Category — Connection to Research Topic

Canadian Journal of Native Education

Many (most? Everyone EXCEPT me?) of you are probably aware that this journal existed, but I was not. The Canadian Journal of Native Education is published twice yearly: in spring/summer a theme issue is compiled at the First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia; and in fall/winter a general edition is compiled by the First Nations Graduate Education Program at the University of Alberta.

Aricles I am looking forward to checking out include:

  • Doige, L. A. (1999). Beyond cultural differences and similarities: student teachers encounter Aboriginal children’s literature. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 24(4), 383-395.
  • Goulet, G. (2001). Two Teachers of Aboriginal Students: Effective Practice in Sociohistorical Realities. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 25(1), 68 -82.
  • Kirkness, V. (1998). Our Peoples’ Education: Cut the Shackles; Cut the Crap; Cut the
    Mustard. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 22(1), 10-15.

Get more information about Canadian Journal of Native Education

November 24, 2012   No Comments

Supporting Aboriginal Student Success: Self-Esteem and Identity

Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse of Laurentian Universiy, has authored Supporting Aboriginal Student Success: Self-Esteem and Identity, A Living Teachings Approach. This paper explores the seven good life teachings of the Ojibwe people. Respect, Love, Bravery, Wisdom, Humility, Honesty, and Truth. Through the use of these teachings and the related principles behind them, Dr. Toulouse explores the implications for education, and implications for classroom practice, as well as some suggested applications.

This document lends itself well to my research topic of developing a best practices approach to fostering success for Aboriginal students in my class.

See the whole document

November 24, 2012   1 Comment

SD#62: Sooke – Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement

Weblog #4: Entry #2

Since I started ETEC 521, I’ve been wondering how the issue of Western education conflicts with or compliments FN belief systems or ways of knowing. While my question(s) focus more on present day instances of education I am aware of the history of Residential Schools here in Canada. More specifically, I wonder about my school district (SD #62: Sooke) which identifies itself by the Anglicized spelling of the T’So-uke First Nation which resides in the same educational catchment area of southern Vancouver Island.

Our student population is made up of approximately 1000 FN students, or approximately 10% of the students in the district. So how do we, as educators, community members, mentors, leaders etc. educated in Western languages and science, excite, engage and reach out to students from a distinctly different society and culture? Having reflected on the course readings thus far, it is evident that ‘learning’ in school can sometimes run contradictory to FN experiences, stories and values.

Apparently, my school district has been very much concerned with these same concerns and in 2009 proposed the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. Skimming this document, linked as off of the site below highlights some differences between Western and FN notions of ‘Student Success’ and the ‘Goals’ of education. I was glad to have taken a look at what things are being done in my own district to recognize the real and honest differences/assumptions that we tend to make about our students and their learning.


November 24, 2012   No Comments

Touch screen technology for health behaviour change

weblog 4.4

Travers et al (2007) describe the use of touch screen kiosks (with audio feedback) delivering health promotion information to Aboriginal communities. Two modules were developed, one on alcohol use Grog Story and one on sexual health Put it On.

Clarification of the health messages was identified with experts in the field. Community elders were then involved to provide an understanding of social and cultural constraints including language use, explicitness etc. They then worked with youth representatives in the local communities to contextualise the messages. The community and youth representatives were involved in the workshops that developed the narratives. Finally the filming used Indigenous actors to ‘mentor’ local Indigenous people recruited locally. There was a formal community launch of the kiosk.

Evaluation of the  project identified positive impacts on self esteem for individuals who had been ‘engaged in creating their own representations’. There was high level of community engagement in development and then use of the kiosk content. It was not possible however, to identify quantitative evidence of changes to health outcomes (health literacy or behaviour change).

They concluded that this technology was ideal for addressing the ‘triple divide’’ of inequality in health, education and digital engagement.

Travers H, Hunter E, Gibson J, Campion J. (2007) Pride and performance: Innovative multimedia in the service of behavioural health change in remote Indigenous settings.  Proc 13th Intl Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia. VSMM 2007, Brisbane, Australia

November 23, 2012   No Comments

Digital Songlines Game

Weblog 4.3

The Digital Songlines (DSL) project was a digital storytelling project, using a 3D gaming engine. The project  funded by the Australasian Cooperative Research centre for Interaction Design. Unfortunately funding ceased some time after 2007 and it was difficult to find other projects.

Leavy et al (2007) in their article Evaluating the Digital Songlines Game Engine for Australian Indigenous storytelling outline the project. The aim was to use quality gaming to allow users to experience Indigenous virtual heritage in high fidelity simulation with culturally appropriate tools. They describe the importance of Aboriginal collaboration through each project and outline a protocol to address IP and copyright issues that is entirely community focused and driven. The depiction of ‘country’ in each project was not just a backdrop for the game but was the largest ‘artefact’. ‘Country’ is both a receptacle and it actively participates in the telling of the story. (p.164)

The feedback about the game varied with age of participants. The younger participants used to commercial games were either disappointed that it wasn’t the same, or delighted because it was! Older participants appreciated the language, tradition and stories being ‘brought to life’.

Users and developers saw it as a way technology can assist in the empowering of cultural identity.

YouTube example of a Digital songline project

November 23, 2012   No Comments

Camosun College Honors the FN Groups of the Victoria Area

Weblog #4: Entry #1

Having looked at how both the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University demonstrate their respective thanks to the local FN bands/tribes/clans for the land on which these universities presently reside, it only seemed logical to visit the third of the three largest post secondary institutes here in victoria, BC – Camosun College, to complete the comparison.

From the outset, the name Camosun appears to be derived from the name of a Songhees settlement that was near the present day site of the Empress Hotel, in the Victoria causeway. Score one for the community college, as the other two institutions reflect staunchly British names and heritage, which makes sense as we are after all talking about Victoria, British Columbia.

Two easy links from the homepage brings us to the ‘Territory Acknowledgement’ page. A brief introduction is given to the nations which first inhabited these traditional territories. Thanks are given to these same nations for their welcome and graciousness. The site goes on to detail the Legend of Camossung and helps to illustrate the importance of the history, place, people and traditions upon which the college is named. Links to a map of the traditional territories of BC’s FN peoples is prominent. As well there is a link to the Royal BC Museum at the bottom of the page, and a black and white photo of Camossung at the foot of the George Bridge.

Camosun College has by far, in comparison with the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University, done the best job of recognizing the FN groups of their local area.


November 20, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #4

This weblog is the most aligned with my topic, and I was particluarly excited to begin reading through information on it. I wanted to start by looking at sacred sites within First Nation’s territory, as I thought this would be applicable.

Site 1: First Nations Sacred Sites in Canada’s Courts: Book Review

In this review a distinction is made between two different kinds of protection one “strategy relies on obtaining current recognition and protection for what an indigenous people once unequivocally held and the latter strategy relies on the idea of protecting what an indigenous people once unequivocally were”. This is an interesting point to add to my reflection on the direction of my paper. Is the viewpoint of whether land is a “holding” needing to be protected, or is integral to the identity of a culture important, if the outcome is the same (land getting protected)? There is a distinction between two different types of strategies based on historical legal proceedings, the first being related to the “Meare’s Island Case,” and the second to the “Taku River and Haida Case”.

From here I was, naturally, interested in finding out more about the cases. I found a website that clarified the decisions in the Taku River and Haida cases.

Site 2: The Haida Nation and Taku River Tlingit Decisions: Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities for Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation

This case sets a precedent for consultation of Aboriginal groups. Basically, legally recognized claims are not required to “trigger” the consultation process. Impact upon asserted rights of groups is enough of a reason to enforce consultation. This decision is important as it values the rights of First Nations outside of the span of “legally recognized rights”.

This site got me thinking about whether there are similar stories of successful environmental management decisions or activism, so I began researching this.

Site 3: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada: Environment and Natural Resources: Success Stories

This website offers links to specific projects that have been completed both through government agency help and media attention. One thing that I keep thinking as I look through the site though, is that all of these experiences are mediated through the government agencies of the “colonizers”. This may be the quickest and most effective way to create change in a community, but is it the best way? Are FN rights and values respected in this process or must they conform to particular enforced criteria that may undermine their own values?

Site 4: IEN: Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign

I had looked at this site before, but in a different format and scope. Now I found something incredibly applicable to where my assignment is going. This particular portion of the Indigenous Environmental Network is focussed on the tar sands in Northern Canada and their impact on Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups and the environment. There is a variety of information in various media formats, presented by elders, youth and all other community members. Various bands are connected together on this issue and multiple viewpoints are represented through this website. Additonally, the focus on the tar sands as an issue is addressed, as 10 0r so years ago very few people knew of the environmental toll being taken in these areas. Media has brought light to these concerns.

Site 5: Native Web Resources: Environment

This site is a collaborative effort whose goal is to “provide a cyberspace for Earth’s indigenous peoples”. They aim to do this through sharing informational resources between regional, national and international individuals and groups and by “foster[ing] communication.” Different groups may upload their websites on a specific issue and may then coordinate their efforts or find support. The site is run by both “Native and non-Native” individuals, and hosts content from all over the world (although the majority of information and sites are from the US or Canada). Some great links are provided for environmental initiatives, concerns and success stories. Additionally under different headings (there are 35 different categories), there are resources specific to each topic, including many resources for Indigenous chat rooms or networking sites.


So ends my cyber-travel for the purposes of this assignment. I have acquired resources on a breadth of topics and have honed my research down to what is most critical for me to address in depth in my final project.


November 19, 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