North Vancouver Agreement between First Nations and Schools

Web log #4

Entry 3


The Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement is a five year (2011-2016) agreement made between schools, teachers, parents and governing bodies to meet the needs of students of Aborginal ancestry. It is a partnership between the Skwxwú7mesh Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation and any other aboriginals living on the North shore along with North Vancouver School District and The BC Ministry of Education. It is a commitment by all these interested parties to improve academic achievement of Aboriginal Students.

December 3, 2012   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

Weblog #3 – Post #5 – Walking Together

Looking into the connection between oral storytelling and the Alberta Language Arts curriculum, I have found my way back to the “Walking Together” First Nation, Metis, and Inuit resources – this PDF document provides details about the history of oral storytelling tradition in an excerpt from Aboriginal Perspectives.   The role of Elders in oral storytelling, teaching stories, and themes and values are expanded upon.

The Walking Together site delves far deeper than just the importance of oral tradition.  Also highlighted are:

– Traditional Environmental Knowledge
– Kinship
– Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
– Healing Historical Trauma
– Well-Being
– FNMI Worldviews
– Culture and Language
– Indigenous Pedagogy
– Connection to Land
– Symbolism and Traditions
– Elders


November 15, 2012   No Comments

Aboriginal Education: A Research Brief for Practitioners

Aboriginal Education: A Research Brief for Practitioners is a short booklet created by the University of Alberta to help guide educators in designing lessons and programs for Indigenous students.  Although it is a little simplistic, there are a number of good suggestions and there is a valuable list of resources at the end of the booklet.  Although it is not as informative as some of the other sites, articles or papers that I have found, I include this booklet because of its very practical nature.    It provides specific approaches that may be of use in helping Indigenous students to be comfortable and engage in classroom activities.

November 15, 2012   No Comments

Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy

Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education: A Literature Review with Recommendations is a paper written by Dr. Marie Battiste for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).  I started reading the article with a little bit of skepticism given its intended audience.  However, early on Dr. Battiste comments that:

“In the context of Indigenous knowledge, therefore, a literature review is an oxymoron because Indigenous knowledge is typically embedded in the cumulative experiences and teachings of Indigenous peoples rather than in a library.  The second point is that conducting a literature review on Indigenous knowledge implies that Eurocentric research can reveal an understanding of Indigenous knowledge.”  (Battiste, 2002; p. 1)

I have not read the entire paper yet, but the sections that I have read are interesting and explain the differences between Indigenous knowledge and western knowledge clearly and comprehensively.



November 15, 2012   No Comments

Culturally Relational Education in and With an Indigenous Community

Culturally Relational Education in and With an Indigenous Community is an article that appears in ‘in education‘ and open source, peer reviewed journal created by the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina.  The article details research into improving mathematics learning in Indigenous communities.  The authors used a “culturally relational” approach which involved listening to and interacting with the members of the community.  The article details different approaches to improving mathematics learning and related research approaches.

November 15, 2012   No Comments

Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing

This article begins with a story told by an elder that creates a vivid image of the Alaskan’s connection to the land and history.  Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing then goes on to discuss exactly what it says – Indigenous knowledge systems.  The article discusses “Indigenous worldviews, Native ways of knowing, cultural and intellectual property rights, and traditional ecological knowledge” and compares them to a Western scientific perspective.  I found the diagram on page 16 particularly enlightening.  It is a Venn diagram showing the approaches that Indigenous ways of learning use in one circle and the approaches that Western science uses in another, with the area of overlap called “Common Ground”.

The intent of the article is help “move the role of Indigenous knowledge and learning from the margins to the center of educational research, thereby confronting some of the most intractable and salient educational issues of our times.”

Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing – Ray Barnhardt and Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2005)  (Published in Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Vol. 36, Issue 1, pp. 8–23)


November 13, 2012   No Comments

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

Decolonizing Methodologies and Indigenous Knowledge

The full name of the paper is Decolonizing Methodologies and Indigenous Knowledge: The Role of Culture, Place and Personal Experience in Professional Development.  The pdf can be found here.  The paper discusses the attitudes of teachers to including Indigenous knowledge in their curriculum before and after a presentation on indigenous Hawai’ian science topics.

The paper was very hopeful, indicating that it is possible to change teachers’ attitudes towards including Indigenous knowledge.  What was even more interesting, was that the researcher cited Linda Smith’s (1999) book on Decolonizing Methodologies.  The author states that, “Linda Smith (1999), a Maori researcher, describes 25 decolonizing research projects to recover marginalized cultural knowledge, practices, and identity.” (Chinn, 2007; p. 1252).  Chinn (2007) then identifies five of these decolonizing methods that she used in the research.  A very interesting article and study on a variety of levels, and one that ties in math, science and Module 3’s theme of decolonization.


Chinn, P. W. U. (2007).  Decolonizing methodologies and indigenous knowledge: The role of culture, place and personal experience in professional development.  Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Volume 44, No. 9, p. 1247 – 1268.  Retrieved online at:

Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. NewYork: Zed Books Ltd.



October 23, 2012   No Comments