eLearning in Small Remote Aboriginal Communities

This online presentation looks at ways to enhance success for high school students engaged in web-based learning in Canada.  It looks at areas identified that need improving (organizational, communications, motivation, and contextual).  Key issues are addressed, and then strategies for improvement are given.

October 6, 2011   No Comments

Signs of Safety

Faculty and students in my department (community college) have been invited to participate in a “Signs of Safety” workshop next month.  This program is “an innovative strengths-based, safety-organised approach to child protection casework”.  While not First Nations based, leaders of our local Ktunaxa Nation have embraced the program and have become community leaders in its advocacy.

While it may not directly pertain to this course, I am excited that my students have the opportunity to be involved in this program!


October 6, 2011   No Comments

Aboriginal Adult Literacy: Nourturing Their Learning Spirits

This report report (2008) was prepared for the Canadian Council on Learning’s Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre by Ningwakwe Priscilla George.  It is a literature review on Aboriginal literacy.  Some of the emerging themes include community-based (one-on-one, small group), institutional, workplace,
family, health/well-being, oral history, working with Elders and seniors, and Aboriginal language programming.  While focusing on adult literacy, the report emphasizes the importance of family literacy and lifelong


October 6, 2011   No Comments

Online Learning Environments for Indigenous Cultural Inclusivenss

Laurel Dyson published “Constructing Shared Online Learning Environments for Indigenous Cultural Inclusiveness” (2003).  It looks at some of the challenges for online learning for Aboriginal students and identifies several conditions for effective delivery.  Some of the key conditions include:

  • Flexibility
  • Interactivity
  • Minimal text
  • Cultural appropriateness
  • Indigenous-specific virtual space
  • Optional customization for individual learners

The paper looks at several previously completed studies to support these conditions.

October 6, 2011   No Comments

Checklist for Developing Indigineous eLearning Resources

Presented by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework, this document is a great resources for preparing eLearning resources for Aboriginal students.  Some of the topics included are:

  • Cultural Protocols
  • Indigenous Partnerships
  • Technology
  • Cultural Inclusively
  • Delivery
  • Other Useful Resources

I liked the documents preface:

“It is important that the developers of Indigenous online learning resources acknowledge that Indigenous Australians are part of diverse nations. There are approximately 90 surviving languages and 20 of these with distinct associated cultures. Because of this diversity, any resources that are developed for Indigenous users should be developed in partnership with local Indigenous communities to ensure that the resources have been tailored for the specific community in which they are based as well as being able to be used by Indigenous communities in other areas. Cyberspace itself has a culture and is not a neutral or value-free platform for exchange.”

October 6, 2011   No Comments

Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education

A colleague of mine emailed me a report titled “Aboriginal Postsecondary Education – Formal Instruction for the Adult Aboriginal Population“, written by Bob Cowin from Douglas College (2011).  The focus of the report is on British Columbia institutions (public and private) who deliver formal education which is intended to enroll adult Aboriginal students.  Services and programs are discussed (not individual courses).  It identifies different approaches taken in Aboriginal education, including assimilative, integrative, affiliated, and independent.  The report gives a history of the practices, focusing mainly on BC.

October 6, 2011   No Comments

First Nations Schools Association

The First Nations Schools Association works with First Nations schools to build nurturing environments that “develop learners’ pride and competence in their First Nations language and heritage and equips them to realize their full potential, within self-governing First Nations communities”.   Information on jurisdiction, programs and special education resources are provided.  A variety of resources are available (some free and some for purchase), including handbooks for teachers.


September 21, 2011   No Comments

First Nations Education Steering Committee

The First Nations Education Steering Committee is an “independent society that is committed to improving education for all First Nations learners in British Columbia. FNESC is led by representatives of First Nations across the province.”  FNESC strives to facilitate First Nations support in the area of education. The website includes information about various programs and initiatives.


There are many links provided for further information.  A few key ones are:

First Nations School Association

Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association

First Nations Early Childhood Development Council

Seventh Generation Club


September 21, 2011   No Comments

First Voices

First Voices

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8hAAkJ1B-M]

“FirstVoices is a group of web-based tools and services designed to support Aboriginal people engaged in language archiving, language teaching & culture revitalization”.  In ETEC 521 we are discussing factors that make Aboriginal education distinct.  The importance of language is one of these things.  Visitors to this site can hear Aboriginal languages being spoken.  There are activities for children as well as adults.


September 21, 2011   No Comments

Learning Strategies for Aboriginal Students

Opportunities to make learning Meaningful

This document, published by Alberta Education, provides extensive suggestions for making learning meaningful for Aboriginal students.  It addresses some of their unique learning attributes.  Graphic organizers, cooperative learning, and independent studies are suggested, linking many important Aboriginal values and traditions to learning activities.


September 21, 2011   No Comments