Category — Module 3

Nintendo DSi for language learning

One of the topics that I am curious about is whether technology can help save many Indigenous languages that are being lost. This company has developed language tools to do just that.  Grandmother and grandson worked together to build the Cherokee language module.  I would be interested to see how effective this tool is in teaching language and what people think of it (elders, youth, educators, etc.).  It looks like this product is purchased in bundles and includes Nintendo DSi cartridges, the software and training.   The product seems very pricey but I really have little to compare it to.

November 8, 2010   2 Comments

Canadian Roots/Shielded Minds

I found this link to be an interesting project by non-Indigenous youth to build relationships with Indigenous peoples.   These youth are fed up with the stereotypes and the lack of effort by the government to build the bridges between the cultures, so they have taken matters into their own hands.  They set out on a road trip to learn, understand, share and build relationships, and they created a documentary about the trip.  The trailer describes their purpose but I don’t see any screening information on the full documentary.    It appears that the road trip was very successful, so they have started a program to continue these trips.  The trailer offers hope that students will not accept the status quo and have decided to start effecting change themselves.

November 8, 2010   No Comments

National Aboriginal Day: Our Voice, Our Culture, Our Community, Aboriginal Youth Video Project

Twelve young people from Richmond, BC were taught how to create a video story.  They created  this video of their experiences as young Aboriginal people living in Richmond.  They were encouraged to include footage and reflections on National Aboriginal Day in Richmond, as well as reflect on their history and current issues.   The theme follows the two videos we viewed in module 3.

November 8, 2010   No Comments

Union of BC Indian Chiefs

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs website is full of interesting information and further resources. Formed with the goals of being stronger when working together, being the voice of their peoples, and of sharing information, the organizations website seems to indicate they have been successful. I would recommend checking this site out as it focuses entirely on issues facing aboriginal communities in British Columbia, which makes the information both timely and relevant.

I was particularly impressed with the Resources and Resource Centre links on the page. The Resource Centre ( allows users to access a library catalogue and digital collections. The Resources section ( provides links to organizational reports and publications, as well as historical timelines and conference information. The site also includes a Policy and Legislation section ( which focuses on current issues facing aboriginal communities in BC.

November 7, 2010   No Comments


IsumaTV is a multi-media website that focuses on Inuit and indigenous content. The main focus seems to be on video clips. In this respect, the site functions somewhat like YouTube. Users can view recent videos, or search by keyword. For example, I was able to search for “Elders” and “Youth.” The search returned over 300 results for elders and nearly 450 for youth. Although it seems many of the videos are non-English, it’s fairly easy to sift through the results. The site is a good resource for multi-media information on Inuit and indigenous culture.

A similar site is IndigiTube (, which focuses on indigenous peoples in remote areas of Australia. IndigiTube does not seem to be as well developed or used as IsumaTV, but does provide an additional resource and additional media for information on Australian indigenous issues.

November 7, 2010   No Comments

Aboriginal Youth Culture Links

Here’s another great resource related to aboriginal youth culture: What I think is particularly good is the links section which can be found here. There are all kinds of links to young aboriginal artists and tons of YouTube clips and interactive media. Additionally there are tons of web links and event links. Most of all though, it’s a great starting point for learning about some of the less mainstream, young aboriginal artists in Canada. I’d be really curious to see both elders reactions and opinions on this website and how also these resources might be used for educational purposes.

November 7, 2010   No Comments


Beat Nation

Thanks to the BeatNation web site for this image, among other things.

For those of you who couldn’t find it when Shirley mentioned it in the discussion form, here is the link to BeatNation. For anybody interested in a youth culture, this is a MUST SEE!/ LISTEN!! There are a bunch of tracks here and the dialogue and respect shown even in the text is absolutely fantastic. I will definitely be looking into the history of the aboriginal hip-hop movement much more closely as a result of this. And if it hasn’t been done already, I am sure there is some incredible research value in that topic. I am sure that people like Amy Metcalf and her teachers have contributed to scholarship around this, but it is definitely my first real encounter and all kinds of questions arise because of it.

For example, how many other hip-hop artists are using traditional language in their recordings? I am sure that I’ve heard Australian aboriginal hip-hop, but I don’t have any exact references to draw from. Also, how many different aboriginal languages are being used in hip-hop? And probably most importantly, how useful could hip-hop be in engaging aboriginal youth and preserving indigenous language? 

Of course when it comes to hip hop it’s very easy to compare the plight of African-Americans and the plight of First Nations people. As we learned, many aboriginal groups around the world feel and felt a kinship with African-Americans during the civil rights movement. And there’s no question that hip-hop is vitally important in African-American culture and is born from the sentiment fo the civil rights movement. So it should come as no surprise that there are First Nations artists taking the lead from African-Americans. And the thing that comes to mind for some reason when I think about hip-hop, are the Brer bear and Brer rabbit  folktales, which are extremely similar in many ways to the oral traditions of First Nations culture. Interesting stuff and at the very least a great chance to listen to Dreamwarriors again for the first time in a long-time!

November 7, 2010   No Comments

Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

This Government of Canada Panel on Research Ethics website (Modified: 2010-03-22) Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, focuses on research involving Aboriginal peoples. Due to the fact that the agencies responsible for the formation of this policy statement feel that that there have so far been insufficient discussions with representatives of the Aboriginal communities involved, or with the various organizations or researchers involved, the agencies have decided that it is not yet appropriate to establish policies in this area. The text drafted to date (Section 6) builds on literature on research involving Aboriginal Peoples in Australia and abroad, and is intended to serve only as a starting point for discussions around a policy statement.

I find this website a somewhat hopeful government document for several reasons. For example it:

  • Respectfully acknowledges the unique cultures of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and the fact that specific policy language needs to be crafted in order to accommodate these needs.
  • Describes clearly some of the past research techniques that have impacted Aboriginal peoples and “historical reasons why Indigenous or Aboriginal Peoples may legitimately feel apprehensive about the activities of researchers” and the subsequent harm that has resulted.
  • States the integral need to include Aboriginal groups in the formation of a complete policy statement.

November 7, 2010   No Comments

Aboriginal Healing Foundation

Aboriginal Healing Foundation

I found the Aboriginal Healing Foundation while reading several research articles by Dr. William Mussell, one titled “Cultural Pathways for Decolonization” and another called “Warrior-caregivers: Understanding the challenges and healing of First Nations men.” The title of the latter reminded me about the Fraser River Journey film and Skyler’s father’s discussion about the importance of First Nations warriors and the warrior’s transition in modern culture. Several of Dr. Mussell’s articles are housed at

The AHF has a very comprehensive and diverse board of directors and has received quite a significant amount of funding since its creation in 1998. More than $350 million in fact. Now it’s not exactly a $350 million website in terms of design and usability 😉 but the resources related to residential schools are particularly good and I recommend that anybody who is looking at residential schooling in more detail review the “residential school bibliography”in the publications section.

It is also interesting to note how important a role holism plays in mission statement of this organization. I must admit I hadn’t given much thought to the idea of holism before the start of this course but now find the idea playing a central role in my own everyday life.

Unfortunately, the foundation will be closed permanently in September 2012. Hopefully they will find a place to maintain these resources and keep them available to the general public.

November 7, 2010   No Comments

Canadian Residential Schools

While researching You Tube videos around the topic of Indigenous property rights, I came across a set of videos describing the Canadian Residential School experience. Although not directly related to this module’s topic, I had to include a couple of them. The second video poignantly illustrates the power of the technology. It is a devastating video to view.

Canadian Residential School Propaganda Video 1955:

Canadian Holocaust -Try Not to Cry:

November 7, 2010   No Comments