Nuu-chah-nulth Language Audio “Phrase Book”

Although the execution is not completely perfect, this premise is very strong The basic idea is to offer both a written and audio dictionary (more like a phrase book) related to the language. I have heard that this effort was driven almost entirely by the Nuu-Chah-Nulth themselves. I will be carefully watching to see if there are further updates or releases and likely following up to find out more about this project. It may be of particular use to those folks in the class working on language preservation projects. And incidentally, the band’s newspaper, the Ha-Shilth-Sa,  is a great little piece of community journalism at work. You can check that out here:

October 14, 2010   No Comments

BC Broadband Access Map

Here is a link loosely related to the one of the threads in Discussion #4. The link shows communities in BC that DO NOT have access to broadband.

BC Broadband Services

I was discussing this with an IT Director earlier today and he relayed to me that he has been to three First Nations communities in the last six weeks that actually have broadband access, but didn’t even know it. Apparently companies like Telus can access federal funds to provide this infrastructure to reserves but have no obligation to help the bands get it up and running. You’d think there would be some motivation considering the outrageous monthly rates they charge.

October 14, 2010   No Comments

Internet Evils

Ok, so this might not classify as research so much as it does annoyance, but I think it is worth pointing it out. I was very interested in Amy Parent’s video and did some searches on aboriginal youth. And what pops up but this? . I think it is fair to say this could do some damage as it relates to stereotyping. Related to this is the site synopsis I recently read for the Aboriginal Youth Network, which sounded to have so much promise but turned up a dead link.

October 13, 2010   No Comments

Rabbit Proof Website


Despite the fact it was shut down as part of Australia’s austerity measures earlier this year (who needs culture anyway?), the web site has really good chronological breakdown of Indigenous film making in Australia. Some really significant films are discussed here, many that I’ve never heard of, with links to clips and even a few full length features. Also some great links to other Indigenous resources with an Australian focss. This may be of particular interest to people doing comparative studies. Many of these films are mentioned in the Hearne article and offer some great comparisons with Canadian First Nations film production efforts.

October 13, 2010   No Comments

Totem: the Return of the G’psgolox Pole

This film, Totem: the Return of the G’psgolox Pole, is such a wonderful story and example of respect and cross cultural collaboration. I know from speaking to people in this community what an important moment it was for the Haisla and how much respect and healing resulted from the entire process. In addition to this film, you have to love how comprehensive a resource the NFB site is, for First Nation subject matter and beyond. Yes, as taxpayers it often seems we have to pay dearly to be Canadian, but cultural resources like this one make it seem worth it.

October 12, 2010   No Comments

Maori Spellchecker

I thought this was quite interesting, especially considering the discussions we’ve had with regard to technology and cultural neutrality. Turns out somebody in New Zeland has the very same conserns when it comes to language bias. Be great to see something like this developed for Canadian First Nations languages. Or perhaps there already is and I am simply unaware of it. It seems like a pretty good business idea, don’t you think?

October 10, 2010   No Comments

Alwyn Morris – Cyberspace Powerhouse

When it comes to cyberspace, First Nations peoples are under represented in some ways, to be sure. But when it comes to the massive business of online gaming, First nations groups are among the most powerful in the world. Alwyn Morris is a particularly interesting figure worth knowing more about. He is revered for his gold-medal efforts in the 1984 Summer Olympics and currently heads the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, which owns the exclusive and lucrative branding license to global online gaming powerhouse Bodog.

September 26, 2010   No Comments

APTN is terrific

I know that Deb already posted a link to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network site but is definitely worth having a closer look at, as it really demonstrates just how sophisticated a media infrastructure exists in First Nations communities across Canada. I was absolutely shocked at the list of television programs I found here. I really had no idea that this many shows had been or are being produced directly by and for First Nations communities. The variety is also something of a shock. There are news programs, dramas, documentaries and quite a few good kids’ series. There are also full episodes of certain shows available, which is great. Even some of the big networks don’t offer this. I also found that their mission statement is quite concise and accurately reflects what they are doing on the site.

September 26, 2010   No Comments

K’omoks Treaty Site

Visit the Comox Band Treaty Site, just don't expect much

It is troublesome to me to see how much is dedicated to the treaty and how little within these two connected sites (see “My Neighbours”) is dedicated to history and/ or education about either the K’omoks people or the land itself. I am not sure why, but I expect more. But really,why do I have any expectation in this regard at all? I mean you can’t deny any person or organization from the chance to earn a living and perhaps there is a reason for not sharing more about the culture and for dedicating the bulk of web efforts to commercial purposes. Maybe it is the best way? Maybe there isn’t much you can learn about the thousands-of-years history of a people on a two decade old technology? I think I will go ask somebody at the band office about the reasoning…..

September 25, 2010   No Comments

My Neighbours

I live next to the K’omoks First Nation Reserve #1 an would like to learn as much about my neighbours as I can. As such I did a google search (natch). Here is what I found:

I think this site is an example of the difficulties of technology not just for First Nation’s but for any organization or business that commits to the web. Although it is an adequately designed site and does quite a good job of highlighting several areas of the Band’s interests, especially its gallery, it is sadly dated. So anybody who comes to the site is going to nearly instantaneously see that there haven’t been updates in three-plus years. And, for better or for worse, if you don’t update daily, and more effectively hourly, you are out of date on the web.

Also, the history component also casts the K’omoks people as victims and clearly tries to boil an elaborate history down into a few poorly written paragraphs that raise more questions than they answer. More space is given to trying to portray the business interests than anything else, which is fine, but considering how dated key parts of the site are, these interests are discredited to a certain degree as well.

September 24, 2010   No Comments