Our Mother Tongues

Our Mother Tongues (http://ourmothertongues.org/Home.aspx)

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

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

Using Technology To Preserve A Culture Rather Than Destroying It

Technology can be utilized to preserve a culture rather than destroy it

Perhaps the following statement is too simplistic in nature but I assume that every race, culture and community share the same struggle when it comes to the growing disconnect between its generations.  As technology (ie: internet, computers, web 2.0, social media, etc.) have entered the discussion this divide seems to have increased even more.  Not unlike any other culture or community today’s Aboriginal Youth are being raised in a digital age. Without knowledge or prejudice I assume teachers and elders from Aboriginal communities are having similar problems in engaging and connecting with the youth as their non-Aboriginal counterparts do.  I also understand that there exists a fear that technology (ie: the internet) may in fact eradicate many traditions and cultural values that the elders hold so dear.   Only three weeks into this course I have learned about some of these fears but I hold fast (at this point) to the notion that technology can be used to preserve a culture, not destroy it.

The focus of my weblogs and research will be centered on the assumption that, with respect to Aboriginal youth, technology can be utilized to preserve a culture rather than destroy it.  I intend to find examples, articles, and websites that show this to be true.  It is vital that my research be authentic and not merely from an ethnocentric perspective.  Elders may not share the same passion and enthusiasm for technology as today’s youth do but I feel that if used properly technology can be a valuable tool employed to preserve a culture.

~ Ryan



September 26, 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 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