Category — General

Module 1 Post 2 – Money, politics and ethics TREMBLAY

What would happen if you didn’t need any money to run for political office? While politics and capital have an uneasy relationship, they are absolutely but unofficially connected. For example ask yourself: How easy it would be to run a political campaign without large sums of capital to finance all the expenses for media, space, paraphernalia, nevermind the time involved.  The ethical problems related to the finances involved in political participation, especially at the very top levels, where much more money is involved and needed for “success”, are huge but often ignored in the name of moving forward and progress. However that capital can come with an expectation or price that is in direct contrast with the interests of the constituents who elect the person to office.

So what happens when the people are told that a system is designed to work for them, but instead is subverted instead to work against their interests? Couldn’t that be considered the same sort of exploitive tactic that was sold to trusting indigenous cultures during colonization? Unfortunately, when the people speak out against this sort of injustice, they are not portrayed much better than the groups in the past who have spoken out against capital exploitation:

Recently Stephen Harper confirmed his pro-business approach to Canadian politics (again) when he attended  a trade mission rather than take the time to address some concerns of the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Canada.

A second example of this type of capitally motivated subversion is how technology is supposed to make things cheaper and easier, but we have allowed a system  to develop which allows for huge amounts of public money to be spent on political advertisements and media. Marshall McLuhan famously said “The medium IS the message”, but if this is the case then we are willingly submitting ourselves for exploitation and considering the power and reach of modern media, the consequences could be dire:

These attack ads were run while simultaneously to the conservative party’s working towards shutting down the CBC, canada’s only publically (non corporate) owned media outlet.

The final video and article that I chose is an interview that the guardian did with David Simon the writer of the wire who talks about the war on drugs, its roots in capitally influenced public policy and how it has in fact created a situation where the constituents, in most cases the weakest members of said society, are not just mis-represented but instead exploited by the system that deigns to protect them.

June 20, 2013   No Comments

Module 1 Post 1 – Constitutional problem and challenge TREMBLAY

My focus is on how capital encourages the exploitation of cultural and technological inequities. Where once it was colonial power unafraid to exploit the trust and technological inferiority of indigenous peoples communities, the role of has now been supplemented by corporate power  unafraid to navigate the convoluted and linguistically impenetrable waters of judicial process. Worse yet, it often operates under the guise benefactor and philanthropist.

If the goal throughout the weblog process is to integrate and implement the modules directed learning  in the topic focusing phase and the initial question of the first module asks if technology is culturally neutral, my first question is: What is obfuscating our view? Put more simply, what technology exists today that most cannot understand, yet plays a huge role in how our world functions, thus allowing us to be exploited in a similar way to first nations?

The first, and most obvious answer to me was the document that was originally used to protect us from possible exploitation: The Canadian Constitution. Here is a link on how constitutional challenges work:

Iceland is the first example of a country that realized their constitution was being used against them and acted accordingly after the financial crisis of 2008:

Most political laws need updating in order to maintain relevance and combat exploitation. The constitution is no exception and for those that argue it’s a sacred document, you only need to look as far as the recent battles in the United States surrounding the second amendment. Iceland realized this and as such constructed it through crowdsourcing, (the most democratically available methodology).

YouTube Preview Image

Questions about internet availability in Iceland can be answered here:

June 20, 2013   No Comments

Connection to Research – Tremblay

I have been considering my topic for quite some time for my research focus and I keep coming back to Winston Churchill’s quote: “Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”.

My struggle and interest within the field of education technology has always been focused on relevance and the absolute need for it when considering educational policy and spending. Out of my current understanding of the historic and colonial systematic exploitation of Canadian First Nation’s people, my question is: “How has the contemporary Globalization economic movement, with its focus on worldwide neo-liberal capitalism and the privitization/exploitation therein, compare and contrast to the conquest and exploitation of the Aboriginal people’s residing in the Americas, and more specifically Canadian First Nations.” Research materials with regards to both subjects should be plentiful as Canadians first nations exploitation (residential schools, resource claims, treaty issues, marginalization effects etc.) are still being dealt with today, (or not dealt with in the case of the Harper Government), and the documentation of the worldwide privatization of public resources is a contemporary concern, very often focusing on Aboriginal treaties/resource and land claims.

Any input or suggestions from my classmates will be valued.

June 20, 2013   No Comments

Module 1 – Weblog 4 – Closing the Gap – Moore

“Closing the Gap for Aboriginal Students.” Dr. Emily Faries


This site (Ministry of Education – Ontario) contains many articles and links, one of which is Dr. Faries, “Closing the Gap for Aboriginal Students.”  I believe my focus for my final project is going to be something on the integration of Aboriginal culture into curriculum and courses.  My district is currently offering English: First Peoples 11-12 for the first time and has offered BC First Nations 12 for a number of years.  I know there is a heavy emphasis on Aboriginal grad rates here, due to our relatively high Aboriginal population.  I want to examine what we are doing and maybe look at what we can do better. I digress…

The article, “Closing the Gap for Aboriginal Students,” is a discussion on how to meet the educational needs of Aboriginal students.  Faries believes without knowing and understanding the plight of First Nation peoples in Canada, it is difficult to engage and interact educationally with Aboriginal students.  A bit of history, from residential school to federal day school was discussed.  It must be recognized that schools were designed to destroy the culture and as a result, there is an inherent mistrust of the educational system.

To combat this, schools must embrace and enhance Aboriginal culture.  It is imperative to start building the bridges between school and success with Aboriginal systems.  Education can be used to revitalize language and culture.  In order to do so, the curriculum must be changed to incorporate culture.  Courses could be offered in native languages.

Although not geographically relevant to my province, it does demonstrate different ways culture can be incorporated.  I cannot stress enough the importance of the statement that due to the negative history (residential schools, etc.), education is viewed with distrust.  Hopefully, the implementation of Aboriginal culture goes a long ways to rectifying that situation.



June 3, 2013   No Comments

Angela – Module 1

This article is written by anthropologist and tattoo specialist Lars Krutak. Tattooing and headhunting are a meaningful part of the Kayan or indigenous people of Borneo. Tribal lifestyle is threatened not by the social structure in Borneo, where countless ethnicities and tribes live peacefully on one land; they are threatened by the destruction of the rainforest. This article gives a great overview of some Dayak traditions, but does unfortunately not accredit individual tribes for their symbols, beliefs and practices.

Here is the website of one of the last tattoo artists to use the tapping technique instead of an electric device. I was lucky meet Ernesto, and we had a great conversation about educational technology which is the premise of my blogroll; he was adamant that the culture of a traditional craft cannot be related over the internet, only the technique. This turned the focus of my research to include community building amongst tribes. Ernesto collected “genuine” artefacts (ones that were actually used in ceremony for rituals such as headhunting) from his own Iban tribe, and will only use the tapping method for traditional designs from Borneo.

This video from about 30 years ago shows an American travelling couple as the first Americans to visit a particular Iban longhouse. Tribe members honestly share the details of headhunting with the inquisitive couple. I appreciate this documentation, as it was created openly as Don and Betty stayed as guests in the longhouse. Even though much of the final cut focuses on the sensational headhunting, footage of the people as relaxed, hospitable and with humour helps the spell the notion of savage that might arise with the label “headhunter”.

Even further back in time, I like this video because as it shows some tender human moments, but also because it shows the songket weaving, Pua Kumbu, by one of the young girls.  The video does not list the tribe, it boasts itself as a vessel for time travel. One thing I appreciated about Sarawak (In Borneo) is that local people were very interested in this kind of slice of life from the history of the land’s people. Many places that I visited would frame old photos or other artistic renderings for the walls instead of more contemporary art.

This is a 50 minute documentary that follows two Canadian guys looking for traditional (tapping) tattoo artists in the jungles of Borneo. They learn how the practice cannot be separated from spirituality, community and the afterlife. They are joined by Lars Krutak, and become physically and mentally involved in the lifestyle of the Iban with a surprising ending. Actually, incredible.



June 2, 2013   No Comments

Canadian Council on Learning

Web log #4

Entry 1


The Canadian Council  on Learning has a variety of excellent resources. This Summary report, Naturalizing Indigenous Knowledge has been created by the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre and is a rich resource for definition and clarification of Aboriginal Knowledge and Place-based Learning. It examines Aboriginal roots, social conditions, racism among a host of other topics.

December 3, 2012   No Comments

Final Post: Reflection on Connection to Research Topic

When I started out this research project, I searched long and hard for academic articles relating traditional ecological knowledge to the science curriculum. What I ended up finding was actually more hands-on materials to use in the classroom instead of only theoretical articles. I found full units online that can be used to integrate TEK into the science curriculum and that there are other nations who have been working on adding an indigenous perspective to the science curriculum already which could serve as good models to follow. Also, there are many articles out there about teaching strategies for teaching science to Indigenous students and being culturally sensitive to the fact that the Western scientific perspective is only one way of looking at science. My research focus shifted from finding a theoretical knowledge base of ideas to work with in implementing TEK into the curriculum to finding more of a “teaching tool kit” of materials, activities, units and strategies that can be used in the classroom.

December 3, 2012   No Comments

Final Weblog Statement

Statement connecting weblog to research interests

As I reflect on my weblog entries, I realized that my research focus drastically changed from what I started with. Initially, I had intended to narrow in on the use of media; specifically video production and its implications on student engagement. Almost all my weblog posts were directed towards this area and the Tim Michel interview in the last week changed all that. I began to think holistically and even though the most important part of conducting research is narrowing down a topic, I decided that I would take the opposite approach in my final project. As such, I picked out the main themes that stuck out to me within this course and articulated my thoughts on them. My understanding of the subject matter is a culmination of prior experience, course readings, weblog entries and discussion. For this reason, my weblog entries are not directly related to my final project but along with other peoples entries, they did play a role in furthering my understanding.


Manny Loyla

December 3, 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

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