Tag Archives: identity

Cheryl’s Urban Aboriginal Life

Cheryl Matthew is from the Simpcw First Nation in BC but lives in Ottawa where she is a PhD student at Carleton.  On her blog (Cheryl’s Urban Aboriginal Life), she writes on a variety of indigenous topics but the focus is on urban identity issues. One of the themes of her research is the indigenous “diasporic experience” and how, in the absence of a direct connection to a land base, urban aboriginals learn to construct identity and meaning through other cultural means, including new media. She demonstrates this by her use of technology but also writes extensively about it.

Many of her posts are quite academic, not surprisingly as they are part of her research, but others are quite casual as she discusses her experience as an educated aboriginal living in a large city.

This site is a great resource for anyone researching urban aboriginal issues.

Red Works Studio

Nadya Kwandibens is a photographer from the Ojibwe nation who is now based in Vancouver. Her website is Redworks Studio.  She uses technology (principally photography but video as well) to confront stereotypes of aboriginal people and to present images that challenge ideas of indigeneity.  Much of her work is rooted in urban settings and she has been working on a series entitled Concrete Indians that explores the identity issues that urban aboriginals encounter.

She’s a great photographer who is completely comfortable using technology to present her vision of indigenous identity, which respects tradition but is also dynamic and modern.

Kwandibens has been featured by a number of news and media outlets (her website has links to many of these) and she exhibits frequently across Canada.

Media Indigena

Media Indigena: http://www.mediaindigena.com is an interactive online magazine where indigenous issues and ideas are raised and discussed. It describes itself as both “curator and creator” in that it collects stories but also leads conversations on a variety of cultural topics such as art, politics and education.  Media Indigena uses new media (Twitter, Facebook, etc) extensively itself, but also showcases examples of indigenous groups who use technology to support cultural revitalization.

There are also a number of academic papers and reviews posted on this website, including a debate on the controversial book written in 2008 by Frances Widdowson called “Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry”, which first led me to the website.

Here’s the link to the debate: http://www.mediaindigena.com/agenda/debate-disrobing-the-aboriginal-industry#hide

This website will be useful for those researching cultural revitalization projects, technology, aboriginal identity issues and historical materialism as it relates to indigeneity.  From what I can tell, the content fits nicely into both module one and two.