Indigenous Education Institute

“The work of IEI is focused on the boundaries between traditional Indigenous science and western science, sometimes places of tension, but also places where the most fruitful exchange of knowledge can take place. The work of IEI is centered on the task of helping young native people find their own sense of self-identity and self-esteem in the world today, based on a firm foundation of thousands of years of cultural knowledge.”

This website offers information and links to other sites providing information on Indigenous knowledge and its application to modern times in helping to preserve the planet (& space) for future generations.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Oral Tradition: A Journal


Based at the Univeristy of Missouri’s Center for Studies in Oral Tradition the Oral Tradition Journal has been in print since 1986. Recently they stopped publishing the print version and are focused primarily on the digital space, which is interesting in itself. The international focus of the journal and interdisciplinary approach makes this a treasure trove for research on oral traditions. There is a large amount of information dedicated to Judaism, Christianity and Islam but articles include studies on a wide variety of oral traditions, including those of North American First Nations. The site is extremely easy to search and some of the most relevant information I’ve found for this course come from this source.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Native Networks

Native Networks is a project by The Film and Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian. The website aims to showcase some of the multimedia currently being produced by Native Americans, as well as provide support and connections to native “media makers.”

The site contains a comprehensive list of videos shown by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. While videos are not necessarily available for download on the site, each listing contains the title, year, and a brief description, which still serves as a valuable resource. The listing can be found here: Users can either browse the entire list, or sort by title, director, region or tribe.

The site also features “close-ups” with figures who are currently contributing to Native American film. After a brief introduction to each person, users can click for a full interview. The close-up feature can be found here:

The site also contains links to a number of integrated social media tools, including a Facebook page, and Twitter, Myspace, and YouTube accounts.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

National Inuit Youth Council

While the website does not contain a ton of content, this national organization appears to be doing some excellent work. The National Inuit Youth Council (NIYC) formed in 1994 and remains committed to language/culture, education/training, and suicide prevention. According to the site, over half of the Inuit population are considered youth, so these are timely and relevant goals.

The site contains a list of available opportunities, including the popular Katimavik program (now with a northern-specific curriculum) and Impossible2Possible, an adventure based leadership program. The list can be found here: Additionally, it runs a blog-style home page with latest news, and an annual Youth Summit (

More information may be available to members once logged in, but in either case, the organization and its website provide another perspective on issues facing indigenous youth in Canada.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Urban Native Youth Association

British Columbia’s Urban Native Youth Association was formed to assist aboriginal youth as more and more left reserves and started living in the cities. Recreation programs are offered for youth, as well as personal support, residential programs for youth struggling with drug or alcohol dependency, and plans for a native youth centre in the downtown east side of Vancouver once enough capital is raised.

A number of resources and publications have been created ( for youth or people who work with aboriginal youth. These include health, nutrition and GLBTQ information written from an aboriginal perspective. This site is applicable specifically to youth and issues in British Columbia.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Honouring Life Network

The Honouring Life Network is a project by the National Aboriginal Health Organization. Its purpose is to prevent suicide amongst aboriginal youth and support those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The site is divided into three sections: an area for youth, an area for youth workers, and an area with resources.

The site includes a FAQ and statistics section on suicide, personal stories from people affected by suicide, and resources for youth considering suicide as well as youth workers. A up-to-date listing of organizations able to help in each province ( as well as a crisis information page ( are among the services the site offers.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Path of the Elders

Path of the Elders is both a visually interesting site and one that contains a variety of information. At first glance, I thought I had stumbled upon the latest Disney-Pixar project, but upon closer inspection I discovered the site was actually an interesting source for information on a particular treaty in Ontario. It tells the story of the Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe Peoples of North-Eastern and North-Western Ontario (and the signing of Treaty #9). The site features a number of multimedia options, as well as an interactive game.

• Knowledge Quest Interactive Game:
• Videos:
• Audio:
• Photos:

A teacher’s page exists where educators can download Teachers Guides that have been prepared for every grade between grade 4 and 10 In addition, it features a variety of Web 2.0 sharing tools, such as links to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Digg and

As I mentioned earlier, the visually appealing design of this site really sets it apart from many other sites, which might help to engage more students as they learn course content. It’s worth checking out just to see the unique, innovative design.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Public Ethics Radio – Episode 13: Sarah Holcombe on Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights

This Public Ethics Radio clip examines questions around Australian Indigenous knowledge management, intellectual property rights, and research ethics. The guest speaker is social anthropologist Sarah Holcombe who is a research fellow at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. The audio clip is 32 minutes long.

Visit Dr. Holcombe’s website:

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Protocols for Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Iwi

This web site lists several Protocols for Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of the Maori Iwi (traditional tribes), based on the Mataatua Declaration of Indigenous Rights. Included are eight recommendations to Iwi, 5 recommendations to states, national and international agencies, and 9 points describing biodiversity and customary environment management property rights.

Note: I was curious about the term Mataatua. Here’s what Wikipedia had listed for it:

Mataatua was one of the great voyaging canoes by which Polynesians migrated to New Zealand. Māori traditions say that the Mataatua was initially sent from Hawaiki to bring supplies of kūmara to Māori settlements in New Zealand. The Mataatua was captained by Toroa, accompanied by his brother, Puhi; his sister, Muriwai; his son, Ruaihona; and daughter, Wairaka.

November 28, 2010   No Comments

Under CAFTA, Indigenous heritage becomes intellectual property for the United States

Throughout this course, I’ve found discussion around the issue of intellectual property particularly interesting. Living in British Columbia, it would be difficult to miss the ongoing debate around the local fisheries with regard to who owns what, and how far Indigenous people’s rights extend when it comes to rules around harvesting marine resources.

For these reasons, I found the Cancer Plants web page describing foreign ownership of the right to exploit a region’s abundant and diverse tropical flora, very provocative. According to this page, under the intellectual-property provisions of CAFTA, the US has forced legislation in member countries that potentially legalizes patenting the biological resources of the region to the benefit of pharmaceutical and agro-industrial companies. Indigenous communities and environmentalists call these practices biopiracy while international pharmaceutical companies and academic researchers call them bioprospecting. Whatever the term used, the ethical, environmental, and commercial implications of this practice could be enormous.

November 28, 2010   No Comments