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

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is an aboriginal public post-secondary institute in British Columbia, located in Vancouver and Merritt.  NVIT believes that exploring knowledge from an aboriginal perspective provides the educational strength and leadership to enhance their communities.  Their goal is to provide a rich educational and cultural campus through quality education, while upholding aboriginal cultures and traditions. Almost all courses offered at NVIT contain aboriginal values, beliefs and culture.

November 28, 2011   No Comments

National Panel on FN Education
This site concerns the mandate and work of the Canadian National Panel on First Nation elementary and secondary education. It is an ongoing process to gain input from across the country and across communities to come up with ideas and possible changes to legislation to improve education for First Nations students living on reserves. They are seeking input, which can be submitted via attendance at one of their roundtables, or directly through the site. Perhaps students in our course would like to submit their ideas to this ongoing process.


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

The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative

The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) provides educational projects that support Aboriginal Canadian students. Some of the projects created are aboriginal-focused textbooks and teachers’ resources that reflect aboriginal students and were created by Aboriginal teachers who have taught grades 11 and 12 programs. Another initiative is trying to improve the quality of education in elementary schools on reserves to improve literacy and numeracy.

November 7, 2011   No Comments

First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning

This is such a great website!

On this site you can explore the elements of the First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning Model.  My term project is looking at ways to support adults undertaking eLearning endeavors, so having an understanding of what a model of learning looks like for indigenous peoples is essential.  I love the visuals and interactive components of the site.  In the model you’ll read, “Raindrops depict learning guides such as mentors, counsellors, parents, teachers, and Elders.  These individuals provide the learner with opportunities to develop mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically throughout the lifespan, and are an integral part of a cyclical, lifelong learning process”.

November 6, 2011   No Comments

Optimizing the Effectiveness of E-Learning for First Nations

This is a 2010 document published by “The Conference Board of Canada”.  It looks at ways in which eLearning can narrow the gap between First Nations people living on reserves and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.  The findings are based only on a brief literature review, but it does present a list of 11 recommendations supported by other research I have encountered.


November 6, 2011   No Comments

First Nations Pedagogy Dialogue – Blog

While looking for resources to support online learners I came across this blog.  (  It has pages for education, activism, governance, health, history, knowledge, and featured articles.  There are podcasts, videos, images, information, and dialogue on all these aspects.  There are not a lot of entries from the past two years, but the information is still very relevant and well presented.

November 6, 2011   No Comments

Native Issues

CBC Archives: Native Issues

This collection of CBC Archives includes 30 radio clips and 36 television clips under 12 topics focusing on Aboriginal peoples. Broadcasts span several decades, from 1955 to present times. Topics range from celebrating Aboriginal heritage to social and economic issues to Aboriginal rights and political activism. Each presentation offers background history and facts to better understand its context, and the site includes connections for teachers to additional educational material and resources to extend awareness and understanding of the topics.

November 3, 2011   No Comments