Communication and network technology may provide an important opportunity for Indigenous people to develop a voice in a globalized world to prevent an imbalance of knowledge dissemination, generation and discussion…preventing their exclusion or watering down by dominant perspectives.

But before Indigenous people can utilize this technology for decolonization, legitimization, dissemination, generation or discussion of knolwedges, we must first consider if information technology, a binary and linear system can carry knowledge without fragmenting its wholeness.  First, we must ask if this technology can be decolonized to reflect and animate the myths and ideals of Indigenous learning and ontology….as many of us know that the hand of the white maker is in the tool.

Below are some technologies, developed or utilized by Indigenous cultures.  In my opinion some seem conducive to Indigenous values and beliefs and others seem to have flaws.

Post 1 – Digital Songlines

Digital Songlines game engine, funded by the Australiasian Cooperative Research Centre for Interaction Design, was developed for interactive and affordable sharing of Australian Indigenous cultural knowledge.  In this online virtual reality game, indigenous storytelling comes to life, as players interact with the stories, environment and other players.  This is an immersive and multisensory space that can’t replace real place-based community interactions, but hopes to provide additional connections between the youth and their culture.  Based on the research of this program, the developers, in conjunction with the communities of Indigenous peoples, have attempted to create a realistic, authentic and faithful representation of the aboriginal world in the attempt to empower Indigenous Australian people to preserve, enhance and pass on their cultural knowledge to the younger generation.

YouTube Preview Image

Post 2 – Firstvoices

Firstvoices, an initiative funded by the government of BC and the Department of Canadian Heritage, is an online collective of tools focussing on language archiving, preservation and sharing.  This initiative appears to provide a wholistic philosophy to language archiving through not just alphabets and phrases but also songs and stories in an interactive environment.  Although a promising form of technology, it has only collected 4.8% of the number of entries needed to document all the dialects of the Indigenous languages in BC over the past decade.  One aspect of this process that makes the archival process difficult is the discomfort and unease of the elders, the knowledge holders, with these types of newer technologies.

YouTube Preview Image

Post 3 – Rezworld

Rezworld is a Thorton Media, Inc. game within an interactive, immersive, and multisensory environment aimed at learning Indigenous language.  Players learn the language as they go about completing targeted tasks.  Although the name Rezworld and off-color humor may paint an insensitive picture, the creator, Don Thorton, a Cherokee himself, wanted to include characters that people knew, including relatives and friends, and so they incorporated humor and real life into the game.  The game attempts to not just create an environment, but to create an environment that is so real as to suspend disbelief.

YouTube Preview Image

Post 4 – MARVIN

The program MARVIN (Messaging architecture for the retrieval of versatile information and news), based on the annoying paperclippy animation from windows, was developed by J. Easterby-Wood, an Alice Springs-based specialist in Indigenous education.  Apparently, Australia’s Northern Territory Department of Health is using this program to develop aboriginal avatars that provide a 3-D character that can speak multiple different aboriginal dialects.  They hope that the avatar will be able to convey important health information to remote regions where text-based information and English is poorly understood or assimilated.  On the plus side, this technology enables information to be delivered without the use of the English language as the intermediary and provides a multisensory experience.  However, on the downside, it is being used to inform aboriginal people rather than providing a two way discussion about their health.  This seems to provide a seemingly sensitive but misguided form of communication in regards to Aboriginal people and their values.

YouTube Preview Image

Post 5 – Ashes and Snow

Although not a native artist, Gregory Colbert presents an online interactive and poetic masterpiece that shares the sensibilities of native culture in his Ashes and Snow artwork and film exhibit.  In addition to the pictures and film that represent humans as existing in an inter-relational and non-hierarchical world with animals, his use of the online forum shows exceptional similarities to Indigenous perspectives of space, time, energy, movement, rhythm, and storytelling.  This highly interactive, sensory and intuitive environment will suck you in and won’t let you go.  This represents a way that Indigenous people may be able to represent their consciousness through technology without sacrificing their values.  Check it out at

November 26, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3

1st Post: The Postmodern Condition: A Report On Knowledge

Lyotard outlines the historic grand narratives of the great nations and how these myths of perfection, liberation and unity of all knowledges has devalued and marginalized knowledges that have traditionally lied outside these grand unifying narratives. But he perceives that a new age is dawning in our postmodern world in which technology and dissolution of boundaries are enabling new forms of interaction and communication of ideas. No longer do we rely on state, church or institutions for knowledge, but rather technology and cybernetics are creating greater skepticism of these traditional legitimization myths of knowledge. And cybernetics is allowing new interactions to form in which knowledges can be nurtured in small institutions or patches. These patches provide safe places for people to share, explore and evolve specific world views and knowledges separate from the sanctions of state and “expert”. In addition, it also allows people to belong to multiple patches in which knowledges can be shared and new ideas can evolve from interactions between these world views. Although Lyotard is an optimist, he does warn that the internet is not all rosy and there are issues such as copyright law, ownership, and reductionism in the quest for optimization (idea of borrowing certain ideas out of context in the effort to evolve towards ONE ultimate optimized unifying ideal). Lyotard`s optimism and pessimism for the future of our postmodern world informs the evolution of Indigenous peoples interactions in cybernetic space and their creation of virtual communities and utilization of interfaces. The internet provides opportunities for Indigenous people to legitimize and share their knowledges within a public sphere, thereby shedding the mantle of the marginalized, however, it also contains the risk that knowledges will be stolen and perverted in the pursuit of one unifying ideal for optimization.


2nd Post: Globalism, Primitive Accumulation and Nishnawbe-Aski Territory: The Strategic Denial of Place-Based Community

In this article, Wendy Russel, from Huron University College, studied the forty-five individual First Nation settlements in the Nishnawbe-Aski Territory of Northern Ontario, Canada. She found that although isolated from transportation networks, it has increasing economic and political links to government, companies and media. This provides unique challenges to these “place-based” communities who have existed in relative autonomy from outside interference up until now. But with the modern advancements in informational technology and globalization, new power struggles are evolving that reflect residual colonization directives. Traditional claims to territory are in competition with other “communities” claims such as resource companies. With the rise of non-placed based virtual communities, including environmental groups, mining companies and international Indigenous solidarity organizations, there results a new power struggle for control over people and territory. These communities are constantly evolving and complete for legitimacy with each other, often challenging the rights or autonomy of the people actually living on the land. Because of this continued threat of colonization of Indigenous people due to globalization and evolving definition of community, a central role of her research is to investigate how people excluded from virtual community both sustain and re-embed community within place.


3rd Post: Twentieth-century Transformations of East Cree Spirituality and Autonomy

Richard Preston’s research considers what happens to Indigenous people that move from place-based territories, in which they have practiced land-based spirituality, into towns. Of particular interest to me, was his reference to the political autonomy of the Cree. Political autonomy, as practiced by nation states, includes negotiation of collective distinctiveness, a process that leaves little room for negotiation and authentic identity of individuals. But this political autonomy also gives legitimacy and boundary separation enabling the strong pursuit of rights and autonomy as a unified group. However, if this political sense of autonomy becomes part of the “formation and nurturing” of community, it risks excluding or alienating community members that do not fit within this definition of collective distinctiveness.

“The type of autonomy that is congenial to individuals, or more accurately, to personal communities, is based on inclusion rather than exclusion. In families, or in marriages, or in larger personal communities, autonomy of the type that evidences a shared ethos based on sustained responsible, respectful decisions and actions is successful, where exclusionary and power seeking autonomy is destructive. “


4th Post: A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century

There are two reasons why I have included this article in my posts: Donna Haraway presents a warning about autonomy and distinctiveness within communities which I plan to include in my final project, and another one of my peers indicated a love for her and her teachings in one of the posts in which I mentioned her regarding Indigenous issues.

Although a feminist theoretical document, the feminist word throughout the document can be removed and reinserted with the word marginalized or Indigenous. Ultimately, her article is a manifesto for the marginalized in which political distinctiveness has led to some disastrous consequences. She declared that the way in which we assert rights and delineate communities can have profound effects on its members often alienating small patches within communities and delegitimatizing individuals. She points out that humans are often forced to live in systems of standardization that they don`t fit, but have to live with. For instance, black women have often been denied a voice in the black movement and in the women`s movement. The black movement is controlled and defined by black men and the women`s movement is defined by white affluent women leaving black women without a voice. Similarly, many communities within different Indigenous territories are all lumped in together and are defined by the powerful or the majority, leaving small collectives or individuals, on the boundaries, alienated and excluded. This is similar to the colonization process that was experienced by the Indigenous as the other. And it is this process of delineation and declaration of boundaries, required by the mainstreamers to acquire autonomy, rights and power, that further colonize their own subset of marginalized individuals. The abused run the risk of becoming the abusers in the pursuit of power and self-determination as a group. As Indigenous people become part of a globalized world in which communities become virtual rather than place-based, these definitions and boundaries may become more or less pronounced depending on socio-political circumstances, but also on choices made by the communities themselves. Through the awareness of the past and future pitfalls, Indigenous people may be in a better place to make these crucial decisions about their community`s evolution.


5th post: Is It Possible To Have Information Technology That Reflects Indigenous Consciousness?

In this 2007 article, the participants at the Chaco Canyon encampment, including the Indigenous Polynesian, Lakota, Navajo, Cherokee, Tuscarora, Japanese-American and Euro-American scholars, computer scientists, artists and educators share their trans-cultural view of technology and answer the question: Is it possible to develop Information Technology that reflects Indigenous Consciousness? In this investigation, some of the questions they looked at included:

  • “What is Indigenous consciousness?”
  • “What are the characteristics distinct to Indigenous technologies?”
  • “How do different aspects of information technology integrate into conscious, animate systems, which support the community?”
  • “What is an appropriate interface with digital technology?”

For thousands of years, Indigenous people have adapted and evolved to their environment, and like the past, they will continue to evolve as they explore the “potentiality of all things before we begin to put limits on it.” For instance, technologies that fit within the Indigenous consciousness include the Hakamana Maori Keyboard System, that respects the cultural and language needs of Indigenous peoples or “small collectives” by using intuitive keys made of paua shells (meaningful to the Maori)


Appropriate interfaces with digital technologies would include the digital brush system that could interact with Indigenous artifacts and provide a new digital dimension to “knowledge holding”.

Pou Kapua , the cloud pillar in Auckland, New Zealand holds the spirits and stories of the Maori people.


I/O Brush –


Other appropriate interfaces include those that incorporate the traditions of oral storytelling and create immersive environments and multisensory experiences such as immersive environments.

Ashes and Snow ( creates an immersive environment that incorporates the movement of the mouse on the screen enabling a melding the physical and intuitive senses creating a holistic experience.

Von Thater-Braan, R. (2007). Is it possible to have Information Technology that reflects Indigenous Consciousness? Retrieved from

November 4, 2012   No Comments

Revision of Intent and Subsequent Posts



Revision of intent

As a result of my readings in reference to this weblog and recent course readings, I would like to revise my area of intention regarding my research.  Instead of focussing on how technology can be used to connect Indigenous students to their cultural context within a learning framework, I would like to focus on a process that helps them put technology into a cultural context thereby enabling them to make informed and negotiated decisions about its use in their communities and lives.  This type of education around technology, its origins, myths, basis in westernized values, etc. can inform and, in so doing, liberate Indigenous youth, and others, from further colonization by the “white” use of technology.  This process would also provide them with a voice in the social negotiation of where technology has come from and where it will go.  I would like to point out that, for now, my proposed plan would include education of all youths or adults within an integrated classroom and would provide an unfolding of information and discussion before jumping into Indigenous perspectives and how their lens may provide a beneficial angle from which to view technology.


1st Post

Dei, George J. Sefa. 2000. “Rethinking the Role of Indigenous Knowledges in the Academy.” International Journal of Inclusive Education 4(2):111–33.  Retrieved from

This paper addresses the many issues facing the critical examination of the definition and operationalization of Indigenous knowledge in academic institutions, also referred to as a process of academic decolonization.  With the advent of the information age and globalization leading to more and more dominant flows of Euro-American perspectives, it is all the more important to bring Indigenous knowledge into Euro-American institutions of power to prevent an imbalance of knowledge dissemination, generation and discussion.  Indigenous knowledge is encapsulated by the author as “the common-good-sense ideas and cultural knowledge of local people concerning the everyday realities of living” and is generated through “social interpretations of meanings and explanations” which are “holistic and relational” and not “individualized and disconnected into a universal abstract” (p.5).  When considering the discursive approach to understanding Indigenous knowledges within dominant academic institutions, the anti-colonial approach is perceived by the author to be the most effective means to discussing the differences and connections between the knowledges.  Anti-colonialism “interrogates the power configurations embedded in ideas, cultures and histories of knowledge production and use.  It is an epistemology of the colonized, anchored in the indigenous sense of collective and common colonial (‘alien, imposed and dominating’) consciousness.  This approach also “offers a critique of the wholesale degradation, disparagement and discard of ‘tradition’ and ‘culture’ in the interest of so-called ‘modernity’, ‘individualism’, and the ‘global space’.  Overall, the author advocates the continued critical and oppositional approach to the destabilization of Eurocentric knowledge, ‘as the only valid way of knowing’, in order to create incremental but cumulative changes to the institutional knowledge frameworks.  But he cautions against cynicism that would claim the right to discrete and pristine spaces for indigenous knowledges, outside of institutions and the effects of other knowledge, that would act to marginalize Indigenous people and their knowledge from a critical collective and academic discourse on knowledge [need to creolize]. As a final note on this article, the author cautions against certain problems regarding knowledge representations as contributing to false and unproductive discourses on Indigendous knowledge within a global framework:

  • difficulty in defining an authentic voice “who has discursive authority on Indigenous knowledges, in other words, how do we define the ‘real past’ and the group’s cultural identity? (p.12)
  • representation of Indigenous knowledges as “fixed and static outside site and space removed from practice, performance, power, and process” (p. 15)
  • “fetishized representations of Indigenous culture and identity” (p.14)
  • “‘exoticization’ of cultures and traditions” (p.14)
  • “selective [mis]capturings of elements of their past, histories, and traditions” (p.13)
  • and finally, the author questions the loss of meaning in storing Indigenous knowledge, specifically, orality as ‘text’ or ‘recorded sound’ outside of their given contexts. (p. 15)


2nd Post

Johnson, J., & Murton, B. (2007).  Re/placing native science: Indigenous voices in contemporary constructions of nature. Geographical Research 45, 121–29. Retrieved from

In “Re/placing native science: Indigenous voices in contemporary constructions of nature”, Johnson and Murton discuss the dominance of the western Euro-American perspective and the need to insert the Indigenous voice into these dialogues.  From the days of Kant, Descartes and the European enlightenment, Euro-American thinking has been dominated by a knowledge system that disembodies humans from the order of the world in an objective process that attempts to express the “universal truth” of things.  The authors,  claim that this objective European taxonomy and systematizing of nature, in which specimens are removed from their place in their ecological systems, and other people’s economic, historical, social, and symbolic systems and are reordered in European patterns of order, has led to the wholesale alienation of the Indigenous approach to knowledge. One Indigenous author, Gregory Cajete (cited in Johnson & Murton, 2007), describes Native science as ‘a lived and creative relationship with the natural world … [an] intimate and creative participation [which] heightens awareness of the subtle qualities of a place’ (p.1). Each of these narratives represents an ideology which, through the voices of many different perspectives, can be shared, challenged, negotiated and rewritten to better suite humanities social, scientific, technological and cultural needs.  Unfortunately, Makere Stewart-Harawira (cited in Johnson & Murton, 2007), observes, ‘outside of Indigenous scholarship itself, within academic circles little serious attention has been paid to examining the possibilities inherent in Indigenous ontologies.  In the context of the previous article of this blog, if the global society is to prevent an imbalance of power in knowledge systems, it must be willing to analyze the current Euro-American approaches to knowledge and include different counter-narratives as both a way to understand possible bias and represent different perspectives.


3rd Post

Dinerstein, J. (2006). Technology and Its Discontents: On the Verge of the Posthuman. American Quarterly, 58(3), 569-95. Retrieved from

Dinerstein, in “Technology and its discontents: On the verge of posthuman”, asks how is it possible to think about technologies outside of a western framework?  In this article, Haraway (cited in Dinerstein, 2006) recognizes the need for a more “imaginative relation to techno-science”…a call for new metaphors – such as trickster figures like the Coyote to “refigure possible worlds” by thinking outside of westernized views on techno-science.  In essence the article discusses the history of techno-scientific thinking, westernized views on technology, and the “white” cyborg thereby suggesting the subsequent need for counter-narratives to transform the techno-cultural mythos.

The article addresses the very real need to confront issues like: What is progress for? and What is technology for?  By turning towards an understanding of human kind as a “multiethnic, multicultural, multi-genetic construction created through centuries of contact and acculturation”, we can creolize the communication about technology and return to the concept of “social progress” instead of “technological progress”.  This would add the feminist, Indigenous and minority voices to the technological discussion while diluting the “white male” legacies of colonialism, capitalism and idealized technological utopianism.


4th post

In Indigenous Perspectives on Globalization: Self-Determination Through Autonomous Media Creation, Rebeka Tabobondung, a Native America writer and creator of the online Muskrat Magazine, addresses concerns about Indigenous people, globalization and autonomy.  She discusses how Indigenous communities might foster autonomy and self-determination through new media and combat the dominant westernized world view.  She suggests that the domination and commoditization of land and people spawned by the “neo-liberal globalization” movement has resulted in a degradation of ecological, economic and social aspects of all of our lives, not just Indigenous peoples.

Unlike the mainstream media productions that promote the values and interests of the neo-liberal dominant world view, autonomous media provides an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to reconstruct media representations of themselves and become influencers of mainstream culture.  Through autonomous media creation, Indigenous people will be able to create media that reflects their values, culture, aesthetics and diversity.   But she worries that, despite its massive potential, if individuals limit themselves to passive consumption, globalization and destruction of other world views will continue.

She described Indigenous media production like a “contemporary talking stick” that enables sharing between people of stories, support, and space, even though separated by great distances.  Ultimately, Indigenous cultures, myths and history will continue if kept alive in the minds and imaginations of the people as they share, define, reflect on the past, present and future of their community.  And through the global reach of new media, she envisions a globalization that includes a sharing of world views that will benefit the entire planet and people.

When I first started this course, I saw the virtual online world as simulation and non-materialistic, something that couldn’t provide an authentic connection or replace in-place tribal interactions, but during my readings in ETEC 531, I began to see that these connections are as real as anything in front of me that I can pick up and touch.  Just because we are creating understanding and connections in digital space doesn’t make it any less meaningful than F2F interactions.  It has been this revelation that has given me a greater appreciation for the use of new media in Indigenous fight for autonomy, culture, and influence.


5th Post

Rebecka Tabobondung’s online magazine, Muskrat, covers everything from contemporary issues facing Indigenous urban peoples to more tradition discourse in which elders are consulted for their cultural knowledge.  It demonstrates a modern use of media technology for the expression of urban Canadian Native American’s interests and discourse, while also educating outsiders in a very organic forum.  It contains stories, art, recipes, insights, activism, blogs, links and more.  Many of their articles include videos of Native American’s experiences, memories, and experiential insights.

As mentioned in the previous post, Rebeka provides a new media format that reminds me of a mainstreams Oprah magazine full of pictures, inspiration, relevant information, news, events, discourse, etc.  Although, she provides a uniquely Indigenous aesthetics and design in her interviews in which she allows each person to tell their story without interruption….something I noticed in Michael Maker`s interviews which present a very different style than mainstream media.


Cheers, Steve



October 13, 2012   No Comments

All 5 in 1 Post!

In the following post, I would like to start by reviewing three chapters found in the SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction which look at issues of Indigenous education as they refer to past and present educational reforms.  These articles represent the studies of various researchers that deal with the issues of universalization or globalization of education and curriculum and its effect and alienation of indigenous youth leading to increased drop-out rates and disengagement.  All three chapters can be found in The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction at  Note, you need to be connected to the VPN in order for the links to work.

Following these three articles, I will look specifically at a successful model of Indigenous schools referred to in Farrell’s article and, finally, I have included a link to a 2009 declaration of rights by Canada’s First Nation people, referring specifically to the section on education.

Resource One:

In Deyhle, Swisher Stevens and Galvan’s article, on “Indigenous resistance and renewal: From colonizing practices to self-determination”, focusses on the effects of colonization of Indigenous peoples and the importance of self-determination in their struggle to decolonize.  The chapter quotes the words of Colonel Pratt on the education of Natives as “the end to be gained….is the Indian to lose his identity” (p.331).  The authors describe the struggle of Indigenous people to regain the right to self-determination of Indigenous education through their own schools in which their values, culture, tradition and languages are taught and respected within their communities.  This is in direct contradiction to the current public system that they believe has continued to colonize their youth through assimilation and marginalization.  The authors suggest that local language, in conjunction with local knowledge, would improve students understanding and connection with their culture and propel them beyond what could be accomplished through the introduction of fragmented cultural knowledge within a decontextualized environment. Although a challenging endeavor, the reclaiming of authentic Indigenous knowledge among the youth has led to improvements in pride, tribal relations and communication, and learning.


Deyhle, D., Swisher, K., Stevens, T., & Galván, R. (2008). Indigenous resistance and renewal: From colonizing practices to self-determination. In F. Connelly, M. He, & J. Phillion (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction. (pp. 329-349). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412976572.n16

Resource Two:

Increasingly, the world has become a global village in which time and place have accelerated and blurred.  Power struggles over dominant perspective have led to a westernization of pedagogy and curricular content across the globe.  Other cultures become marginalized by the vast flow of western ideas; and, whether consciously or unconsciously, curriculum across the globe becomes universalized.  Anderson-Levitt, in her article, asks a question that places the responsibility back in the hands of educators, “How have we come to teach what we teach and to teach as we do?” (p.349). Ultimately, this article provides insight into the Indigenous struggle for self-determination, and in truth, a reality that all students are facing in this cultural crisis.  This is a global concern that, as Deyhle et al. describe in the previous resource, creates disengagement and disconnection between the curriculum and the students.


Anderson-Levitt, K. (2008). Globalization and curriculum. In F. Connelly, M. He, & J. Phillion (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction. (pp. 349-369). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412976572.n17

Resource Three:

Farrell in “Community education in developing countries: The quiet revolution in schooling”, notes that,

similar to the findings of Deyhle et al., a focus on local knowledge results in greater curricular learning.  Upon the analysis of over 200 alternative programs in community education, standardized curriculum scored the lowest in terms of learning, whereas, localized curriculum improved learning, self-confidence and self-esteem.  Successful examples that were given were Escuela Nueva in Columbia and Guatemala, The Community Schools Program in Egypt, and the Non-Formal Primary Program in Bangladesh.  Farrell points to the aspects of these models that appear to increase success including a varied and student-centered approach focussing on context, local relevance, and community involvement that enables student’s to identify with the curriculum.   This speaks to the idea that colonization and globalization may be counterproductive to engagement and learning.  Essentially, Anderson-Levitt’s article describes the current model as an undemocratic processes in which individual and cultural meaning are displaced by more dominant and powerful perspectives.  These three articles lead me to believe that the democratic self-determination and involvement in youth education by tribal communities has a far greater potential to succeed than the present educational model.


Farrell, J. (2008). Community education in developing countries: The quiet revolution in schooling. In F. Connelly, M. He, & J. Phillion (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of curriculum and instruction. (pp. 369-391). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412976572.n18

Resource Four:

Rachel Kline, in “A Model for Improving Rural Schools: Escuela Nueva in Columbia and Guatemala”, describes the Escuela Nueva (EN) school reform model for rural and Indigenous students.  In the article she provides the context, components and potential for expansion to other contexts of the EN model. In particular, the Guatemala Project was directed towards the Mayan-speaking Indigenous people with the plan to improve rural education.  In these one-teacher rural schools, teachers implemented a program consisting of “active pedagogy, flexible promotion, student government and community involvement” (p 176).  One of the reasons that the author believes that this model was successful, where other reform initiatives failed, is because of the involvement of teachers and administrators.  In this reform model, educators developed the curriculum, workbooks, and teacher guides from the grassroots level.  Of particular concern was the static or “fixed” nature of the previous model derived in the Escuela Nueva project that was thought to contribute to its diminishing success. This was considered in the Guatemala project by enabling the curriculum to be flexible, relevant and current.  To further increase the effectiveness and relevance of the curriculum, Guatemalan educators also created bilingual materials. These models, along with others, may serve to demonstrate to educators and policy makers how they can better educate those that are marginalized by our society.


Kline, R. (2002).  A model for improving rural schools: Escuela Nueva in Colombia and Guatemala. Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE), 2(2), 170-181. Retrieved from   

Resource Five:

In the Assembly of First Nations document, “First nation control of first nation education: It’s our vision, it’s our time”, the Assembly provides a blueprint for self-determination of the First Nation’s educational program across Canada.  In it, they request the right to control a diverse and holistic program of education in which their community members are taught local knowledge and curriculum that is based on their beliefs, values and traditions in their native language.

This desire to study their local knowledge, beliefs, values and traditions in their native language is significant.   As Deyhle et al. mentioned previously, it is through a people’s native language that their culture is given context, a “sort of filter” through which they can better connect to their world and understand their community (p. 338).


Assembly of First Nations. (December, 2009). First Nation control of First Nation education: It’s our vision, it’s our time. Retrieved from

 In conclusion, these articles, models, and calls for self-determination by the Indigenous Nations indicates the need for Indigenous education to be specific to local communities and consist of the involvement of the community and their cultural artifacts to pick up where books and teacher’s knowledge leaves off.  In Farrell’s and Kline’s articles, they provide real situations that indicate how to counter globalized education and further colonization, and create improved learning for Indigenous students.

Cheers, Steve MacKenzie

September 21, 2012   No Comments


The focus of my weblogs will be on Indigenous loss of access and connection to their histories, culture and language within the educational system and how technology and educational reform can play a role in decolonizing, democratizing and reforming their educational experiences. In today’s global educational culture of standardized curriculum and educational practices including transmissive and rote styles, learning is often irrelevant and disconnected from local cultures, knowledge, or everyday activities.  Because of this, students become disconnected, alienated and further colonized by the system.  This disconnection is not only seen in Indigenous students, but also presents a problem among all students.  When any knowledge is removed from context, it becomes fragmented and disconnected from the student’s knowledge of the world.  This leaves them with limited ability to integrate the curricular knowledge into their existing experiences, knowledge patterns and previous understandings thereby resulting in the failure to participate and create meaningful learning.  However, for the purposes of this course, I will be focussing on this disconnect among Indigenous youth and the ways that schools might minimize these problems using techniques and technology.

Realistically, we live in the 21st century of globalization through immigration, internet, multiculturalism, and political power structures.  Because these aspects of our society have made isolation and sheltered communities almost impossible, as educators, we need to look for solutions that exist in a post-colonization world in which we can encourage individual’s open and critical thinking about their own identities, cultural knowledge and understanding of the world. One of the ways that provides promise is the new initiative called constructivist learning in which individuals guide their own learning process and find their own meaning.  With the use of the internet, resources offered by their local communities and a sensitive and integrated educational system, Indigenous students may have a chance to self-determine their own post-colonization cultural identities.

Cheers, Steve MacKenzie

September 21, 2012   No Comments