Indigenous Communities & Technology

Module 4.

1. Indigenous Perspectives on Globalization: Self-Determination Through Autonomous Media Creation. The site title above is self-explanatory. This is a site which gives information on the challenge experienced by  indigenous communities and the powerful influence of technology. Here is an excerpt;

“Media creation today is more powerful than ever before because of the far-reaching influence of new technologies intricately connected to the forces of globalization. There have been astronomical advances in the area of satellite technology and telecommunications making the world seem smaller by enabling the citizens of the globe to communicate through various media on a level never before known. While these technological advances present new opportunities for Indigenous communities to build platforms for autonomous media representation, the realities of accessing significant telecommunications technology and airtime is the challenge. (Retrieved, November 7, 2012)


2.This is a great site. It presents information on traditional knowledge and culture in indigenous communities.

“The Traditional Knowledge Information Portal has been developed in order to promote awareness and enhance access by indigenous and local communities to information on traditional knowledge, innovations and practices relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. ( Retrieved November 7, 2012)

3. The Aboriginal Media Lab is an excellent example of the use of technology by Aboriginal people.

“Reflecting on the traditional role of storytellers and artists in our communities, the Aboriginal Media Lab merges art, scholarly research and media to contribute to the strength of Aboriginal cultures and to help build inclusive communities, where all individuals are valued and have the resources to live creative, purposeful lives. The Aboriginal Media Lab provides environments to foster innovation in the area of academic research, media exploration and community-development.

The AML promotes understanding of Aboriginal knowledge by encouraging Aboriginal-based ideas, research methodologies and new media tools ensuring we all have a stake in how our knowledge is maintained, reframed, seeded, grown, asserted and shared. Through think-tanks, research projects, new media experiments, media productions, journals and other means of exchange and communications, the Aboriginal Media Lab (AML) seeks to inspire new relationships in the production and analysis of Aboriginal knowledge, history and media”

( Retrieved November 7, 2012)

4. The site below is a very interesting one. It allows aboriginal communities to save their collected information such as maps of land, diagrams etc.

The acronym LOUIS  means:  Land Occupancy and Use Information System

‘Indigenous communities in Canada have produced thousands of cultural reports and maps over the past 40 years that endeavour to show the ways in which their territories are critical to their survival. All too often, once reports or maps have been used for their immediate purpose they are lost or forgotten and the community never benefits from that research again. If information is lost or difficult to access, the result can be the repetitive and unnecessary gathering of the same information.

LOUIS is a new tool that allows any community to easily bring together all of its cultural research – both text and maps – and archive it in a single, secure format to ensure information is accessible and usable, and nothing is lost”

( Retrieved November 7, 2012)

5. The site below is another great example of the use of technology by Indigenous people.

“As indigenous peoples around the world face extreme climatic events that threaten their livelihoods and well-being, responses that stem from indigenous knowledge, experiences, wisdom and world views are urgently needed. The Indigenous Peoples’ Bio-cultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative (IPCCA) has emerged as an innovative response, bringing together indigenous knowledge and science in a process which links bio-cultural realities with complex global processes. Use of bio-cultural methods and tools involve communities from around the world in the assessment of climate change and local well-being and the development of evidence-based responses for climate change adaptation. We believe that indigenous adaptation processes must continue nurturing bio-cultural diversity in order to build resilience and better respond and adapt to the changes we face” ( Retrieved, November 7, 2012)



November 7, 2012   No Comments

CEIT – Research Capacity within communities
This organisation seeks to “build research capacity in communities… .” After the considerable time spent on conversations surrounding research and indigenous communities, this site stood out to me as a possible resource for allowing research to emerge from within communities in ways that are in line with the local traditional knowledge, and yeilding results that are specific and usable to that community. Regarding the topic of Aboriginal youth, there is a targeted project within the site on resiliency among Aboriginal youth, specifically targeting the topic of suicide prevention. There are interesting links from this site, which focuses on health, but seeks to address local problems on a global scale.


November 6, 2011   No Comments

Module 3: Media

Excerpt: Storytellers in Motion Episode 12: The Maori Voice Part One:

Excerpt: Storytellers in Motion Episode 13: The Maori Voice Part Two:

The series looks at storytellers in Canada and other countries. These two episodes look at the huge resurgence in Maori film and how it has preserved language and culture, as against predictions that their languages would be gone by now.  Part Two follows Barry Barclay, a very well known Maori film maker, to England and he talks bout some of the challenges he has faced. There are other resources of interest around his latest documentary Kiapara Affair which documents struggle of a small community to stop commercial overfishing in their harbour. This article documents political interference in the final cut of the documentary:

The Kaipara Affair, New Zealand, 2005. Director: Barry Barclay



Storytellers in Motion: ImagineNATIVE 2008 – Discussing the issues in mainstream media from the aboriginal perspective, and the rational for starting ImagineNATIVE:

ISUMA: I am looking at examples of the way media can be used to give students an interactive experience with language and culture. Isuma, in addition to video resources has many excellent teaching resources – this is one example of an interactive resource developed around their film The Journals of Knud Rasmussen:

in Teacher Resources area:


Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education A Literature Review with Recommendations.  Battiste, Marie (2002) This article details features of traditional knowledge and links these considerations to learning styles and instructional methods. These recommendations went forward to INAC, where they were applied I have not found yet.  Retrieved from:

October 30, 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

Our Voices

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may not remember; involve me and I’ll understand. (Native American Proverb)”

This site introduces the concepts involved in and the meaning of Indigenous Knowledge. It provides brief summaries into culturally based education, oral teaching and learning, experiential learning and holistic/relational learning. It introduces the first signed Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA) that is meant to enhance the learning of all students in the Richmond School District and their knowledge about the history and culture of Aboriginal peoples. It also provides an outline of the opportunities available for students to get involved with hands on learning through various summer programs and workshops.

September 25, 2011   No Comments

The Nature Conservancy: Bella Bella Project

One of the things we did last year in Lutsel K’e was get funding for a major curriculum development project (2-3 years)  from TNC. This will involve staff, students and community members in generating some teaching and learning reesources in some digital format… Bella Bella started their project two years ago… so this site talks about some of the multimedia things they have done and links to TNC resources…. good stuff. Sheila


September 21, 2011   No Comments