The Wayfinders

Module #2


I have included this book as I have found the authors perspective on global cultural diversity unsurpassed. Author Wade Davis an ethnographer and self described story-teller has travelled widely and shares his experiences of vastly different cultures from a global perspective. He has made his home base in central BC and has gained a respectful reputation among the Tahltan First Nations peoples as he has contributed to the opposition of development in the ‘Sacred Headwaters’ of the Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers. Davis argues that globalization does not create harmony and integration among all groups. Instead he says, in many places it has wiped away languages, cultures and “visionary wisdom” (p.201)

Davis, W.  (2009) Wayfinders Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World. Toronto, Ontario: House of Anansi Press.


October 14, 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 .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

8th Fire

The blatant stereotyping and exaggerations of Nanook of the North reminded me of the importance of deconstructing stereotypes in film, thus I gravitated towards finding appropriate Indigenous film resources for the classroom.   8th Fire is a CBC documentary film series about the relationship between Aboriginal people and other Canadians.  The website has a plethora of resources on Aboriginal perspective, history and stereotypes.  Although only a couple of clips from 8th Fire can be viewed on line, there are multiple other videos in which Aboriginal people are interviewed.  These short videos provide perspective on Aboriginal tradition, culture, politics, stereotypes and rights.  The videos have the potential for sharing Aboriginal culture and issues with non-Aboriginal students, but also with Aboriginal students.  As with any media, teachers would have to encourage critical viewing and media literacy when viewing the videos.

Another interesting aspect of the site is the Aboriginal Filmmaker section.  Because I am researching how to support Aboriginal students in their studies, I found the personal stories about the filmmakers quite engaging.  The written word combined with the digital stories about their experiences, family and traditions provided another layer of depth to this site.  I would be interested to see how Aboriginal students receive these stories, if they connect with the filmmakers, and if students would be motivated to create their own videos.

October 11, 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