Weblog #4

Nearing the end of my research on integrating traditional ecological knowledge into the science curriculum, it became apparent that making connections with elders and sharing knowledge is pivotal in using TEK in the classroom. The following websites could help elders connect with students in a way that TEK can be passed down from generation to generation to all Canadian students.

International Workgroup for Indigenous Affairs
After discussing the influence of the media on indigenous communities, this website was pointed out to me. In further investigation, there is a section of environment and development that has vital information pertaining to land rights, poverty, climate change and sustainable development. There are news articles, written publications and important messages regarding environmental issues relevant to the Indigenous community. There is a news feed and many related links as well.

Indian Country Today Media Network
This media network serves to share information, news and events amongst members of the Native community online. They also advertise Pow Wows, gatherings, Sacred Sites and other events. They have news sections on the environment, education and a subsection for Canadian events only. A network like this in Canada could help students connect with elders who could share vital information about TEK and how to be a true steward of the Earth and show respect towards all living things around you.

The Vancouver Native Housing Society: Youth and Elder Connections
While the VNHS serves to provide housing as its main goal, they also have programs which enrich the lives of residences through cultural events and celebrations of heritage, arts and traditions. One of their programs is the Youth and Elder Connections “Bridging the Generations” program. In this community-based project, youth and elders are brought together through social and recreational activities, health- related workshops and mentorship. The program’s aim is to bridge the generational divide in a fun and educational way that helps to promote respect for self and others as well as Aboriginal cultures and traditions. These connections between youth and elders could involve the sharing of TEK, if specific activities were designed for this.

Peace for Turtle Island

Peace for Turtle Island provides culturally sensitive and accurate information about the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee – People of the Longhouse). They offer essays on many issues facing First Nations peoples, including the environment. Their page on cultural sensitivity is of interest because it speaks about how the internet may be spreading false information about the Iroquois peoples and their traditions. The author of the website designed this site as a way to educate others about the Iroquois from a first-person perspective. Their page on language, music and the arts is also very interesting and informative as well.

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick: Acadian Forest

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick published an article of traditional ecological knowledge. It explains in brief what TEK is all about and how it is an essential tool to be used in safeguarding the Acadian forest. They address the talking circle that took place on February 26, 2009, where the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, the Schoodic Band of the Passamaquoddy Nation of St. Andrew’s, the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability and the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (BoFep) hosted a talking circle on conservation and cooperation at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The outcome of this talking circle was that awareness was made about the concerns the indigenous peoples have in terms of conservation.
The second part of the project was to hold conversations with traditional forest knowledge keepers in parts of New Brunswick. The goal of each interview was to identify the challenges to the health of the Acadian forest and its species; how TEK could be used to ensure a healthy forest for future generations, and how traditional ecological knowledge can be protected.

December 3, 2012   No Comments