Category — Module 2

Soooo~~~ This module focused on the colonial gaze, Nanook of the North, and cultural rights. I scraped together these links that I thought presented some quite interesting ideas. Again, my focus is on connections between orality and literacy, so the links show that~~


PDF available – Canadian Literature

An article on Thomas King’s Medicine River. It presents a lot of issues that come up in the novel that are relevant to the discourse we are engaging.

This link leads to a short article discussing Foucault’s idea of the Gaze, how that Gaze has become something more extreme in the present, the Gaze as an element in power struggle, and how much we are aware of this and its effects in our lives. The article does not directly address issues of a colonizing culture’s gaze on an indigenous culture, but the power struggle may have a lot of similarity.

A blog page on which some interesting points are made. I am mainly interested in the video posted near the top of the page though.

The Human Rights Education Association page on rights to culture. It outlines some of the legalities involving right to culture. It introduces some of the international bodies that are responsible for cultural rights, and it presents some of their subgroups and the goals they are attempting to achieve. At the bottom, some related lessons for educators are offered.

A collection of news stories and articles on culture and ethics that were published on the Power of Culture webpage between 2003 and 2010. The articles deal with culture issues worldwide, and many are interesting to read.


November 17, 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

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

Weblog #2: Post #3

I have been thinking about the connection between mass media and indigenous peoples – at the production level, on the screen and behind the scenes, in programming, and in air time.  How is indigenous culture represented on the Canadian screen?

CBC Aboriginal  
Links to the CBC programs and features relating to Canada’s aboriginal communities.

Cultural Diversity on TV and Radio
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) site outlining Canada’s Broadcasting Act and the upholding of cultural diversity on screen and on air – by ensuring equal rights are given based on gender, linguistics, culture and race are represented. Consideration is given to programming by and for specific groups, as well as reflecting diversity in all broadcast services.
Policies Described:

  • Native Broadcasting Policy
  • Ethnic Broadcasting Policy
  • increased licensing of ethnic and third-language stations
  • expanded availability of non-Canadian, third-language services

Emerging Filmmaker Programs
The National Film Board of Canada offers several initiatives to support new and emerging filmmakers from every part of the country.

imageNATIVE Film Festival
Founded in 1998 in Toronto, imageNATIVE is considered to be the most important Indigenous film and media festival in the world, annually showcasing, promoting, and celebrating both emerging and established Indigenous filmmakers and artists.  “imagineNATIVE is committed to dispelling stereotypical notions of Indigenous peoples through diverse media presentations from within our communities, thereby contributing to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous artistic expression.

The Aboriginal Voice: NFB and Aboriginal Filmmaking Through the Years (Gil Cardinal)
Gil Cardinal, an Edmonton-based Métis filmmaker and producer,  shares the history of the NFB and Aboriginal filmmaking in a playlist of NFB films from 1968 to present day.  A comprehensive body of films is shared to outline the NFB initiatives involved in sharing the Aboriginal Voice.


October 21, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #2: Post #2

Four Directions Teaching

Indigenous language and culture is at risk of being lost, and non-aboriginal society “generally fails to see why aboriginal cultural revitalization matters, at best supporting aboriginal approaches superficially, and valuing success only as defined from non-aboriginal views.”

Four Directions brings together elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq.  Together, they share teachings about their history and culture. The site uses animated graphics to visualize each of the oral teachings. The site provides biographies, transcripts, and learning resources.

Four Directions – English Version

Four Directions and the Full Circle Project of Toronto works to address how indigenous knowledge can be shared with urban youth in a respectful manner.

The Full Circle Project PDF Includes:

1. Vision (Roots)
2. Elements (Sap)
3.  Foundations (Tree Core)
4.  Secondary Structure (Outer Bark)
5.  Natural Development (Branches)
6. Human Gifts (Leaves)
7.  Measurement (Seeds)


“It is not important to preserve our traditions, it is important to allow our traditions
to preserve us.”
~ Gael High Pine, “The Great Spirit in the Modern World,” Akwesasne Notes, 1973

October 21, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #2: Post #1

I was searching for more understanding of the complex issue of protecting individual and collective cultural rights.  I came across this great site:

Canada’s World: Indigenous Rights

The site provides detail into the issue of cultural rights – and the need to represent and promote human rights in relation to the history, language, and cultural transitions of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.  Although Canada is perceived as a strong advocate of human rights, we don’t have the same positive reputation for Indigenous rights.  There is a close connection between Indigenous rights and environmental sustainability, protection of cultural diversity, and global issues.

Included on the site is detailed background to the topic, historical timelines, and teaching resources including an Indigenous Rights discussion guide.  The discussion guide includes information on the rights movement, the current state of Indigenous people in Canada, and challenges and opportunities to be addressed.

Discussion Guide

October 21, 2012   No Comments

Module 2 – Weblog continued

Module 2 – Manny’s Weblog continued…

In continuing with my theme on video production and broadcasting within Canadian indigenous communities, I have located the following resources that may aid me in my final paper.


1) Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking Program

This program has been offered by Capilano college of North Vancouver for the past decade. It allows aboriginal students to receive training in all elements of filmmaking and express these from an aboriginal perspective. The Aboriginal film and television production sector is growing at a rapid rate. This program seeks to equip students with the skills required to pursue a career in this industry.


2) Indigenous film timeline –

This government website has many links and information related to conflicts that arose between settlers and the Aboriginal populations across Australia. It has a wonderfully chronicled timeline that dates back to the 1920’s. There are many links to documentaries that can be downloaded or viewed online. It is very illustrative and contains a large database of information on aboriginal film. There are links at the bottom that have examples of indigenous and non-indigenous filmmakers work.


 3) Indigenous arts network (IAN)

This site boasts many examples of media produced by Canadian aboriginal artists. You can also select your province of choice and bring up local examples in many different media formats. The art presented on IAN is represented by the Nine Circles designed by the Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts – ANDPVA, namely; theatre, writing, film and video, music, new media, dance, craft and design, visual art and communication.


4) The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF)

The VIFF occurs annually and highlights some of the works created by local artists that have received notoriety in the filmmaking world. I recently had the opportunity to take my students downtown Vancouver to watch the movie “Iran Job.” Luckily the editor was in the audience and he described to our students how he was able to make the movie in a country were filming cultural norms was outlawed. I immediately thought of the subject matter in ETEC 521 and the commonalities between cultures not wanting their traditions being recorded by outsiders.


5) Government website – First nations peoples of B.C.

This is an excellent site for those wanting to know the specifics of First Nations demography in B.C. It is a primary source of information and I am thinking that it must be updated on a regular basis to ensure accuracy. There are links to research articles and case studies that focus on aboriginal education. Great website if you need factual data on local first nations populations.

I think I have enough resources on the filmmaking portion of my final project but will focus my last two weblogs on the broadcasting and distribution networks in indigenous cultures. After sifting through the vast amounts of information, I can hopefully try to narrow in on a single topic for the final assignment. Feedback is always welcome…



October 16, 2012   No Comments

Module 2 Research- David McInnes

Module 2 Entry #1- Challenges of Preserving Traditional Languages

My interest was peeked due to a documentary (Endangered Speech) I saw about how the Inuktitut language is being lost in the Canadian arctic as older generations pass on. The documentary focused on the different approaches in preserving the language, between Greenland and Canada and highlighted some challenges of preserving any cultural traditions where there are variations and differences of opinion.

Because Inuktitut was a spoken language, there have been challenges preserving the language. Several written versions have been recorded, but there is variation due to the extent of the distances from Alaska to Greenland, the various dialects, and in some instances the written text were done by missionaries of European descent.

In Greenland, they have been very successful in preserving the Greenlandic (Inuktitut) language by taking some difficult steps. They decisively acted to standardize the text to enable a greater number of print materials to be produced to help teach the young people. By standardizing the writing system they only learn one alphabet. Even though there are many dialects, there is only one official written dialect.  The “youth are Confident in identity and secure in their culture thanks to the foresight of the previous generation”.

In Canada, it has been much the opposite. There are fewer and fewer Inuktitut speakers and they have been unable to come to a compromise to select one writing system. The Elders are resistant to change and concerned about losing their dialects, or choosing one writing system.

To view the documentary:


Module 2 Entry #2- Using Technology to Preserve Traditional Languages


FirstVoices is a web based tool and service that enable First Nations communities to preserve and promote their languages. “FirstVoices is a suite of web-based tools and services designed to support Aboriginal people engaged in language archiving, language teaching & culture revitalization.

FirstVoices archives over 60 First Nations languages, and there is a “Language Tutor” that allows students to record their own voice and compare it to the examples.

I became aware of the project several years ago, when working in technology assisted learning unit of our department of education. It presented difficulty in our schools as fonts and keyboards were problematic in terms of being able to write the languages of Northern Yukon First Nations languages due to extensive use of diacritics (or accents above and below a letter that gives it a different sound).

What is most interesting is the fact that it touches on the debate to share their language, or keep it within the First Nations’ community so that only descendants have access to learning the language.

“Some language archives at FirstVoices are publicly accessible, while others are password protected at the request of the language community.”

Introduction video:


Module 2 Entry #3- Preservation of Traditional Knowledge to Protect its Sovereignty

The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

A database of traditional knowledge (medicinal practices, traditional foods, etc.) in India that gives legitimacy and protection to traditional information that otherwise might be scooped up and patented by profiteering groups outside of India. By developing accessible archives of traditional practices, India is better equipped to defend their ancient use of these traditions and knowledge. Because much of this traditional knowledge was passed down orally from generation to generation, it was very difficult to prove its origins.

“Documentation of this existing knowledge, available in public domain, on various traditional systems of medicine has become imperative to safeguard the sovereignty of this traditional knowledge and to protect it from being misappropriated in the form of patents on non-original innovations, and which has been a matter of national concern. India fought successfully for the revocation of turmeric and basmati patents granted by United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and neem patent granted by European Patent Office (EPO).”


Module 2 Entry #4- Traditional Knowledge: Collection, Preservation, Protection and Access

 SlideShare presentation by Dr. H.K. Kaul- Director, DELNET, New Delhi


Module 2 Entry #5- United Nations University- Traditional Knowledge Initiative

“aims to promote and strengthen research on traditional knowledge (TK) of indigenous and local communities conducted from a global perspective, grounded in local experience.”

Institute seeks to contribute to:

  • change mindsets and paradigms about the role of TK in our society and in key sectors such as academia, government and business;
  • increasing the recognition and importance of TK;
  • developing the application of TK in a broad range of contexts (e.g. ecosystem management and biotechnology);
  • developing strategies for the preservation and maintenance of TK; and facilitating the development of the capacity of indigenous communities to conserve and apply their knowledge in an increasingly globalized economy.

October 16, 2012   No Comments

A Short History of Victoria & First Nations

Weblog#2: Entry #5

Check out the video at the bottom of this site. In collaboration with the written text of the webpage, the video seems to pictorially tell a story of how the city of Victoria, BC and it’s surrounding 9 Coast Salish FN Bands have created a uniquely Northwest FN, British/European, and Asian community. Interestingly, there is no dialogue or voiceover. Be forewarned, the video was produced in partnership between the Province of BC, Tourism Victoria and the Victoria Conference Centre. As a result, everything is presented with a slight air of picturesque, romantic perfection, which I guess is important if you want people to visit. Needless to say, none of the unsavory aspects of Victoria made the video 😉

October 15, 2012   No Comments

Sherman’s Research – Chapter 2

As I venture further into my storytelling while expanding my view as I progressed through Module 2, I started thinking rather the resources I have so far originated from real indigenous sources or a mishmash that is put together by ‘wannabes’. In my previous research, I mentioned that I wonder if technology could help keep these stories that survived for centuries alive for even longer, but now I wonder as I research if technology would also be the killer of these centuries-old teachings due to the mass amount of mixed messages and the culture of wanting information at lightning speed, ignoring the importance of depth and the necessity of time-sensitive revealing of concepts and ideas.


Exploration #6 – Toward an Ecology of Stories: Indigenous Perspectives on Resilience
Kirmayer, L.J., Dandeneau, S., Marshall, E., Phillips, M.K., and Williamson, K.J. (2012). Toward an Ecology of Stories. The Social Ecology of Resilience, 399 – 414. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-0586-3_31

This article discusses the way indigenous people survive colonization through their ‘historical rootedness’ to formulate a theory of the resilience in the effort of supporting development of a program that. Storytelling or narrative was discussed in this chapter as a mean of maintaining cultural and individual resilience in indigenous people, which was described to assert authority and common value shared by members of the tribe.

Personal Connection:

This article slightly defer from my focus on stories. However, I think resilience is an important puzzle piece in bridging my understanding as to why storytelling is a powerful teaching tool. The ideas of asserting authority and affirming value are quite new to me in terms of value that storytelling offers. As I read this article, I wonder continuously how this fits into my research and learning in the end.


Exploration #7 – When Aboriginal and Métis Teachers use Storytelling as an Instructional Practice

This article is a research on how seven teachers incorporate storytelling into their instructional practice. It was found that the incorporation of traditional storytelling not only reflects indigenous way of learning, but it was also found that students become more active in participating in their own learning and a stronger community learner is built; through storytelling, the teacher can incorporate experience and ideas that students brought with them into the classroom more readily into the curriculum. As a result, the lessons are more relevant to the learners and, thus, participation level increased.

Personal Connection:

This is an important part of my research on storytelling. At the beginning of my research journey, I wondered how storytelling impacted learning. My naïve thinking originally relates storytelling to a more fun and imaginative way of representing information in a digestible form from a third person point of view. However, this article broadened my view to show that there is multiple layers of benefit to storytelling, many of which even a classroom for ‘mainstream’ student would likely benefit from – THIS is what I am curious about as a teacher, mentor, sister, daughter and a future mother…


Exploration #8 – Indigenous Knowledges and the Story of the Bean

Brayboy, B.M.J., and Maughan, E. (2009). Indigenous Knowledges and the Story of the Bean. Harvard Educational Review, 79(1). 1 – 21.

This portion of my exploration features a clash between the mainstream educational system and the indigenous system of knowledge. Students in an indigenous teacher preparation program question the mainstream system of knowledge. One of the indigenous student teacher reworked a science lesson to demonstrate the value and holistic of indigenous view of knowledge.

Personal Connection:

I know that storytelling is powerful, but the reason why I wanted to explore this more is because I know I like this form of teaching yet do not know how to express to other teachers as to why this might be a good incorporation for lessons (or at least my reasons are more one sided as mentioned in my previous exploration). This, along with exploration #3, provides me with reasons from a different perspective. Storytelling is not only to provide examples to a theory explained, but also a mean of creating a community that grows. Stories are not static, but dynamic with addition of stories from students, and the storyteller is not always the teacher but the classroom as a whole. This to me is completely new. Reading these article in a more of a storytelling form also feels very different from reading other academic research that are more influenced by Western knowledge views.


Exploration #9 – Indigenous Voices

Joseph, K. (2009). Indigenous Voices. World Literature Today83(5), 4.

This is a letter to the editor of World Literature Today by a Maori writer. This short letter expresses the importance of representation of indigenous voices in modern literature today to people of indigenous background and also to the understanding of indigenous culture by outsiders. The author of this letter also mentioned Patricia Grace as an Maori writer, which would be worth further exploring in my research.

Personal Connection:

This is likely not an article packed with information that I will incorporate into my final research composition at the end of this term. However, I am including this part of my research exploration because this is a letter that voices the importance of sharing indigenous stories in modern literature to both indigenous people and those of us who are not of indigenous origins. I find that the emotion presented is profound to reminding me of the importance of storytelling.


Exploration #10 – Indigenous Literacy Foundation

This is the official site for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation of Australia. This site focuses on work that is being carried out right now by the foundation to provide books and literacy resources for indigenous people in remote communities. Rather than imposing participation, the foundation invites people from these remote communities to share their stories. Stories from these communities are then shared on this site.

Personal Connection:

This is not a site on indigenous storytelling. However, the way that this website is structured perks my interest. The way that the foundation words things in terms of sharing success stories and inviting participating and potentially participating communities to share experiences seems to be a softer approach to achieving literacy in general. It is also interesting to read stories from the community. However, as I am going through this site, I also wonder if the stories presented here are influenced and shaped by more mainstream views. A further analysis and exploration would need to be done to examine this source thoroughly.


October 15, 2012   No Comments