Module 4 Postings

FIRST VOICES (Brentwood Bay, BC)

First Voices is a suite of web-based tools and services designed to support Aboriginal peoples engaged in language archiving, language teaching and culture revitalization.
 The First Voices language tutor is a free software that can be downloaded and local language archived in it, games and other language learning activities can be developed with the software. It support instructor and student tracking. The First Voices Language Archive contains about 60 different language communities at this time, some publicly accessible, some not.


The First Nations Interactive Holistic Lifelong Learning Model:

I really liked this interactive flash model for holistic learning. It is a good example of how technology can support the interconnected webs of relationships in First nations communities and in education.


A Victory for the Tsilhqot’in

Blue Gold: The Tsilhqot’in Fight for Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)
This is a fabulous film that shows the power that media can have to change the course of events when a community decides to take a stand. Blue Gold expresses the Tsilhqot’in peoples’ unanimous rejection of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s proposal to drain Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) in order to stockpile mining waste.  They had help to make the film from R.A.V.E.N. and assistance with fundraising. This is an approach being taken more and more by small indigenous communities to reach the mainstream population – many of whom support the causes if they know about them.


Alanis Obomsawin

One of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers, she has worked at the NFB for over 40 years. when I was researching aboriginal film I found out that she was the director of the incredible film that I saw years ago:Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance . She has made so many films and is passionate about speaking out for aboriginal people. She also received an Honourary Degree from UBC recently where she gave a speech honouring the NFB for supporting her work.


National Panel on First Nations Education: News Release – Equitable Funding, Language, Culture and Technology Key to Improving High School Graduation Rates

It looks like there is money being made available to make some concrete improvements in First Nations education.  Calls for improvement in funding, integrating culture and language into curriculum and ensuring equitable access for all First Nations students has been going on for a long time. “Closing the gap between educational achievement for youth in mainstream society and First Nations’ youth is the single biggest shot in the arm we can give Canada’s economy where demand for skilled and knowledge-based workers is likely to remain greater than our ability to produce them,” said Panel Chair Scott Haldane.


Hui, Stephen, First Nations Students need Internet Technology, advocates say, Georgia Straight, September 3, 2009.

Even if remote communities have technology often it is difficult at home and school to make good use of them because of the poor bandwidth. Remote communities all over Canada have been promised better bandwidth in these communities but most are still waiting. Technology would open access to online support for high school specialist courses in maths and sciences, technology skills, programs that can support digital music and art in areas where only four or five students makes it not economical to have a teacher in the community.














November 28, 2011   No Comments

Module 3: Media

Excerpt: Storytellers in Motion Episode 12: The Maori Voice Part One:

Excerpt: Storytellers in Motion Episode 13: The Maori Voice Part Two:

The series looks at storytellers in Canada and other countries. These two episodes look at the huge resurgence in Maori film and how it has preserved language and culture, as against predictions that their languages would be gone by now.  Part Two follows Barry Barclay, a very well known Maori film maker, to England and he talks bout some of the challenges he has faced. There are other resources of interest around his latest documentary Kiapara Affair which documents struggle of a small community to stop commercial overfishing in their harbour. This article documents political interference in the final cut of the documentary:

The Kaipara Affair, New Zealand, 2005. Director: Barry Barclay



Storytellers in Motion: ImagineNATIVE 2008 – Discussing the issues in mainstream media from the aboriginal perspective, and the rational for starting ImagineNATIVE:

ISUMA: I am looking at examples of the way media can be used to give students an interactive experience with language and culture. Isuma, in addition to video resources has many excellent teaching resources – this is one example of an interactive resource developed around their film The Journals of Knud Rasmussen:

in Teacher Resources area:


Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education A Literature Review with Recommendations.  Battiste, Marie (2002) This article details features of traditional knowledge and links these considerations to learning styles and instructional methods. These recommendations went forward to INAC, where they were applied I have not found yet.  Retrieved from:

October 30, 2011   No Comments

Traditional Knowledge and Identity

I am focusing on the use of technology to document and preserve traditional knowledge and develop curriculum resources. Most of my posts are related to media in supporting an indigenous re-framing of identity and different ways media are being used to share and document traditional knowledge and deal with ownership issues. How different communities and groups have done this, and their successes and issues will be important feedback for any efforts we make up north.


Native Science

A website on Traditional Knowledge with links to other sites developed in Alaska with TK resources dealing with language, culture and the land.  The projects are aimed at documenting and preserving TK and developing curriculum resources for the state as well. There is a very good set of guidelines developed by a large number of stakeholders: GUIDELINES FOR RESPECTING CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE.

Alaskan Native Knowledge Network

Articles and resources dealing with traditional knowledge, culture and language  including curriculum and resources from all the language groups found in Alaska.


Indigenous Knowledge: Foundations for First Nations

A detailed article on the place of traditional knowledge in current identity, ecology and development issues from the University of Saskatchewan.


David Bouchard – Portrait of a Metis Writer

Video interview with David Bouchard, a well-known and much respected Metis writer and speaker. We have had David visit out school several times and he is a real champion for strong FN identity – not just Metis. His work is multimedia – writing, partnerships with artists, music – he is very inspiring to youth. Story as the vehicle of traditional knowledge.

Nokum is my Teacher

Most of his books are on line in some form. This book is about the Metis culture  and the importance of being open to sharing understanding and change.


Brenda Parlee Website:

Collects her research re traditional knowledge mainly in Alberta and the NWT as it impacts resource development, wildlife management and ecological issues. Some of her research has dealt with traditional knowledge issues in our community of Lutsel K’e, and issues of control in communication  and development.


Indian Country Today Media Network

Both US and Canadian sites with videos, blogs and news feeds on international issues from health to politics. The site speaks to solidarity among many ethnic and tribal identities on similar issues.










October 15, 2011   No Comments

Statement linking Weblog to Research

Using Technology to Support Community-based Traditional Knowledge Education:

At my school in the NWTs and at our Board we are working to integrate technology in a meaningful and supportive way into the schools and classroom. This year, with support of community members, I secured funding from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for a 2 year project – and hopefully indefinite – to develop technology based curriculum and resources emphasizing the preservation, valuing and passing on of traditional land-based knowledge and language. One of the things I want to do is get some direction and focus for our efforts.

Over the past 7 years we have tried many great strategies to immerse the school in the life of the community including weeks out on the land in the Barrens and recording all this, elders and community members in the school for language, stories, and values education support; on line repositories and resources, SMART Board language learning lessons etc. But I hope technology can help us make some real ‘shift’ in the way we work in the community.

I want to look at strategies used by other indigenous people and develop ideas for our community.  Being aware of the possible harmful effects of technology alongside the many clear benefits we want to develop some practical strategies we can use to guide our development of resources in a way that maximizes involvement and integration of the community, and helps the students be more successful in school and their community.


September 22, 2011   No Comments

Listening to Our Past

This is a collection of recorded interviews in  English, Inuktitut and French regarding Indigenous experiences of historical events etc – each interview also is related to a written text. Other links to other organizations working with indigenous peoples… Sheila


September 21, 2011   No Comments

The Nature Conservancy: Bella Bella Project

One of the things we did last year in Lutsel K’e was get funding for a major curriculum development project (2-3 years)  from TNC. This will involve staff, students and community members in generating some teaching and learning reesources in some digital format… Bella Bella started their project two years ago… so this site talks about some of the multimedia things they have done and links to TNC resources…. good stuff. Sheila


September 21, 2011   No Comments

Aboriginal Multi-Media Society

Researching other Indigenous media organizations in Canada – came across: The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society  (incorp. 1983) AMMSA publishes Windspeaker, which I do read occasionally up north, is a good mag and a good example of how aboriginal media have built broad based communication and political awareness; good archives. They also help train communities to get their own media going:



September 21, 2011   No Comments

Isuma TV

IsumaTV is the world’s first NORTHERN INTERNET DISTRIBUTOR for Inuit and Aboriginal films, TV and new media. IsumaTV currently streams free over 2000 films in 41 languages… I was looking for some of the Inuit and Indigenous films mentioned in the readings. This site has incredible archives of Canadian and International videos, films and interviews in many, many aboriginal languages…on many different topics:


September 21, 2011   No Comments

Module 1.1

Is Technology Culturally Neutral?

The general consensus in the reading is that it is not – it is described as a “dangerous technology”, Howe (1998) calls it an exceedingly deceptive technology” (p. 27) with a hidden agenda of the conceptual models and values of the dominant culture. Hence the critique of the western dominated – especially American – monoculture. This technology he feels is intrinsically hostile to the aboriginal worldview, the language and culture of the elders, and to the relationship of land and culture in aboriginal communities.

I came across a video of Andrew Feenberg in the context of another course I am doing. I really like his analysis of the active co-construction or co-creation of the world by the interactions of technology and social and cultural factors – including political and economic forces. His analysis has helped my clarify in what ways technology is not neutral though his analysis of the 10 Paradoxes of Technology:

on Youtube:


September 20, 2011   No Comments