Category — Connection to Research Topic

Indigenous health education – music and technology

Weblog 3.5

In another weblog I looked at children’s health education, music and technology. In this weblog I feature a website developed by a remote community controlled health service – Nganampa Health Council.

UPK (Uwankara Palyanku Kanyintjaku) means everybody creating holding and caring for the future. It is a health promotion strategy for the Anangu (people) of the Anangu Pitantjatjajara Yankunytjatjara Lands in north-west South Australia.

The Nganampa Health Council saw the power of music to bring awareness to health issues affecting the people who live in the remote communities.

The UPK5 website is well presented, clearly demonstrates relationship with the land, and highlights the musicians and music from their fifth album released in 2011.

The uniqueness of the health education music/technology interface:

  • the songs relate to health issues and “reflect that caring for ones children, commitment to family and vigilance (are) the best weapons”
  • all musicians are Aboriginal
  • both established and up and coming musicians are involved
  • songs are sung in the Anangu language
  • each album has been recorded at different remote sites on the Anangu land with a mobile state of the art production and recording studio
  • the music is the commonest music heard through the APY Lands.

More recently UPK5 tracks are also featured on a national radio station TripleJ.

November 3, 2012   No Comments

Health education for children – music and technology delivery

Weblog 3.4

Exploring the use of technology to deliver Indigenous health education there are two resources I wanted to focus on in this weblog. Both combined music and technology and one also included animation.
Each resource highlights different accessibility issues. One had national coverage through its use on radio and TV, and international access through YouTube (however it has had only just over 2,100 views). The other is a DVD resource costing $30 which requires schools or medical practices and services to purchase it.
Both songs were written by Indigenous Aboriginals.

1.  Eyes – YouTube video
Sight For All launched the music video Eyes in September 2011 which highlights the problem of eye disease – trachoma and diabetes – among Australian Aboriginal people.  Written and performed by Indigenous hip-hop artist Colin Darcy (a.k.a. Caper), the video features Aboriginal Australian Football League players from the Adelaide Crows and Port Power.

2. The Snot song
This is a DVD resource that has a song and animation to encourage BBC (Breathe, Blow, Cough) to prevent otitis media (ear infection). It is designed for children aged 0-8 years.
A ‘teaser’ of the animated song –  taken from

November 3, 2012   No Comments

Indigenous Health education online

Weblog 3.3

The Indigenous HealthInfoNet is a website that “aims to inform practice and policy in Indigenous health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible.” In this way it makes a contribution to ‘closing the gap’ in Indigenous health. It is developed and maintained by an academic unit of Edith Cowan University (ECU) .

They see themselves as involved in ‘translational research’ a term which is emerging as a integrative description of the processes of translating knowledge into practice and policy (knowledge into action) and based on the Canadian concept of knowledge translation.

The material covers

  • around 30 health and health-related topics of relevance to Indigenous health;
  • eight population groups (such as women, infants and children, and offenders); and
  • Indigenous health by states and territories.

While much of the website is dedicated to government, health professional resources the website has list of health promotion resources according to topic accessible to the community.  I looked at the health promotion resources listed for three topics – diabetes, cardiovascular disease and ear health. Most resources were written resources and use of technology was in the minority. As with most internet resources a proportion of the web links were no longer accessible.

Diabetes (see diagram) as an example had 71 resources listed, of which 16 (22%) were audiovisual, 2 (3%) were designated as electronic source (but did not have active links)  and 1 (1%) was an online multimedia. The remainder were booklets, fact sheets, flipcharts, posters and resource packages. Other topic resources also included comics.

Technology versus print

November 3, 2012   No Comments


The December 2011 report of the Standing Senate committee on Aboriginal Peoples is entitled REFORMING FIRST NATIONS EDUCATION: FROM CRISIS TO HOPE This reflects the theme from “Decolonizing Methodologies” author Linda Smith and her discussion of how spaces of marginalization have become spaces of hope. This 80 page Senate document is also available online at and It is a document that explores historical periods of First nations education, and also examines the current situation. It discusses the need for further infrastructure, funding, and reform, and issues recommendations for a new framework for first Nations Education in Canada.
This document/website is one that I have encountered as I prepare to work on my paper looking at how best to benefit First Nations students in my classroom.

November 1, 2012   No Comments

Resources for Teachers: Aboriginal Canada Portal

This is a Government of Canada site with a number of different links connected through it (hence: portal) From Aboriginal Math resources, to literature, resource guides and Native dancing. There is a section on just lesson plans, including tidbits on Louis Riel, Inuit sculpture and Inukshuk, short Metis plays, and Wellness handbooks. Extensive menus and sidebar tabs lead to many related resources and sites. While it is a Government sponsored site and political bias is always an issue we face, there is also a lot of useful material that can be used and implemented if we are looking to upgrade the First Nations and Canadian content in High School English and Social Studies (and drama, art….) classes.

October 31, 2012   No Comments

FN Murals in the BC Legislature: 1932 vs. 2007

Weblog #3: Entry #2

Further to Entry #1, this website explores the term ‘Redwashing’ and the implications of murals commissioned in 1932 illustrating FN in Victoria and BC. As it turns out, these 4 murals were removed as they were highly offensive and degrading, to touch on a few aspects of the discussion. Of interest to me is how the removal of these murals highlights how FN groups in Victoria continue to shape the culture of the city/community. In this case, the 1932 murals in the BC Legislative Buildings depicted a primitive and stereotypical version of aboriginal peoples. It took until 2007 for the murals to be removed as a result of a parliamentary motion. This example shows us that with concentrated and continued effort, past wrongs can sometimes be corrected.


October 31, 2012   No Comments

Aboriginal Pedagogies

Weblog 3.1

The conclusion of module three stated “… indigenous principles could be applied in mainstream and dominant educational settings to produce a more progressive and sustainable future for schools and communities. Indigenous education is not simply for Indigenous peoples.”

I found an Australian article arguing just this – that the Indigenous way of teaching can be a deep learning for all learners.

Tyson Yunkaporta, an Aboriginal Education Consultant, undertook a research project Aboriginal Pedagogies at the Cultural Interface that asked two questions:

1. How can teachers engage with Aboriginal knowledge?

Similar to aspects of Indigenous learning outlined by Marker (2011) and Barhardt and Kawagley (2005), Yunkaporta has developed an 8ways Aboriginal Pedagogical Framework comprising story telling, learning maps, non-verbal, symbols and images, land links, non-linear, deconstruct/reconstruct and community links, which all interact in multiple ways. You can view the diagramatic representation of the framework on the site.

He argues, in the Draft Report that there is a common-ground phenomenon when higher order knowledge from Indigenous systems is brought alongside similar western systems. p20 of the report  has this diagrammatically as a ‘Boomerang Matrix of Cultural Interface Knowledge’.

Yunkaporta states that “non-Aboriginality (is) not found to be a barrier to engaging with Aboriginal knowledge. …… Aboriginality in itself does not provide some kind of magic ticket for engaging with Aboriginal knowledge. Any person, regardless of their background, must have a sophisticated awareness of their own identity and must be engaging in local knowledge protocols in order to come to Aboriginal knowledge with integrity.” p27

2. How can teachers use Aboriginal knowledge authentically and productively in schools?

Yunkaporta’s solution lies in the application of Aboriginal processes rather than Indigenised content (which he outlines in depth in the second half of his report).



Barnhardt, R., & Kawagley,  A. O., “Indigenous Knowledge Sytems and Alaskan Native ways of Knowing” Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 36(1), 2005, 8-23.

Marker M. Teaching History form an Indigenous perspective. Four winding paths up the mountain.

Yunkaporta, T. (2009) Aboriginal Pedagogies at the Cultural Interface draft report

October 31, 2012   No Comments

Aboriginal Title and Rights: Victoria, BC

Weblog 3: Entry #1

What a website! In my initial perusals this site takes on the issue of Aboriginal Title and Rights. With specific reference to the ‘Indian-Land’ Page and the ‘Disinherited’ Link, a magnifying glass is set upon the colonial actions of Queen Victoria and her Government in the role it played in promoting British settlement while subjugating FN culture and society in Victoria BC. The discussions and commentary, with specific examples of murals, buildings, statues and pictures etc. illustrates some of the foundations for present day frustrations and struggles for equality, on the part of FN tribes on the West Coast.


October 29, 2012   No Comments

De-colonizing education in Prince George : Nusdeh Yoh

I have posted a number of times about the aboriginal choice school in Prince George. The newspaper today featured an extended article about the renaming of the school – a long arduous process taking into account myriad stakeholders and language conventions. This changes from “The aboriginal choice school” or “Carney Hill Elementary” to Nusdeh Yoh (“house of the future”) in the langauge of the Lheidli T’enneh, on whose traditional lands the school is situated. The article talks about the curriculum covered in the school, and is a crystal clear example of reclaiming and advancing traditional values, an an environment that is not resonant of the Henry Ford assembly line model of education that the rest of us cleave unto.

From the article:
“Our students come from all over the place — we have Carrier, Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Gitxsan, Kispiox, Tl’azt’en, we’ve had some Objibwe students, and some from areas I can’t pronounce,” laughed Gillis.

“These kids know more about language than I ever had the opportunity to learn when I was younger, and it was my mom’s first language,” said Gillis, part of the Saik’uz First Nation south of Vanderhoof… My mom never taught it to me back when I was younger because they didn’t see the value of retaining it. It’s exciting to see the kids learning it now.”

October 25, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #2: Post #5

Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC)

This site offers information garnered on the Summit on Aboriginal Education, where education ministers and leaders from Aboriginal organizations met to improve Aboriginal education.

The summit focused on:
1. raising public awareness of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education and the need to eliminate gaps between learners.
2. building support for partnerships with Aboriginal organizations.
3. identifying areas for action to meet the goals of Learn Canada 2020 
4. engaging federal government in Aboriginal education issues to implement policy change.
5. building networks for future collaboration.

Aboriginal Education Action Plan
Aboriginal Education Best Practices
Summit on Aboriginal Education Report 


October 21, 2012   No Comments