Category — Connection to Research Topic

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

Weblog #3 – Post #3 – Virtual Museum of Metis History and Culture

Storytelling is important in Metis culture as a means to pass information from the Elders to the youth of society.  This Virtual Museum provides archived collections of Metis history, interviews, conferences, transcripts, learning resources, artistic expressions, and multimedia files honouring Metis music, dance, and storytelling.

November 15, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post #2 – Aboriginal Storytelling

This Aboriginal Storytelling site provides detail about the importance of storytelling – as something more than entertainment.  Storytelling is a means to communicate culture, ceremonies, and spirituality.  Storytelling acts as a bridge to teach an audience a way of life – the history and culture of indigenous peoples.  Specifically, this site focuses on the Aboriginal people of Saskatchewan and provides useful information and links to other relevant sites.



November 15, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post 1 – Storytelling

When I first began contemplating a final topic, I was torn between pursuing my interests in the environmental and indigenous issues surfacing in Alberta and the way in which we are finding balance between the Language Arts curriculum and meeting the cultural needs of indigenous peoples.  I have been equally balancing my pursuit of resources up to this point.  I am officially making the choice today to take a look at the relationship and interaction between indigenous storytelling and the Language Arts curriculum.  Oral storytelling plays a fundamental role in culture, and I want to look into how we can address that within the confines of the Language Arts curriculum and how technology can help us tell stories.

Here is a Learn Alberta resource, Walking Together – First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.

Of particular importance to my topic is the information presented on oral traditions – the background information behind oral storytelling, and a few case studies as to how teachers can incorporate technology in the classroom to facilitate storytelling tradition.


November 15, 2012   No Comments

Module 3 Research Connections

Module 3 Entry #1- Recommended Reading: Education Indigenous to Place: Western Science Meets Native Reality: by Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley and Ray Barnhardt

This article looks at Indigenous Knowledge Systems, heralds the increasing recognition their validity in a broader context of western education and policy development, and compares and contrasts Indigenous Worldviews with those of Western Worldviews.

The article provides an interesting anecdote in which a 90-year-old elder chides a group of biologists about their record of statistics on fish habitat that is 30 years old, when his people have been monitoring the fish for 300 years.

A worthwhile read, and very much in line with my research interests.


Module 3 Entry #2- Recommended Reading: Indigenous Knowledge Systems/Alaska Native Ways of Knowing by Ray Barnhardt Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley

This article looks at approaches to integrate the role of indigenous knowledge in mainstream education to enrich learning for all. It is recognized that indigenous students have long been disenchanted with westernized society’s approach to education, but we are now coming to the realization that a mono-cultural approach to education is bound to fail. There is an increasing willingness to look at other approaches to learning that diverge from the conventional form of education that has prevailed.


Module 3 Entry #3- What is Traditional Knowledge- Alaska Native Science Commission

I was led to this site that explains the definition of Traditional Knowledge and contrasts it from non-indigenous knowledge, discusses structure and discusses maintaining ownership and control.

As defined by The Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Mayor, 1994) defines traditional knowledge:

The indigenous people of the world possess an immense knowledge of their environments, based on centuries of living close to nature.  Living in and from the richness and variety of complex ecosystems, they have an understanding of the properties of plants and animals, the functioning of ecosystems and the techniques for using and managing them that is particular and often detailed.  In rural communities in developing countries, locally occurring species are relied on for many – sometimes all – foods, medicines, fuel, building materials and other products.  Equally, people’s knowledge and perceptions of the environment, and their relationships with it, are often important elements of cultural identity. 


Module 3 Entry #4- Handbook for Culturally Responsive Science Curriculum by Sidney Stephens

This handbook serves as a practical guide and is geared towards teachers in an effort to integrate traditional native knowledge and western science perspectives. It originates from the Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

Sidney Stephens has attempted to “distill and synthesize the critical ingredients for making the teaching of science relevant and meaningful in culturally adaptable ways.”

The aim of the handbook is to “provide teachers invaluable assistance with the task of developing and teaching culturally responsive science curriculum.”


Module 3 Entry #5- Inuit Qaujisarvingat: Inuit Knowledge Centre

A short video interview with Martin Lougheed, from the Inuit Knowledge Centre, where he makes the case for “a synthesis of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge) and western science to help better understand, and find solutions to, the significant climatic changes affecting Inuit Nunangat.”

Goals for the Inuit Knowledge Centre include:

  • Promote information
  • Make connections between researchers and Inuit Knowledge
  • Ensure that proper, effective and ethical way
  • Promote traditional knowledge in policy and decision making -video interview

November 11, 2012   No Comments

UVic’s First People’s House on Coast Salish Lands

Weblog #3: Entry #5

While the University of Victoria pays homage to the Coast Salish community of southern Vancouver Island, it does so in an indirect fashion which does not seem to place as much importance on the role FN cultures on the origins of the people or roots of the land. Based on the description of the First Peoples House, perhaps more attention and respect is directed to the local nation(s) through the artwork and structure itself. However, the text on the site does do a fantastic job of welcoming to all nations.


November 7, 2012   No Comments

First Nations students need Internet technology,

Module 3, post #5

In a 2009 article by Stephen Hui, Denise Williams of the Cowichan Tribes discusses the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the need for broadband – “It’s the infrastructure that’s going to strengthen the entire social fabric of the community,” and it can help broaden opportunities on the often remote and isolated reserves. “We have all these small communities and small, remote schools, and the issue is that we need math teachers, we need physics teachers, science teachers,” Williams is the Youth initiative officer for the steering committee. “Their scope of what’s possible is limited to where they are,” Williams said. “What technology can do in a school with the Internet is open the whole world.”


November 5, 2012   No Comments

Royal Roads University Recognizes Coast Salish Lands

Weblog #3: Entry #4

Seems like Royal Roads University (RRU) in Colwood, BC just 20 min Northwest of Victoria, has taken a leading role in recognizing the realities of land claims and title as it relates to the land surrounding the city. More specifically, RRU through it’s website recognizes its history beyond the ownership of the land by 18th century coal barons and mentions the Coast Salish as the original residents. The school then goes on to give thanks to the Coast Salish people for sharing their traditions and teachings with the university. The fact that the Indigenous Relations page is a mere two links away from the home page highlights the importance of FN culture in the Western Communities and RRU has done a good job in keeping this relationship at the forefront rather than burying it within obscure, difficult to find links on their website.

I wonder how UVic’s and Camosun College’s sites deal with the issue of giving land recognition and thanks to local FN groups?


November 5, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3

Entry 1

Rural Poverty Portal – IFAD

This resource provides some valuable ideas about how to encourage an Indigenous voice within the discussion about poverty, development and other major world issues. Also a central point is that Indigenous groups often have an “information gap” that media can fill. This article or commentary, put out by IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), also provides details on international forums for Indigenous knowledge.

Entry 2

International Labour Organization – Social Media Gives Voice to Indigenous Communities

This website provides information on how social media is supporting the spread of international and local Indigenous issues. It suggests combining community radio and social media to reach the most people, and provides links to documents on Indigenous rights and examples of social media.–en/index.htm

Entry 3

Indigenous Media Action

The project coordinator for this site is a Dine’ man who has been a media activist for 10 years. The site is a place to combine the efforts of different Indigenous groups with respect to issues they are facing. It is a very politically-minded site and has excellent resources on current issues for a variety of Indigenous communities. In addition to articles and other resources the site also allows for a variety of content from users. For my specific research it also provides much information on current environmental initiatives and “Calls to Action”.

Entry 4

Outta Your Backpack Media

A Indigenous youth empowerment site that promotes media justice. Youth can apply for a “backpack”, which provides them with a camera and tools to encourage the sharing of stories, situations and issues within their own lives and communities. There are additional resources on the site for interested youth and videos of completed projects. It is a great example of promoting Indigenous youth community building and identity through media.

Entry 5

Embedded Aesthetics: Creating a Discursive Space for Indigenous Media

This article by Ginsburg (1994) discusses Australian Aboriginal media and how diverse it is in purpose, production and use. An important consideration presented in the article is the difference between how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals view the work and what value and level of credibility they assign to it. First Nations Film and Video Makers World Alliance is mentioned in this article and may be a good place for future research regarding my topic.

November 5, 2012   No Comments

A Poor Attempt at Representing FN Culture on Vancouver Island

Weblog #3: Entry #3

Over and over again in my web research for my final project about the inter-related relationship between the FN groups in Victoria/Vancouver Island and how they influenced the BC’s capital, this website kept popping up. I initially brushed it aside as it appeared to be too simplistic and rudimentary to be on any use to me.


However, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a read. At the top of the page is ‘First Nations’ artwork of some four-legged creature with a long tail. I grew up on Vancouver Island and have been exposed to FN art for the majority of my life, yet I have no idea what this creature is. What’s worse is the fact that there is no caption as to what the image portrays, who the artist is, where the original image can be found OR why/how it relates to the information on the site.

Reading the information on the site reveals a cursory introduction to the history of Victoria and the colony of Vancouver Island and then British Columbia. The FN communities are mentioned in the first third of the information and even then are not related in the discussion that follows about European contact and the Fur Trade. So again, I wondered, what is/was the intent of the image at the top of the page?

Sadly, the only answer I can arrive at is that the image is intended to give credibility, as in authenticity of being immersed in FN culture, to the site. Without proper credit to the artist, reference to the importance of the creature to the region or clear link to the visual and the written text, it seems that on this site designers believed that an image is all that’s needed to pass something off as being of FN culture. I hope that others who may have visited this site, or will visit this site, see through the weak attempt at trying to represent FN culture here on Vancouver Island.


November 4, 2012   No Comments