Category — Module 4

Cultural Issues in the Adoption of Information and Communication Technologies by Indigenous Australians

This website presents a paper that examines issues that Indigenous Australians face in relation to information and communications technology. The paper examines the impact of Western values on Indigenous people and also explores possible challenges that cause the low adoption rate of ICT use and implementation in indigenous communities.  In addition, the paper highlighted ways that ICTs are implemented in indigenous communities to help preserve and maintain their culture.

November 28, 2011   No Comments

Social Media as a Tool for Inclusion

This website presents  the findings of research commissioned by the Horizontal Policy Integration Division (HPID) of HRSDC to determine “the extent, nature and benefits of social media use by five vulnerable populations – Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, the homeless and seniors – and by the institutions that serve them, and to explore the extent to which such media help to overcome social isolation and barriers to inclusion in Canadian society”.  I find the section related to Aboriginal peoples use of ICT very helpful for my final research paper as it provides empirical data on the usage of social media by Aboriginals, it examines the benefits, challenges and concerns related to ICT usage and it also highlights different social media tools that are used by Aboriginals.

November 28, 2011   No Comments

IT System to Support Indigenous Knowledge Preservation

This website highlight the step taken by Academics from the Polytechnic of Namibia to preserve indigenous knowledge using technology as they feared that indigenous knowledge may be lost as time passes.  They are of the view that there are many indigenous knowledge that are important and must be preserved such as telling of stories, which could be easily lost with the absence of elders since they are not recorded in text or electronically, hence the need to preserve these traditions with technology.

The researchers are looking at developing an indigenous knowledge management storage system for selected communities in Namibia as a proof of concept to be transferred to other communities later. It will be accessible to individuals who want to be up to date with their respectful community’s.  The initiative will also serve the village people with the means to upload/download recorded material on the indigenous knowledge system from anywhere within the village.

November 28, 2011   No Comments

Beyond preservation: New directions for technological innovation through intangible cultural heritage

Beyond preservation: New directions for technological innovation through intangible cultural heritage

This website presents a three-phase model that can help to effectively preserve Indigenous traditions using digital media in meaningful ways.   There phases of the model are

  1. Straightforward documentation of Indigenous traditions.  This step involves creating videos, animations, tutorials, booklets, and interactive websites etc.
  2. Translation of Indigenous traditions into emerging technology and contemporary cultural modes of expression using tools such as youtube and facebook apps.
  3. Application of principles of Indigenous traditions to develop new technologies such as 3D modeling, shared documents and cloud computing.

The article also highlights some opportunities and risks inherent in the digital preservation of indigenous knowledge.

November 28, 2011   No Comments

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

Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian

Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian (

Watch Reel Injun – Trailer on PBS.


“What does it mean to have your identity defined by the movies?”  This question is posed during the Trailer of the movie.  I identified with this question because of the topic in our course concerning whether or not you need to understand your own culture before you can identify with another.  I suspect it is the same with your “identity”.

The movie is a documentary film by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond.  Diamond takes a journey through the Americas to see how “the myth of “the Injun” has influenced the world’s understanding — and misunderstanding — of Natives.”  It has won several awards including the 2011 Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.  I have to admit I have not seen the movie.  Only 3 or 4, 2-3 minute clips but I am exploring ways to see it.  What I have seen is both interesting and humorous.    I say humorous because one clip shows a montage of Hollywood actors that have portrayed Indians in films and they were all “white”.  Maybe it is insensitive to laugh but I was laughing because of the “patheticness” of Hollywood’s attempts – not that I think it was funny.  If anyone has access to this movie I would love to see it in its entirety.

~ Ryan

November 28, 2011   No Comments

Our Mother Tongues

Our Mother Tongues (

I came across Our Mother Tongues while researching the movie March Point.  What I liked about this site is that they claim that there is a “vibrant cultural revival” in Native Indian culture – a message that (at least too me) is very different from what is portrayed in mainstream media.  Its focus is on the USA and has many interesting aspects to its website.

There is an interactive language map whereby you click on a region and a pop-up window displays information about that region including audio files of people speaking the Mother Tongue of that region.  You can send ePostcards with an audio message greeting in a chosen Tribal language.  As well, there are videos and a blog that you can subscribe to.

~ Ryan

November 28, 2011   No Comments



I discovered USAY when I was researching New Tribe Magazine.  USAY is a non-profit organization in Calgary and been in existence since 2001.  “USAY strives to provide essential programming and services to Calgary’s Aboriginal youth between the ages of twelve and twenty-nine.”  Taken from their website, their mission statement is:

The Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY) will enrich the lives of all urban Aboriginal youth by nurturing self-empowerment and fostering healthy collaboration and communication to ensure healthy future generations.

USAY provides many programs for Aboriginal youth will includes but is not limited to:

  • New Tribe Magazine
  • Aboriginal Anti-Racism Movement
  • New Kicks 4 Kids (in partnership with Nike Canada)
  • Career Planning
  • Personal Finance courses

All of the board of directors of USAY must be under the age of 30 so that they have a better understanding of the issue that are affecting Aboriginal youth.

~ Ryan

November 28, 2011   No Comments

New Tribe Magazine

New Tribe Magazine (

New Tribe is a monthly magazine published in Calgary, Alberta.  They aspire to be the “voice” of urban Aboriginal Youth focusing on the communities surrounding the Calgary area. Similar to SAY Magazine, New Tribe hopes to inspire Aboriginal youth through their stories and encourage Aboriginal youth to not only read their magazine but contribute to it as well. To subscribe to New Tribe magazine you can sign up on their website to be part of their mailing list.  Magazines are distributed to several locations around the city and one is also able to view current and past issue on their website.

~ Ryan

November 28, 2011   No Comments

SAY Magazine

Say Magazine (

SAY Magazine is a quarterly-published magazine “dedicated to recognizing American Indian, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, First Nation, Metis and Inuit achievement and includes information on economic development, education, entertainment, sports and health.” Through stories, profiles and imagery, SAY Magazine hopes to inspire those that read their magazine.  They claim to be the number one magazine and their target audience is Native Youth.  SAY Magazine also has an App for the iPhone and iPad and is available on iTunes.  Issues (past and present) are available on their website.

~ Ryan

November 28, 2011   No Comments