First Nations Control of First Nations Education was released last summer by the Assembly of First Nations and chiefs from across Canada. Much like the documents released in 1972 and 2005, this document is intended to be used by Aboriginal leaders, bands, local school boards, and the Provincial and Federal governments as a comprehensive plan to address the critical education needs of Aboriginal students Canada wide – yet unmet since the publication of the last two documents.
It, like the other documents, outlines key areas to be addressed:
1. Access for all life-long learners to be taught and to learn in their first language,in curriculum which is grounded in Aboriginal beliefs, values and traditions.
2. Access to diverse educational programs over the continuum.
3. First Nations control of their education with the support of local, federal governments.
I saw another post shared by a ETEC 521 colleague that mentions the First Nations Technology Council. The area of the FNBC website that I found interesting is the Youth Cafe where young First Nations individuals share their projects. Many of these young individuals mix technology with traditional art. They also digitizing community stories and recording stories of their elders. On this page, there are useful links to explore. This website provides good examples of successful technology use by Aboriginal youth. In my area of interest, I would like to explore more about how aboriginal youth are balancing technology and cultural traditions. With a number of aboriginal children and youth being exposed to so much technology, I would like to explore the social implications.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vNXKC8qT8s[/youtube] After reading the Prins article, I decided to go hunting on youtube to see what was available regarding First Nations Culture. I wasconcerned that I would find cultural artifacts that might be of a sensitve nature and that are being misused. I haven’t found that yet, but I did find this clip. Steve MacDougall, of the Garden Hill First Nation in Manitoba describes what he feels is important, the elders and the children and that we can learn from both. I like the activity of creating something important out of clay and then discussing what it means to you. Young students would love that and it gets them in touch with each others feelings.
Prins, Harald E.L., “Visual Media and the Primitivist Perplex: Colonial Fantasies, Indigenous Imagination, and Advocacy in North America,” in Media Worlds: Anthropology on a New Terrain, eds. Faye D. Ginsburg, Lila Abu-Lughod, and Brian Larkin, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002, 58- 74
I didn’t have a specific research topic in mind when I started by weblog research. However, I kept finding myself being attracted to documents and information pertaining to Aborginal children and technology. The five sites that I have visited come from Canadian as well as Australian sources. The first article I found discusses improving educational experiences for Aboriginal children in Australia. With technology being so widely used by many teachers around the world, I think that educators should invest time into examing how technologies could enhance the learning experience of aboriginal children. At the same time, educators can evaluate these technologies to ensure that they are culturally sensitive, and respectful of aboriginal pedagogy and ways of learning.
I find the second piece of information to be the most interesting. I have heard about the One Laptop Per Child policy before and learned that the Belinda Stronach Foundation was implementing it with Aboriginal children across Canada. However, I didn’t know that there is software included into theses computers that aboriginal children and youth can directly relate to. I want to see the outcome of the laptop distribution. I would like to find out what worked well for the aboriginal children, and what could be improved for the future.
Closely linked to the distribution of laptops is the Belinda Stronach Foundation. I looked further into this organization and found that they work to deal with global challenges and innovative solutions. They provide a presentation on their website that discusses the creation of a better future for aboriginal children using technolgy. Another organization called KTA works closely with Aboriginal peoples. On their site I found a document about aboriginal culture in the digital age. Both the Belinda Stronach Foundation and the KTA made me think further about the use of technology and how it benefits aboriginal children. The last document I found talks about a software for educating aboriginal students about place. TAMI is a program that elders can use with children.
My weblog research seems to be linked by the idea that technology is being used by and for aboriginal children. I would like further research how technology worked (or did not work) for aboriginal children. I am interested in possibly narrowing down my topic a little more.
Written by an author from The University of Melbourne, this paper discusses how a software can contribute to learning about being in-place by Australian Aboriginal Children. The author identifies a software called TAMI which stands for texts, audio, movies, and images. TAMI was design with and for Aboriginal Australian teachers, parents and grandparents so that they have the opportunity to work with the children of their communities inducting them into the collective life the various places to which they belong and from which they derive their identities. The TAMI software sounds very unique and I would be interested in researching more about its applications and success in Australia. I also wonder if a similar software exists or has been used in North America.
KTA is a Canadian consulting and public interest research organization that provides advisory, facilitation and negotiations services for their clients and advances new policy thinking and ideas. Their clients include a number of organizations associated with Aboriginal peoples namely Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Foundation, Métis Nation of Ontario, Office of Indian Residential School, and Canadian Heritage.
One of its current projects is with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on developing a research paper on coordination and policy alignment of early learning and child care. A document that I found pertains to Aboriginal culture in the digial age. The objective of this paper is to bring a holisti perspective to the implications of ICT for Aboriginal ways of living, thinking, and knowing. I am particularly interested in paper because there is a section that discusses technology and Aboriginal children. Although I have not stated my research topic at this point, I am quite interested in doing the area of Aboriginal school children and youth, and the effects of technology. With further research, I am hoping to be able to narrow down my topic.
As mentioned in my previous post, I would do more research on The Belinda Stronach Foundation (BSF). Interestingly enough, I came across more information about the laptop distribution to aboriginal children across Canada. On its website, The BSF states that it “builds partnerships with individuals, non-governemental organizations, businesses large and small, as well as other foundations who work in Canada and around the world to confront global challenges and innovative solutions”. In February 2010, the BSF release a presentation called “One Laptop per Child (OLPC): Creating a Better Future for Aboriginal Children in Canada using Technology”. The presentation gives an overview of what OLPC is, where it is already in use, and why it should be used in Canada for aboriginal children and youth. This presentation does not go into detail about the outcome for Canadian aboriginal users as the evaluation of the program does not occur until October, 2011. I would be very interested to follow up on this.
This article from CBC News (September 29th, 2010) talks about Belinda Stronach Foundation giving 5,000 laptops to aboriginal children across Canada. These computers were given to children between ages 6 and 12. Each computer was supposed to be equipped with 8 software programs tha focus on variou issues facing aboriginal youth. What is interesting to me is that the computers come with a virtual library that includes titles by aboriginal authors.
Since this article is from 2010, I am very curious about the outcome of the laptop distribution. I will try to search for more information about the Belinda Stronach Foundation and also see if there are any more recent distribution of technologies to aboriginal children and youth.
This document addressed education for the Aboriginal children of Western Australia. It claims that education providers have failed, for the last 30 years, to improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal school children. The author mentions that the purpose of this document is to enable educators and leaders to work together to bring about the necessary changes to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students.
Zubrick SR, Silburn SR, De Maio JA, Shepherd C, Griffin JA, Dalby RB, Mitrou FG, Lawrence DM, Hayward C, Pearson G, Milroy H, Milroy J, Cox A. The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey: Improving the Educational Experiences of Aboriginal Children and Young People. Perth: Curtin University of Technology and Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, 2006.