In our discussion this module about stereotypes and critical media anaylsis, I came upon the organization BluePrintForLife which runs the program “Social Work through Hip Hop.” Through the medium of hiphop, this program facilitates social work development and healthy indigenous communities in the Arctic North. Projects are designed with specific communities in mind, but generally deal with issues such as anger, violence, sexual abuse, addictions, positive outlets.
Elders, adults, and youth are encouraged to participate side by side in fun events such as throat-boxing (Inuit throat boxing combined with beatboxing) as well as complex discussions of anger, violence, sexual abuse and addictions.This program addresses the multigenerational healing of communities – take the Elder DJ component for example; a way in which Elders can model positive risk taking along with opening dialogue through sharing a laugh.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCu3HtydHsk&feature=related[/youtube] This compilation of music and art presents the story of First Nations peoples as presented through the singing of Jana Mashonee. This seems like a good example to present to young students. The blend of current First Nations art and traditional story gives a sense of balance. However, when I googled Jana Mashonee, the first thing that came up was a poster-like representation that definitely had a Pochahontas-feel to it. It certainly has a very commercial feel but the music also seems to present positive messages for First Nations students and she seems to present the image of being a good role-model. This reminds me of the discussion regarding the non-neutrality of the internet. There are always messages delivered on many levels and that understanding them requires sharp critical skills.
Many of the posts are related to indigenous music. This particular link is to an edition called “Indigenous Peoples, Recording Techniques, and the Recording Industry” and the articles provide ethnographic information on a wide range of aboriginal musical initiatives from many countries – the Sami in Scandinavia to Fijian societies to North American aboriginals.
The website provides summaries of each article but full copies are not available on this site; some can be found on the web and others I was not able to track down. However, it is a great place to get ideas about ethnomusicology and to get exposure to aboriginal cultures that you may not have been familiar with before.