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

Path of the Elders

On the Path of the Elders

On the Path of Elders is an interactive animated game aimed for a Grade 4 – 10 audience that explores the treaty process in north-western and north-eastern Ontario from an Aboriginal perspective. The story of the Mushkegowuk and Anishinaabe Peoples is shared through elder accounts and historical documents that provide alternate interpretations of  the how the signing of Treaty No. Nine (the James Bay Treaty) transpired in the area known as Nishnawbe Aski Nation. While providing an opportunity to document elder knowledge as a means of revitalizing this distinct Aboriginal language and culture, the game format also appeals to a younger generation of learners that are missing vital cultural information as a result of the Canadian governments attempts to assimilate Aboriginal people into Non-Aboriginal society and/or the lack of attention Aboriginal history has been given in schools. This is a resource that stands to benefit Canadian youth in the process of decolonization so that a better understanding of Aboriginal treatment in Canada can be achieved.

The site also includes teacher guides broken down by grade and a gallery of primary and secondary resources to substantiate the story behind the game.

November 7, 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

The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of The Hudson’s Bay Company

The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of The Hudson’s Bay Company – 70 minutes

Filmed in 1972 through the National Film Board of Canada for their Aboriginal Perspectives film collection, directors Martin Defalco and Willie Dunn investigate an Aboriginal perspective of how Canada’s indigenous people have been impacted by colonialism, how land was acquired by the Crown, the commodification of Aboriginal culture by the Hudson Bay Company and popular culture, how the treaty process emerged, and reasons why a cycle of dependency through poverty was created. The resulting loss of voice in decisions affecting themselves and loss of pride in their culture continue to affect Aboriginal people today. Narrator George Manuel, who was president of the National Indian Brotherhood at the time, also demystifies the level of compensation awarded to Aboriginal people who were registered inhabitants of a reserve.

A 3:00 excerpt is also available and can be a sufficient classroom resource to support teaching.



October 15, 2011   No Comments