Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is a department of the federal government of Canada whose mandate is to “make Canada a better place for Aboriginal and northern people and communities.” The website is a comprehensive overview of programs and projects INAC currently has underway. Information (including research reports, statistics, and success stories) is available for both First Nations and Inuit populations. Notable links include:

• INAC Mandate (, which covers the ministry’s structure, roles and responsibilities, and applicable legislation, as well as information on challenges, partnerships, sustainability, and finances.
• Statistics (, including census information, comparisons of socio-economic conditions from census year to census year, and demographics.
• Education Initiatives (

Another useful link from this site is to the First Nations Profiles website (, which includes an interactive map ( showing geographical locations of the 615 first nations bands in Canada.

September 22, 2010   No Comments

Snuneymuxw First Nations

I wanted to learn more about the Snuneymuxw First Nations (SFN), as they are the local band here in Nanaimo. Their website ( is well established and very up-to-date. It was interesting to read through the content and learn about not only the current issues facing the band, but all the projects and programs they are working on. The pride in their community is evident from their 20 page bi-weekly newsletter, Snuneymuxw News (, as well as the variety of community support groups and programs available to band members. These include:

• Parent Club (
• Youth Centre ( and
• The Breakfast Club (

Additional links and information are also available on health and wellness programs, employment opportunities and training, local cultural archives, and even a photo gallery.

September 22, 2010   No Comments

Resources for Indigenous Cultures around the World


Native Web is a resource centre and database for cultures from around the world.

It has a link to hosted sites: which provides the user with a rich resource database. Numerous ideas, topics and articles can be researched in a variety of ways. It is an abundant source of international and national news, events and resources.

September 22, 2010   No Comments

Indigenous Knowledge: Local Pathways to Local Development

Indigenous Knowledge: Local Pathways to Local Development is a document that was published in 2004 from the Knowledge and Learning Group, Africa Region; The World Bank. 

This is a publication from the World Bank outlining “solutions for local development.” It highlights a number of successful initiatives that have included the local people. Its mandate is: “We recognize that knowledge is not the exclusive domain of technologically advanced societies. We need to give a new meaning to empowering poor people and helping to give them voice—not as recipients of knowledge, but as contributors and protagonists of their own development.” 

What I found interesting was one of the chapters titled: Indigenous Knowledge and Science and Technology: Conflict, Contradiction or Concurrence?  which has an excerpt that I found enlightening:

“Indigenous knowledge is today considered relevant in the social and human development domains. Its contribution to science and technology is often underestimated or not known. For example, the Maasai pastoralists actively immunized their herds by inoculating healthy animals with saliva froth of freshly diseased ones. Similar was the practice of English midwives, who stored molding bread with their delivery utensils and cloths. Yet, Pasteur received recognition for pioneering vaccination and Fleming for the discovery of penicillin.” 

At the end of the publication there is a table entitled: Institutional Constraints in Adapting Local Knowledge Innovations, that lists some of the barriers that are encountered.  It is a very interesting read.

September 22, 2010   No Comments