Native American Radio
Koahnic Broadcast Corporation (KBC) operates out of Alaska and is a First Nations radio network. The programming, which is sometimes shared with NPR is centred on Indigenous news and issues. Live streaming is available. The website and the programming seem to be only in English. However, there is a word of the day section on the site that highlights a word from one of the Indigenous languages spoken by the listening audience.

I listened to the stream of a program called Native American Calling for a while and the interview was very interesting. The subject of the interview was an Alaskan musician who was asked the story of how he chose his profession. The answer was told in the form of a beautiful story about a relative who was the last fluent speaker of his language in the family. This struck a chord with me after doing research for my analytical paper. Callers also brought up the issue of language revitalization. There is a real urgency voiced about saving languages. . . even if it is being stated in English.

The news section comes mostly from wire sources. The first story about Indigenous people was not until the middle of the page.

I also learned that it’s warmer in Anchorage than it is in Lethbridge.

November 19, 2010   No Comments

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

City Voices, City Visions

I thought of this after reading Miguel’s post on the main discussion forum. When I was doing ETEC532, I wrote my major paper about the benefits of using digital video productions in the classroom. One of the oldest, and most closely investigated programs was City Voices, City Visions from Buffalo, New York. The program started as a way to motivate inner city youths who were at high risk to drop out of school. It has been a great success, not only in motivating student retention, but in creating authentic learning.
Like I said, Miguel’s post made me think about how this kind of a program, where a central organization trains teachers on how to use digital video in the classroom, could be used in a First Nations setting. The benefits such as improved self esteem have been seen in the two course videos, the Fraser River Journey and the March Point trailer. I have used digital video projects over the last few semesters in my classroom and have found them to be extremely enlightening and awesome tools for student constructive learning. This is a little bit outside of the box, but it is something that is relevant.

November 5, 2010   No Comments

Genesis Group

At first, I was a bit concerned that this was a corporate site. My worry was that although it seemed promising, there was a motive of profit here. After a bit of digging, the Genesis Group is part of the The Northern Learning Institute, which is is owned by the Nunasi Corporation, which is owned by all the Inuit of Nunavut who are enrolled under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. That all seems above the board… I think.

The page identifies what the group considers the “best practices in the area of Aboriginal Technology & learning across Canada.”

These include web page development, online schools, and a “talking dictionary” project.

November 4, 2010   1 Comment

Digital Video Pilot Project – Vancouver Island

The Saanich Indian School board on Vancouver island has created a pilot project to incorporate technology into the learning process. This includes something near and dear to my heart, the production of digital videos.

The program is geared towards students in grade 12 and has several goals, including

    working with a First Nations topic,
    being involved with the community,
    having community value, including use in social studies classes from grade 4 to 9,
    receive credit for technology courses

    An example of a film is archived at:

November 4, 2010   2 Comments