Category — Connection to Research Topic

Elder Florence Kelly’s Advice

For my final post in the ETEC 521 blog, I wanted to share some words I found while doing research for my paper. This is Elder Florence Kelly’s Advice to the Newly Elected Executive of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Council, March 21, 2009, as cited in Jacqueline Skytt’s “A White Woman Learns the Way” in the Alberta Teacher’s Association magazine.

  • Be kind. The children need kindness and love. This is how they will get better.
  • Be patient. This is a long road. There are many struggles. The children need you to be in it for the long term.
  • Be humble. My grandmother taught me this. Never boast about your good deeds. This takes away from the goodness you are trying to do.
  • Be honest. Our children have been lied to many times. They need people to be truthful with them

Words to live by, First Nations or not.

December 2, 2012   No Comments

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

BC’s Dark History of Discrimination is Worth Remembering

Weblog #4: Entry #5

My final project focuses on the unique way in which Victoria, BC has represented the Coast Salish culture alongside the British heritage of the city. While my research has revealed some atrocities along the way, I’ve been feeling pretty optimistic about how the city/province has evolved and recognized the Coast Salish nations of the West Coast.

My feelings evaporated when I saw the ‘Indian Policy in BC’ section on the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada site. There is a specific section on the First Nations experience in BC that identifies how BC refused to recognize First Nations land rights, unlike the rest of the provinces in the country, as was the national policy at the time. It seems to me that BC had quite a dark history given its discriminatory actions against the East Indians of the Komagata Maru, the Chinese who were forced into labour on the railroads, the Japanese Internment Camps of WW II and of course the FNs on the same region. While we often chalk these mistakes up to errors of the past and move forward, I think it is important to remember them so that we do not lose sight of the fact that things can always be better and that we should always strive to improve our present situation and understandings.


November 27, 2012   No Comments

Another perspective on First Nations connection to the land”Chief Rose Laboucan to Enbridge Joint Review Panel

I’m not sure if anyone will ever really understand our connection to the land. The land is us; we are the land. We could once take all our food supplies from the land. The healthy food I’m talking about, the meat, the fish, the vegetables, the fruit.

I believe today many of our communities are in crisis. In 1970 when I worked for Health Canada, we had one diabetic in our community; one. Now we have close to 100, and they range from five years old on up.

Many of our people cannot afford to buy their groceries in a grocery store, the real food I’m talking about, on the outside aisle. That’s where the real food is. You walk into any store and you’ll picture that, the vegetables, the meat, produce, everything is on the outside aisles. The processed foods are in the middle aisles. That’s where my people shop.

So the once enhanced lifestyle that they had for health reasons were taken from the land. And I really believe that is very sad when we, as First Nation people, we’re taught to hunt, to fish, to trap and to gather.

JOINT REVIEW PANEL FOR THE ENBRIDGE NORTHERN GATEWAY PROJECT , Hearing Order OH-4-2011 , Edmonton, Alberta , January 31, 2012 , International Reporting Inc.

Available online at oral presentation by Chief Rose Laboucan

November 26, 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

VNFC, SD 61, 62 and 63, Royal BC Museum: Together on the First Peoples Cultural Awareness Program for Students

Weblog #4: Entry #3

The Victoria Native Friendship Center in partnership with all three greater Victoria School Districts (SDs #61, 62 and 63) and the Royal BC Museum offer the First Peoples Box of Treasures Cultural Awareness Program. What is interesting to note is that this program is targeted at all students and uses in class visits and the museum to bring cultural awareness about FN culture here on Vancouver Island and BC in general. I take from this program that all the partners in program recognize and believe that to be a contributing and well rounded member of the community here in Victoria, BC one must have an awareness of and appreciation for how FN culture is intertwined with the city and the province.


November 25, 2012   No Comments