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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

Van Sun – Truth & Reconciliation

Our school district cultural coordinator just shared this writing with me. Paul Kershaw of the Vancouver Sun wrote it and dated it November 17th of this year. I am uncertain as to whether or not it was published in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper.

“I encounter many non-aboriginal Canadians today who do not consider the Truth and Reconciliation Commission a priority. They claim the schools are part of our past, and doubt they have significance for the present.”

“By forcibly isolating children from the influence of their families and cultures . . .  residential schools did not just target students. They also targeted generations of aboriginal people who would never attend them – the children and grandchildren of school survivors: the very future of aboriginal communities.”

(Kershaw, 2011)

I found this to be a concise and well organized read. I intend to share this work with our Aboriginal Inquiry group in the new year.

I have attached the paper for your convenience should you wish to read and/or share with others.

New Deal for Families promotes truth and reconciliation    By Paul Kershaw,

Vancouver Sun – November 17, 2011


November 23, 2011   No Comments

Patterns of Online Participation

One area of interest that I had thought to investigate was “Patterns of Online Participation” between aboriginal and non aboriginal students. I decided to post the resources gathered just in case someone else had been leaning in this direction. The idea that online participation in courses such as ETEC 521 would differ between FN and others caused me to reflect upon assessment criteria both in MET and in Classrooms.


“Most apparent is the finding that the average number of postings made by aboriginal Canadians in this group was disproportionately lower than that of either the Canadian-born Canadian group, or the adult immigrants to Canada.”

•  Reeder, K., Macfadyen, L. P., Chase, M. and Roche, J. (2004). Negotiating Culture in Cyberspace:                  Participation Patterns and Problematics. Language Learning and Technology, 8(2), 88-105. [9]

  • Backroad Connections Pty Ltd (2002). Cross-cultural Issues in Content Development and Teaching Online. (Version 2.00), Australian Flexible Learning Framework Quick Guides series, Australian National Training Authority. [1]
  • Bates, T. (2001). International Distance Education: Cultural and Ethical Issues [online]. Distance Education: An International Journal, 22(1), 122-136.[2]
  • Chase, M., Macfadyen, L.P., Reeder, K. and Roche, J. (2002). Intercultural Challenges in Networked Learning: Hard Technologies Meet Soft Skills[3]. First Monday, 7(8) (August 2002).
  • Lanham, E. & Zhou, W. (2003). Cultural Issues in Online Learning –Is Blended Learning a Possible Solution? International Journal of Computer Processing of Oriental Languages. 16 (4), 275-292. [5]
  • Marinetti, A & Dunn, P (2004). Cultural Adaptation – A Necessity for Global e-Learning. [6]
  • McLoughlin, C. (1999). Culturally responsive technology use: developing an on-line community of learners. British Journal of Educational Technology. 30(3), 231-244. [7]
  • McLoughlin, C. & Oliver, R. (1999). Instructional Design for Cultural Difference: A Case Study of the Indigenous Online Learning in a Tertiary Context. [8]
  • Macfadyen, L. P. (2006). Internet-Mediated Communication at the Cultural Interface. In C. Ghaoui (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 373-380). Hershey, PA: The Idea Group, Inc. [link to Macfadyen2006]|}
  • Reeder, K., Macfadyen, L. P., Chase, M. and Roche, J. (2004). Negotiating Culture in Cyberspace: Participation Patterns and Problematics. Language Learning and Technology, 8(2), 88-105. [9]

November 12, 2011   1 Comment

Module 4 – Gave Me Direction

  1. Can an individual truly engage with another culture and learn about it without a deep self-examination of their own cultural values? Explain.
  2. What is the difference between cross cultural education and multicultural education?
    Two of the questions for reflection from Module 4 have provided me with direction for my paper.
    I am living, sharing, and contributing to a district in which there is no recognized territory.
    Who are our FN students? How do we provide of their cultural needs when the cultural identities are so diverse? Cross cultural education? What might that look like and would it support well being and success? How can/should technology play a part?

November 12, 2011   No Comments

Web 2.0 for Aboriginal cultural survival: A new Australian outback movement

It is the view of some Aboriginals that the younger generation have grown up in a wider society that fails to recognise the significance of their knowledge and maintaining their indigenous identity which has led to the apparent abandonment of Aboriginal culture in preference for a more dominant Western one.  Against this background, the Walkatjurra Cultural Centre, an Aboriginal organisation has taken on the mantle to explore how cost-effective web 2.0 initiatives can be used to revitalise indigenous culture and enhance community development.  In addition, this article highlights the outcomes of a community-based youth empowerment project involving university researchers and Aboriginal community members that was designed to help bridge the intergenerational knowledge divide.

November 7, 2011   No Comments

“Aboriginal Culture in the Digital Age” Aboriginal Voice Cultural Working Group Paper

This paper gives readers a general view on the implications that information and communication technologies has on aboriginals’ ways of living, thinking and knowing.  To inform the research, three major topics that directly affect Aboriginal peoples were examined.  These include the importance of culture and identity, the widespread reality of ICT and the transformative impact it is having on our everyday economic, social and cultural life and the preservation and protection of Aboriginal languages, ecology and heritage.

November 7, 2011   No Comments

Module 3: Resilience and Aboriginal Communities in crises

The paper explores resilience created through reclaiming cultural identity and spirituality lost through colonialism as a means of addressing and overcoming issues facing Indigenous communities today.  The trauma of colonialism, characterized by attempts at ethnocide, have left deep scars in these communities, weakened families and left in its wake a culture of codependency manifested in behaviors such as alcoholism among Indigenous groups. Traumatic events include loss of hunting grounds and traditional lands, and rituals and religion, and this has resulted in a loss of traditional (and proven) survival practices and a breakdown of social cohesion within these communities. The authors do a good job in analyzing the psychological reasons behind negative, self-destructive behaviors among Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples were forced to live on reservations, or attend Residential Schools, and at the same time denied the privilege of practicing their religion and rituals that would help them overcome the trauma of their situation.  In short “Aboriginal peoples not only had to endure trauma, but they were at the same time deprived of the tools of resiliency (beliefs, rituals and institutions) which usually help traumatized societies to reconstruct their identity.”  The trauma which Indigenous peoples in Canada and the US endured is presented here .  The idea behind the Residential Schools, at least, was to “kill the Indian but save the child.”

The authors define resilience as “the capacity of a distinct community or cultural system to absorb disturbances, reorganize while undergoing change, retain key elements of structure and identity that preserve its distinctness.”

The authors maintain that cultural identity, the revival of cultural practices and rituals are important for resilience, and can stem the tide of alcoholism and suicide tendencies.

An example of reviving cultural identity, building resilience, and ultimately bringing about healing took place in the Innu-Montagnais villiage of Nutashkuan on the shores of the St. Laurence River.  Over 200 participants converged on a 10-day nature camp on ancestral hunting grounds.  The camp was led by a team of traditional healers from the tribe as well as clinical psychologists.  This is a great example of using traditional knowledge to bring about healing to a tribe.  One of the central issues that were addressed was the painful memories that participants had of Residential Schools.


Tousignant, M., and Sioui, N. (2009).  Resilience and Aboriginal communities in crisis:  Theory and Interventions.  Journal of Aboriginal Health, November:  43-61.  Retrieved from


November 7, 2011   No Comments

Reviving Our Culture, Mapping Our Future

Reviving Our Culture, Mapping our Future

This interesting clip explains the story of a special gathering for Indigenous people in Venda, South Africa. It shows Indigenous leaders from different countries explore a simple yet powerful way to express the past and present of their territory and livelihoods onto hand-drawn maps. The maps highlight the importance of their culture, sacred sites and territory, and empower them to map the future towards which they need to strive.

November 5, 2011   No Comments

Maori Educational Leadership Site

Maori educational leadership site

Theory in practice at Maori Indigenous schools – a fabulous collection of powerful videos, links and resources. Technology is being successfully incorporated in a variety of ways to strategize ways of the students accessing authentic learning practice. The articles that were linked covered a broad scope of topics from attitudes and ethics all the way to pedagogical leadership in building an effective learning environment. The vision of the Aboriginal board for education 2026 is truly impressive. This site has amassed a repertoire of incredible statistics and success stories

October 16, 2011   No Comments

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Provides an in-depth look at Indigenous Knowledge Systems in South Africa and the potential role for all learners to enhance their educational experience particularly in the Environmental education and ethno-ecological knowledge construction. It is interesting because the paper juxtaposes the two divergent views of benefits and dangers of incorporating this knowledge into present pedagological practices. The author posits that the place-based nature of INS lacks universal relevancy or coverage. Yet at the same time looks at how knowledge is and should be a universal resource

October 16, 2011   No Comments