Weblog #4 – Post #6 – Approved FNMI Resources List

I attended a PD session this week, in which Edmonton Public’s FNMI consultants were presenting about connecting with our students, their families, and our community.  It was interesting to sit and listen with that bit of a bias that comes with the information we have learned throughout the course.  The speakers were great, and they provided some resources to support teachers.  What was most interesting was the questions asked by my teaching peers – so different than the questions I was walking in with.  I was hoping that discussion could be focused around how we ensure that our resources, activities, and projects are reflective of all student’s backgrounds and needs, and I was thinking (with my final project at the front of my mind) about access to technology and how we can utilize technology to create a community and share our own personal stories.

Several great resources were shared that can act as a foundation as we reflect on our curriculum and change our teaching and communication practices for the better.  One was Education is Our Buffalo, which is a resources for teaching, lesson planning, and finding resources for educating FNMI students.  There is an easy to understand and clearly described history of Canadian Aboriginal culture, describing colonialism, First Nations treaties, Métis accords, and Inuit land claims.  There is also an emphasis on important definitions in order to create a common vocabulary.  This resource also provides information about Aboriginal spirituality and teachings, the legacy of residential schools, curriculum, cultural traditions, and recognition of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit achievements.

A second interesting resource was Reviews at EPSB, an site for educators that reviews resources for their appropriateness in the classroom.  Books and resources are reviewed for their content, images, and theme.  The collection of approved resources is maintained by the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Staff in Student Learning Services of EPSB.  The resources are specifically created to encompass the diversity of communities and traditions in North America, and not only are resources reviewed for authenticity and validity, but it is important they connect with the Alberta curriculum.  When possible, the review of the materials is a member of the culture represented in the book, to ensure that an expert makes the judgement.  Unfortunately, the reviewed materials are only books and resources published after 2002.  It is my hope that earlier resources will be reviewed as well.  I think it is really important that not only does the site provide approved resources, but it actively encourages educators and librarians to thoughtfully cull book collections to ensure that content is respectful.  Many resources are outdated and contain stereotypes, misinformation, cultural biases, and negative images and perspectives.

November 28, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4 – Post #5

One last digital storytelling project I came across is the Native Youth Enrichment Program.   In this youth program, youth created digital powerful stories that share their experiences.  The four day workshops as run by the Center for Digital Storytelling.  Click to view stories

November 28, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4 – Post #4

Another interesting digital story project can be found here.  On the Move – Aboriginal Girls in Sport was produced by CAAWS and Motivate Canada.  Community leaders and youth came together in a digital storytelling workshop that specifically focuses on developing and implementing sport programs for Aboriginal women.  It is important that girls are confident in physical activities, and that they gain confidence and healthy through sports participation.

Keisha Barry – A World Away
Serena Harris – With the Children
Suzette Jacobs – Time for Me
Shelly Smith – Bench Warmer
Shayla Mair – It Doesn’t Matter Where You Are, It’s Who You’re With
Amber McBurney – Ballet Shoes, Boxing Gloves
Lisa Marie Naponse – Biimaase Nishin
Christina Parsons – The Real Canadian
Serene Smyth – Team Spirit
Lovenia Thorpe – Biidaadnookwe

November 28, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4 – Post #3: First Nations Women & Legacy of Residential Schools

This powerful digital storytelling project provided a voice for First Nations women who were personally impacted by residential schools. Prairie Women’s Health Centre for Excellence posted and shared six digital stories, created by professional First Nations women whose mothers survived residential schools.  The theme of the project is understanding the legacy that residential schools pass on between generations.  The filmmakers: Lorena Fontaine, Lisa Forbes, Wendy McNab, Claudette Michell, Lisa Murdock, and Roberta Stout, share profound stories of their mothers that centre around hope, resilience, and healing.

The site provides the following description of digital stories:

A “digital story” is a 2-5 minute video. It is a personal narrative coupled with a collection of still images, video, and music which illustrates an individual’s story. Indigenous peoples’ stories are intellectual traditions that can disrupt colonial narratives of history, recognize injustice, celebrate resistance, and envision the future. Researchers and communities are increasingly recognizing the healing properties of visual and narrative approaches; thus this project both generated information about the experiences of women whose mothers attended residential schools and served a therapeutic purpose. Digital media can make these concerns more visible to the world and exchange knowledges and sensibilities that support self-representation and self-determination.



November 26, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4 – Post #2 – Youth by Youth

Continuing my focus on digital storytelling projects, I have found Calgary’s Towards Resiliency for Vulnerable Youth Project.

The University of Calgary collaborated with United Way in 2011 to create a digital storytelling project with community youth.  The main purpose was to empower youth to express their challenges and strengths, providing them with a deeper understanding of themselves.  Youth from a variety of backgrounds and experiences were able to connect, reflect, and share stories.

The project lasted one week, and youth collaborated in selecting their stories, writing, editing, recording, and creating digital stories.  The nine stories created were shared in the community and are available on the site.

November 26, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4 – Post #1 – Digital Harvest

Part of my final project focused on digital storytelling projects being used in communities to tell important stories.  One of the projects I stumbled across is based in Vancouver Island and coastal BC communities.  Digital Harvest is a community based initiative that focuses on engaging both elders and youths.  They are given an opportunity to share traditions, culture, knowledge, and practices while producing digital stories.  These stories create an intergenerational connection between elders and youth that gives communities ownership of the information being presented.  Pretty cool.


Additionally, they hold a Digital Story Workshop in Tofino – where “selected participants are invited to a 3-day land, culture, and food workshop”.  Day 1 focuses on how food has been traditionally harvest and how colonization has impacted food systems and life.  The second day looks at how food and lifestyle changes in modern day, and how we consider traditions and history.  Digital stories are also introduced this day.  Day three focuses on the digital media skills necessary to create stories.  Participants will create their own digital stories.  Once the workshop wraps, the youth and elders are given cameras to take their ideas and knowledge back home to continue sharing.  I love the idea of food and stories bringing communities together and empowering youth and elders.



November 26, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post #7 – Digital Storytelling Articles and Documents

Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs
Common Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs
Kindergarten to Grade 12
Western Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education

Storytelling as a Foundation to Literacy Development for Aboriginal Children:
Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Metamorphosis of an Oral Tradition:
Dissonance in the Digital Stories of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

When Aboriginal and Metis Teachers 
use Storytelling as an Instructional Practice

Storytelling in a Digital Age:
Digital Storytelling as an Emerging Narrative Method
For Preserving and Promoting Indigenous Oral Wisdom

November 16, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post #6 – Web 2.0 and Oral Storytelling

Storytelling and Web 2.0 Services: 
A Synthesis of Old and New Ways of Learning

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
University of Houston

Digital Storytelling
Tools for Educators

Digital Storytelling
Tips and Resources

Web 2.0 Tools to Support Digital Storytelling
27th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning

Web 2.0 Storytelling:
Emergence of a New Genre

Web 2.0 Storytelling: Introduction
NITLE Workshops – Bryan Alexander

Web 2.0 Tools for Storytelling
Central York School District

Storytelling and Audio
Public History and Web 2.0 – Mapping the Past in the Future

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
Microsoft in Education Teaching Guides


November 15, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post #5 – Walking Together

Looking into the connection between oral storytelling and the Alberta Language Arts curriculum, I have found my way back to the “Walking Together” First Nation, Metis, and Inuit resources – this PDF document provides details about the history of oral storytelling tradition in an excerpt from Aboriginal Perspectives.   The role of Elders in oral storytelling, teaching stories, and themes and values are expanded upon.

The Walking Together site delves far deeper than just the importance of oral tradition.  Also highlighted are:

– Traditional Environmental Knowledge
– Kinship
– Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
– Healing Historical Trauma
– Well-Being
– FNMI Worldviews
– Culture and Language
– Indigenous Pedagogy
– Connection to Land
– Symbolism and Traditions
– Elders


November 15, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post #4 – Our Voices, Our Stories

Library and Archives Canada provides the Our Voices, Our Stories site which celebrates Inuit, Metis, and First nations oral stories, which document history, language, traditions, and beliefs.    The site provides stories from the past and present of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit, as well as educational resources and additional media.  Most significantly, in my opinion is the in-depth educational resources – storytelling background, hints, lessons, activities, and assessments.  Social Studies connections are provided for all provinces/territories and grades 4-8.

November 15, 2012   No Comments