Statement Connecting Weblog Posts to Research Interests

Originally, my research interests on the topic of technology and indegeneity centered around language loss and its effect on cultural identity; however, as I compile my resources, my thoughts instinctively lead me to envision how I can incorporate this information into classroom experiences for my students. Moreover, a recurrent theme has emerged in many of the articles that share an indigenous perspective regarding the future prospects of reconciling the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians and it has caught my attention because I believe I am in a privileged position as a teacher to effect change. Misperception radiates from Eurocentric assumptions and has clouded the consciousness of a nation to the point that Canadians are left largely unaware of Aboriginal history and remain indifferent towards indigenous knowledge. The research path that has progressed from this theme leads me towards developing elementary curriculum to illuminate historical and contemporary Aboriginal perspectives that challenge Eurocentric thinking, and the need for a more balanced understanding of the impact colonialism has had on Aboriginal rights and identity as Canada’s indigenous people. I am mindful that my use of technology in this capacity must evoke student’s critical curiosity to build media literacy and initiate a new comprehension of what has been previously determined as fact (Freire, 1997) without unintentionally perpetuating the silent curriculum that our educational system was founded on or encouraging the Eurocentric social and political economy Canada has become accustomed to.


Freire, P. (1997) Pedagogy of the Heart. New York: Continuum.


October 31, 2011   No Comments

TimeTraveller TM

My partner and I underwater at my virtual land

My friend and I existing together in the virtual space of my cyber land.

One of the interesting developments in virtual worlds it the ability to create machinima, or films using the virtual world as the subject, setting, and actors. Using the virtual world means the director can create anything, in any space, in any time.

The link below is to a machinima created by An Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace Project A young man uses a fictional technology called TimeTraveller TM to visit places and spaces of his ancestors, and the colonization of his ancestral lands.

This machinima series seems to have two purposes. One, to provide some education to the rest of us about aboriginal history in North America; and two to provide some glimpse of a future man connecting with his deep past.

I would be interested to hear what you think of this concept, and whether or not this is a positive thing or a further erosion of tribal values and identity.

My own presence in virtual worlds biases me into thinking that this is a positive expression of identity.


October 2, 2011   No Comments

Statement Connecting Weblog to Research Interests

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a keen interest in the aboriginal support system employed by my school district. Continuous within my district is the cultural vs academic support debate. There are those who would see aboriginal support workers provide mostly academic support with only the occasional opportunity for students to engage in cultural activities. On the other side of the spectrum some education community members believe that cultural enhancement is key to academic success and must be maintained and developed further. Who is correct? Is the best chance for success a more equal opportunity to both academic and cultural support? What does the research indicate?

If research and inquiry does provide some insight to the above questions, what next? And . . . how might technology benefit and/or hinder support? As with all of our posts and responses to date in ETEC 521, question after question presents itself.

As I embark upon this study, I can’t help but be grateful for the relationships that are developing within this cohort and within my own educational community that will help guide me. This week I am completing the Inquiry Grant Application provided by the BCTF (BC Teachers’ Federation). The purpose of securing the grant would be to involve others in an inquiry based learning opportunity similar to that outlined above.

September 25, 2011   1 Comment

In Support of Aboriginal Students

Is my district similar to others? My school district encompasses land that has no reserve, no band school, and for that matter no “officially” recognized nation. I live and work in the Kootenay Columbia (Kutenai) area of British Columbia. Slightly to the north of us, the Ktunaxa Nation is recognized but here, just north of the border, the people of the Sinixit continue to struggle for recognition.

Ten percent of our student population (four hundred) are of aboriginal ancestry. One percent of our teaching population are of aboriginal ancestry (two). The numbers of aboriginal students who are successful in our school communities is unacceptably low. To that end, targeted aboriginal education funds help provide our aboriginal students access to aboriginal support workers (all of whom, I believe, are of aboriginal ancestry).

It is here that the problems begin. With what should the workers be supporting our students? Cultural support? Academic support? In the  past clear beliefs have been identified between cultural and aboriginal but lately I see a blurring of the line.

As I first began to investigate cultural vs academic support for our students, my first findings took me to websites where support for both culture and academics is provided for university students. UNBC (University of Northern British Columbia) website was an excellent location for my first visit. It did not answer the question academic vs culture, it provide a unique perspective re supporting both and access to further research.


September 25, 2011   No Comments

Experiential and Context Driven Learning

My limited background and experience with indigenous education, and education in general, makes it a little difficult to choose a topic this early in the semester, so I will pursue a tiny obsession of mine that we all refer to as ‘context’. The question of context, and its influence on how and what people learn, has been a mystery to me prior to getting involved in the MET program, and now that I am close to the finish line I would like to at least attempt to solve this mystery. I see contextual learning, as a form of experiential learning, which can further take the form of service learning, internships, study abroad programs, co-ops and practicums, and so forth. Putting learning into ‘context’ does not only strengthen but also ensures long lasting cognitive connections. The fascinating aspect (for me!) of experiential or contextual learning is the opportunity it allows for learners to interact with knowledge, a knowledge that (in my mind) transforms from a theoretical state to a practical, hands on and interactive one. In applying this concept to indigenous education I would like to answer some of the following questions throughout my research:

1. How does indigenous culture view the concept of ‘context’?
2. Do current indigenous education practices rely on methods that allow for experiential learning?
3. How does technology play a role in indigenous education and is it enough to compensate for the lack of context in education?
4. How do indigenous people learn and what learning methods are best suited in the process of knowledge transfer? Is context important?

There are probably better questions to ask, but I will figure out what they are along the way.

Below, is a list of the first five websites that will help me focus my research.

September 25, 2011   No Comments