

A recent article published on titled, “Paddlers gathered in Tofino for Pulling Together” is strikingly similar to the recent Fraser River Journey video we watched for Module 3.

The article talks about this Pulling Together project, which is hosted by First Nations communities and is aimed at breaking down the barriers between First Nations people and the law enforcement.

The idea here is that by including police and other law enforcers on the paddling journey, both groups will have the opportunity to learn more about each other and gather more respect for the values behind First Nations culture.

These projects are so critical as they build relationships and understanding. The One Laptop Per Child initiative would benefit from more exploratory projects such as this – learning about the culture before imposing something on that community.

Pellt’iq’t – Examining their webspace

The other local Indian Band that my school is located on is Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band. There is a quote on the front of their page that sets the tone for this group.

From our Ancestors

Since time immemorial our ancestors lived in harmony with mother earth. We took from mother what we needed to survive. We cared for and nurtured our lands. We defended our Traditional Territory from outside invaders Our Coyote Rock stands as a Sentry Guardian and Protecting our Territory.

This quote on their page suggests the connection to the land and strong spiritual beliefs.

This website is very different from the KIB’s sophisticated site. There website can be found here at:

In the section about the Pellt’ip’t people, it mentions the importance of the following symbols

  • The Bear
  • The Wolf
  • The Eagle
  • The Fish
  • The Water
  • The Pine Branch

There is also a section on the site that contains:

  • News & Events – seems to be a focus on events for youth
  • Opportunities – this contains regional development opportunities & tourism
  • Sports and Rec. Centre – mostly rental and facility information
  • Wildlife and Nature section – info on a nature trail and initiatives

It is quite obvious that the Pellt’iq’t don’t have the money and resources that the KIB have. They are in a more rural area and outside of the major city of Kamloops. This remoteness would impact their financial abilities.

Much like the KIB, they also have no map of territory and very little on their history on the web site. There is also no critical reflection on colonialism. But, this is about the only similarity between the two Indian Bands according to their websites.