Eye on the Arctic

Eye on the Arctic is an interesting website that has information on all of the northern Arctic countries. It is produced in partnership between various organizations in Canada, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States of America. In addition to news articles and blog posts, the site includes a number of videos, audio clips and special reports.

What I found interesting as I surfed through this site is the perspective it offeres. The total focus on what is happening in the arctic around the world is an interesting one, as it is not something that generally gets much news coverage on a regular basis. The Eye on the Arctic site is up-to-date, well-written, and includes information on a variety of issues, including geopolitics, culture, society, the environment, and business.

You can sort any of these issues by the country you are interested in learning about. The site also includes an RSS feed option, and links to both Facebook and Twitter accounts. I think this site provides good context for discussing the ongoing, and increasingly important, issues in the Arctic.


November 6, 2010   No Comments

The Native Youth Sexual Health Network

This website focuses on bringing sexual health education to native youth across North America, and after our discussions on issues such as peer pressure, I was curious to see what resources were out there on those issues. This site states that information is peer-based, which is part of the reason I thought it might be valuable. It appears that the peer-to-peer standard is prevalent throughout the website. When I clicked on “About our Founder” (http://nativeyouthsexualhealth.com/aboutourfounder.html) I learned that the organizations founder is quite young herself, which likely accounts for such an appealing, accessible site for youth.

The page contains information on current programming and collaborations by the organization, as well as free downloadable resources that have been made available for anyone working with aboriginal youth. One such project is a youth photo project (http://nativeyouthsexualhealth.com/youthphotoproject.html) which resulted in a free poster campaign.
I thought it was a good idea to empower aboriginal youth to learn about their sexual health through a website, as it may seem more accessible to them. Since this site was created by aboriginal young people in North America, is also provides a cultural lens that traditional public schools cannot.


November 6, 2010   No Comments

National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO)

This is the website of the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO). This Canadian not-for-profit organization aims to “advance and promote the health and well-being of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis through collaborative research, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, building capacity, and community led initiatives.” The organization is funded through Health Canada, and publishes the Journal of Aboriginal Health.

The site is well organized, and includes a variety of publications, presentations and multi-media features which focus on the well-being of indigenous peoples in Canada. In addition, it features links to a number of social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), as well as 10 separate blogs.

• Publications: http://www.naho.ca/english/publications.php
• Multi-Media: http://www.naho.ca/english/tk_Media.php
• Blogs: http://www.naho.ca/english/socialMedia_blogs.php

I thought this site was interesting, as healthy living (through exercise, diet, and prevention) is something I value in my personal life. This site, and the organization behind it, looks like a great resource for indigenous people in Canada.


November 6, 2010   No Comments

Globalization, Knowledge Economy and the implication for Indigenous Knowledge

This International Review of Information Ethics paper describes how globalization and the knowledge economy have affected Indigenous Knowledge. Globalization and the knowledge economy have both exposed IK for the potential and actual value it has yielded to the world’s most powerful multinational corporations and at the same time, negated IK by viewing it as untried and untested until it is validate by Western technology. The paper goes on to describe some of the many ways in which Indigenous knowledge has been commercialized and used in inappropriate ways. For all of these reasons, the author concludes that Indigenous knowledge needs to be protected. Several means of protection were explored including:

–          enacting suigeneris laws

–          documenting IK

–          seeking contract licensing

The paper then goes on to describe several specific initiatives in the developing world that are aimed at providing the much needed intervention to protect and promote IK in the face of globalizations.



November 6, 2010   No Comments

Indigenous Knowledge: Foundations for First Nations

This well-written and thought provoking essay outlines the author’s view of the “fundamental assumptions underlying modern public school education” in Canada. She describes a historical perspective where education and knowledge were automatically assumed to be a positive liberator of individuals, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike, and a necessary step towards “and intrinsic to the progress and development of modern technological society.”

However, in citing examples where this has not been the case for Aboriginal learners, and in fact that the experience has been the polar opposite for these learners, she uses a phrase “cognitive imperialism” which describes a form of cognitive manipulation used to disclaim other knowledge bases and values. After further elaborating on cognitive imperialism, she goes on to describe her remedy for the situation which includes “a serious and far-reaching examination of the assumptions inherent in western knowledge, science and modern educational theory.”

Note: This essay is part of a study that responds to the Government of Canada’s working partnership with First Nations to improve the quality of Aboriginal life and education in Canada through research conducted with the Education Renewal Initiative.”


November 6, 2010   No Comments

Andragogy and Technology: Integrating Adult Learning Theory As We Teach With Technology

This site is actually a direct link to a paper written by Dolores Fidishun, Ed.D. Head Librarian for Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies. The paper is titled “Andragogy and Technology: Integrating Adult Learning Theory As We Teach With Technology”. It focuses on blending the principles of adult learning theory and technology based instruction to make learning more relevant for adult students. This site is useful for my research because it focuses specifically on technology integration and adult education. The only piece missing related to my research is indigenous learning styles.


November 6, 2010   No Comments

Brock University:Education – Aboriginal Adult Education

This web page was from Brock University out of Ontario, Canada. It has a center dedicated to training teachers in Aboriginal Adult Education. I was interested in it because it offers a certificate path as well as a degree path. The certificate path has five courses:

1. Aboriginal Adult Education: Beginning Our Journeys

          Introduction to Aboriginal ways of learning and constructing knowledge and the relationships between culture/education and learning/healing.

2. Curriculum Theory and Design in Aboriginal Adult Education

           Introduction to an Aboriginal approach to creating curriculum through a community-based developmental model.

3. Instructional Strategies: Ways of Teaching and Learning for Aboriginal Education

            Issues in Aboriginal and mainstream adult education including learning styles, evaluation, storytelling, experiential learning and lesson planning.

4. Aboriginal Leadership Issues: Healing, Learning and Leadership

            Relationship between the colonial experience and contemporary Aboriginal leadership; contemporary policy-making processes and the wider role of the Aboriginal trainer/teacher in our communities.

5. Aboriginal Teacher Development: Understanding our Journeys

             Reflective theory and practice through a series of hands-on activities designed to encourage both professional renewal and awareness of self as Aboriginal teacher and learner.

This site would help me if I wanted to specialize in the aboriginal adult education field.



November 6, 2010   No Comments

Government of Alberta: Advanced Education and Technology

 This webpage is a part of a larger site: Government of Alberta. The Advanced Education and Technology page has a tab system layout that takes the researcher into government sites, post-secondary sites, advanced technology sites, apprenticeship sites, research sites, and lastly, the page I viewed was a page dedicated to community learning. The community learning page has links to aboriginal family literacy programs across Alberta. This site could be useful as a way to network among other adult educators who work specifically with aboriginal learners needs.


November 6, 2010   No Comments

Two Ways of Knowing


This is a 6 minute film trailer for an Inuvialuit Communications Society documentary which Christopher Yapp produced, filmed, wrote and edited.

The full 1 hour television episode is part of the Documentary Television Series, Ummatimnin, and broadcast on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) across Canada in 2010.

A variety of environmental issues being faced by Northern communities are mentioned with footage of the North and Arctic.  The point is made that climate change is a human issue not just a science issue.  Speakers compare the application of Western scientific knowledge and Indigenous traditional knowledge. They point out the need to connect the two types of knowledge to bring about a change of stewardship of the environment.

November 6, 2010   No Comments

Cultural sensitivity training for non-Aboriginal people working with Aboriginal people in Canada

The article “Guidelines for entry into an Aboriginal community” reminded me that people going from Canada to work in countries in the South might receive some cultural sensitivity training to work with indigenous people. For example, apart from private consultants, the Government of Canada (Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada) has a Centre for Intercultural Learning http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/cfsi-icse/cil-cai/index-eng.asp

But I wonder how often training is provided to non-Aboriginal people working with Aboriginal people in Canada? I know there has been “race relations training” in policing in Canada, but otherwise I haven’t been aware of any specific cultural sensitivity training that would include, never mind focus on, learning about Aboriginal culture.

An Internet search quickly led me to some consultants specializing in this. One was Aboriginal Cultural Awareness (ABA) http://www.aboriginalawareness.ca/default.php Its home page includes two short videos: one is Phil Fontaine’s endorsement of ABA; the other about historical misconceptions. ABA offers a training program with four modules: The Importance of Culture and Cultural Awareness, The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada, Canadian History from an Aboriginal Perspective, and Present and Future Challenges for Aboriginal People.

Another company is the Indigenous Corporate Training (ICT) Inc. at http://ictinc.ca/. Following the link to Testimonials gives one a view of the range of clients. They have included people from federal, provincial and local levels of government as well as numerous companies in the natural resource sector (Utility, Mining, Forest and Gas).

These seem to be reputable, successful companies. I wonder if such training programs make a significant difference in improving understanding and relationships? I guess I could find out – for $400 I could attend a one day ICT workshop “Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples™” in March in Toronto!!! But then, for considerably less, I could just take an online program, or order resources.

Kowalsky, Laura O., Verhoef, Maria J.; Thurston, Wilfreda E.; Rutherford, Gayle E. (1996). Guidelines for entry into an Aboriginal community in The Canadian Journal of Native Studies XVI, 2, 267-282. http://www2.brandonu.ca/library/cjns/16.2/kowalsky.pdf

November 6, 2010   1 Comment