Weblog #4 – Post #1 – Digital Harvest

Part of my final project focused on digital storytelling projects being used in communities to tell important stories.  One of the projects I stumbled across is based in Vancouver Island and coastal BC communities.  Digital Harvest is a community based initiative that focuses on engaging both elders and youths.  They are given an opportunity to share traditions, culture, knowledge, and practices while producing digital stories.  These stories create an intergenerational connection between elders and youth that gives communities ownership of the information being presented.  Pretty cool.


Additionally, they hold a Digital Story Workshop in Tofino – where “selected participants are invited to a 3-day land, culture, and food workshop”.  Day 1 focuses on how food has been traditionally harvest and how colonization has impacted food systems and life.  The second day looks at how food and lifestyle changes in modern day, and how we consider traditions and history.  Digital stories are also introduced this day.  Day three focuses on the digital media skills necessary to create stories.  Participants will create their own digital stories.  Once the workshop wraps, the youth and elders are given cameras to take their ideas and knowledge back home to continue sharing.  I love the idea of food and stories bringing communities together and empowering youth and elders.



November 26, 2012   No Comments

Crystal Atlantique

This site, Crystal Atlantique, outlines a research project on ethnomathematics.  The three main goals of the research are stated as:

  1. What mathematics is already present in the disenfranchised cultures (both traditional and modern)?
  2. What conflicts exist between the everyday mathematics in these cultures and Western school mathematics?
  3. How can this mathematical knowledge be incorporated into the learning and teaching of mathematics in school setttings?

The research progress states that the first year was dedicated to conversations with a mathematics teacher and five elders from Mi’kmaq community.  The tone of the site is respectful and includes other disenfranchised cultures (such as franophone communities).  There are also valuable links within this site to work done by David Wagner, an associate professor at the University of New Brunswick, on ethnomathematics.

As I search deeper into what information is available on the internet connecting mathematics and Indigenous people, I am made increasingly aware of the positive results found by applying ethnomathematics principles to mathematics instruction.  Helping students become aware of the depth of mathematical ability and the authentic prevalence of mathematics within their cultures is very powerful.  This site is one example of this type of research.

October 19, 2012   No Comments

Our Words Our Ways

Module #2

Source #1

“OUR WORDS OUR WAYS Teaching First Nations, Inuit and Metis Learners” is an Alberta based comprehensive education package for elementary learners. The document can be found at https://education.alberta.ca/media/307199/words.pdf .The program links cooperative learning and community, with sharing of traditional values. It includes a helpful section on things to consider when selecting of aboriginal content for your class. Infused throughout the document are stories, which act as illustrations and examples of concepts taught and “shared wisdom” of traditional teaching that underlines the concepts.


October 14, 2012   No Comments

Tipatshimuna – Innu Stories from the land

The Innu Virtual Museum provides an excellent example of the use of technology to create a record of the elders’ (Tipatshimuna’s) stories.  The Innu people have created a digital website to share their traditional lives with other Innu and people across Canada.  The perspectives provided offer an understanding of what life was like for Innu youth and families.  Exhibit galleries, videos, audio clips, Innu youth stories and elder autobiographies help create this digital cultural story.

I believe this website would be an excellent resource for teaching about Canada’s Indigenous, particularly northern Quebec and Labrador.  As well, the collection is an excellent example of empowering Indigenous youth to learn about their culture through the use of technology.


September 20, 2012   No Comments

Google Earth Preserving Indigenous Culture

I never realized the potential of Google Earth to preserve cultures.  Chief Almir Surui of the Brazilian Indigenous Surui recognized that Google Earth would enable his people to create and preserve a cultural map of their ancestral lands.  The article on Mashable provides an overview of the Surui project in text and video format.

Chief Almir Surui was concerned with two issues: loss of culture and unsustainable illegal logging of the Amazon. “These days you can’t separate talking about culture from talking about technology, there’s no separation between these things,” Chief Almir Surui told Mashable.  Chief Almir embraced technology and partnered with Google: training Elders and a group of young students on how to use laptops and cellphones to take pictures, videos, map locations and record stories.  The result is a technological record of Surui historical sites, land, animals and traditions.

I was struck by this story because I believe Chief Almir Surui recognized that his tribe was fighting a losing battle, and therefore needed to combine traditional methods with western technological approaches.  Combined, the elders and students have brought awareness to Amazon deforestation and the challenges affecting Indigenous people.


September 20, 2012   No Comments

Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability

The UNESCO Teacher Education Module provides an overview of key topics concerning Indigenous education.  Six modules are provided for teachers to examine:

1.The wisdom of the elders.

2. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3. Why is indigenous knowledge important?

4. Living by indigenous knowledge.

5. Indigenous and formal education.

6. Enhancing the curriculum through indigenous knowledge.

Of particular interest to me was the section on Indigenous and formal education.  This section highlighted the differences between Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge.  I was reminded of Marker’s (2006) article, “After the Makah Whale Hunt: Indigenous Knowledge and Limits to Multicultural Discourse.”  The very first point made in the comparison is that Indigenous Education values the sacred and spiritual knowledge, whereas formal education often excludes the spiritual and is very secular.  This correlates with the obliviousness presented by the administrators, teachers and students to the Whale Hunt and the Makah student’s story.

This website is an excellent read for educators to gain an understanding of how to honour Indigenous traditional education, support Indigenous students in the classroom, and provide Indigenous perspective.


September 20, 2012   No Comments