MediaIndigena is a content aggregate blog (or, an “interactive media magazine”) that I have found useful throughout the past 13 weeks for keeping an ear to the ground on the myriad of topics that have been brought up through our discussions and readings. The site is authored by ten individuals with very different backgrounds and professions (of which you can read about by clicking their names), sort of like the ETEC521 research blog but hopefully not about to culminate it’s posting cycle! If you’re interested in keeping up with MediaIndigena, they’re also available via twitter and facebook, and, following those links you’re sure to snowball to other such blogs, websites, and organizations.
The City of Vancouver’s department of Social Planning has created a directory of Aboriginal resources entitled: Aboriginal Inventory of Services and Context. The website helps city staff and Vancouverites develop an understanding of the activities and stakeholders relating to Aboriginal issues within Vancouver. The directory is intended to help Vancouverites make informed decisions about how the City can best support the Aboriginal community.
Each report (see partial list below) provides: a) relevant background on each topic b) a list of the organizations and communities involved with that topic and c) info on partnerships, committees, trends, and gaps in services
Much of the research cited in the reports was conducted by locals and provides excellent information about Vancouver’s Indigenous communities that isn’t readily available anywhere else. I found this site to be indispensable in writing my paper about Vancouver’s urban Aboriginal youth. Here are some of the documents (of dozens) available on the site:
This video shows Denise Williams talking about internet technology can strengthen First Nations education. Williams is a youth initiative officer for the First Nations Education Steering Committee. One question she was asked is “How would you like to see internet technology used in First Nations education over the coming years?
Williams mentions that there is hope of being able to use the internet to bridge the gap between the teachers that are available to teach and those subjects areas that are still in need of instructors (such science, math, and physics). The internet can allow for learning activities that involve video conference and Skype. Williams also mentions that with the internet, there is also hope for sharing resources between teachers and communities.
Another question for Williams is “How does the digital divide manifest itself in First Nations schools in BC?” Williams answers by saying that the digital divide in a community sense is different than the divide in education. She says in education, the divide is in the experience of the student. For example, many First Nations students go to school where they experience mainly textbook based learning with limited access and experience with internet activities that could enhance and further their educational experience.
The third question asked is “How does internet technology improve education for First Nations students?” Williams explains that students who are going to schools with internet connectivity and IT have a different perspective on what is possible in the world. They realize that there are different ways in which they can get their education and that they do not neccessarily need to leave their community to gain education. They also have the opportunity to view the possible careers that they can have that would enable them to work from home (such as webdeveloping and art-related careers). With technology, First Nations youth are able to see many more possibilities out there in the world and explore, for themselves, who they can become.
This video is very inspiring as it talks about the benefits of internet technology to First Nations youth in British Columbia. It would be a useful resource for anyone looking to explore more about the digital divide in BC, as well as the effects of broadband connection in remote communities in BC.
This paper is written by the First Nations Connectivity research team at SFU. It discusses aboriginal youth and internet technologies and the issues affecting remote communities of British Columbia. The article puts emphasis on youth as the wealth and wellbeing of young people will directly shape the future of all British Columbians. This reminds me of Module 3 where the topic of aboriginal youth and cultural preservation were discussed.
Broadband connectivity can play an important role in these various youth programs, as it helps remote communities work together to tackle major problems. This article also connects a range of youth issues to broader Aboriginal movements in BC, in order to demomstrate the interconnectedness of broadband uses in remote communities. Developing the infrastructure and knowledge-base needed to fully exploit the internet’s potential is largely inseparable from grassroots Aboriginal movements and initiatives.
This article would be useful for someone who is interested in investigating technology use in remote communities in British Columbia. It would also be interesting for someone who is doing research on Aboriginal youth and the effects of technology on cultural preservation revitalization.
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.
This research paper written for the National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research in 2005. It addresses the question of whether or not the internet is a useful tool for indigenous women living in remote areas in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to access health resource. This article discusses the digital divide and how it affects indigenous communities. Based on the statistics presented, there is an apparent digital divide between on-reserve Aboriginal population versus the rest of Canada. There is also a divide between the Canadian population and Northern Aboriginal communities in terms of access to the internet. The article explains how the internet is beneficial to the health of aboriginal women and their families. The author also mentions the challenges of having internet technology implemented into aboriginal communities as there are concerns such as language barriers, cultural bias, and fears of assimilation.
I found this article to be quite interesting but also in need of careful evaluation. It discusses how technology is beneficial to indigenous cultures in many ways such as preserving and promoting culture. It also states that many indigenous communities see telecommunications and technology as a way to improve rather than hinder self-sufficiency, preservation of culture, real sovereignty, and general economic conditions. Furthermore, the article mentions that in Native societies, a dichotomy exists between those that embrace the internet as a tool to protect, maintain, and promote cultural diversity, and those who believe the internet only serve to endorse capitalist ideas. A number of different authors comment on the benefits of technology in indigenous communities. However, the article does come to question whether or not the benefits of the internet in Native communities outweigh the harm. A list of websites is provided for Indigenous cultures and the internet. It includes 32 websites with a brief description for each one. After reading Chapter 4 in our text book, I come to wonder how many of these websites are actually created by Indigenous people for or about indigenous groups. As Zimmerman et. al, mentions in Chapter 4, there are many “wannabes” who portray themselves as one that know about indigenous cultures. For someone in search of a website that was created by indigenous groups, this list provided would be a good start. It might also expose the surprise that all of the 32 websites were created by non-indigenous authors.