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

Saskatchewan Aboriginal Education Research
This site is a central location for coordination of research activities dealing with Aboriginal education in Saskatchewan. Although it appears to be no longer updated (copyright 2007) there are lots of links here to relevant research dealing with Aboriginal education, as well as further links to useful research tools, such as how to conduct action research for teachers, and research journals that have similar research aims.


November 27, 2011   No Comments

Walking Together for a Better Future

Walking Together for a Better Future (Linda Kaser & Judy Halbert, 2011)

The recent introduction of Aboriginal Enhancement Agreements as part of the process of developing shared responsibility for Aboriginal Education has helped districts and community members realize the importance of working together to best meed the needs of Aboriginal learners in BC. Although signing these documents make them official, many questions have remained as to how to ensure the actions agreed to are implemented.

In 2008, the Director of the provincial Aboriginal Education Enhancement Branch approached the Network of Performance Based Schools (NPBS) to see if they were interested in developing a partnership focusing on how signed enhancement agreements could be best put into practice. This led to the development of the Aboriginal Enhancement Network of Schools (AENS) which has set about to help school districts and their Aboriginal communities in the development of cross-cultural understanding and Indigenous ways of knowing that encourage new perspectives on best practices for learning.



November 25, 2011   No Comments

Aboriginal eLearning – Personal Experience

The following video clip is a great visual about the future of Aboriginal education.  It provides a very strong statement about the need and right for Indigenous peoples to educate their children and raise them within the richness of their culture.  It pulls the past into today, and looks to tomorrow.



November 17, 2011   No Comments

Virtual Learning Environments

This is a literature review focusing on virtual learning environments and e-learning in the
Context of Te Reo Māori and Kaupapa Māori Education.  Some of the main areas discussed include:

  • Teaching & learning practices for e-learning environments
  • E-learning for Kaupapa Maori peoples
  • eLearning principles and practices for Indigneous learners
  • Discussions on culture, relationships, and pedagogical issues

I found it helpful in my study of eLearning for Indigenous learners to read about a study conducted with a specific group of Indigenous learners.

November 17, 2011   No Comments

Ontario Ministry of Education

On the Ontario Ministry of Education’s website there is a page called “Aboriginal Perspectives: A guide to the Teacher’s Toolkit”.  The first section provides lists of the expectations in the revised curriculum that contain Aboriginal perspectives.  The second section consists of teaching strategies related to these expectations to use in the classroom.  The part I found most helpful was the information on culture, tradition, and language.  It introduces the “language of the circle” as well as other aspects of Indigenous culture. While not comprehensive, it provides a goo introduction for mainstream educators.

November 17, 2011   No Comments

Aboriginal Ways of Learning

An article by Paul Hughes discusses Aboriginal ways of learning and learning styles. After presenting some background information on Aboriginal education in Australia, he describes some of the links between culture and learning styles, and provides a new model of learning.  I found his discussion on the primary and secondary differences between Aboriginal and western learners very helpful.

November 17, 2011   No Comments

Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs

The Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs website provides information on Aboriginal policies and programs and provides many links to Ontario government programs, services and information. They also provide a document on the Ontario First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework. They outline the strategic policy context where they intend “to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in the areas of literacy and numeracy, retention of students in school, graduation rates, and advancements to post-secondary studies” by 2016.

November 7, 2011   No Comments

Improving Education on Reserves

Improving Education on Reserves: A First Nations Education Authority Act is a paper that examines why the current and traditional education system is not working for aboriginal students living on a reserve. It stresses the importance and outlines strategies for creating a new educational system for these students that transforms all schools on reserves and not just one-off developments.

November 7, 2011   No Comments

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

While education for all Canadians is supported by the Government of Canada, the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is responsible for members of First Nations communities located on reserves. They work with the First Nation leaders and the members of the communities to strengthen the educational programs for young people attending school, in addition to providing funding for elementary and secondary school programs in addition to helping cover tuition and travel costs.

November 7, 2011   No Comments