VNFC, SD 61, 62 and 63, Royal BC Museum: Together on the First Peoples Cultural Awareness Program for Students

Weblog #4: Entry #3

The Victoria Native Friendship Center in partnership with all three greater Victoria School Districts (SDs #61, 62 and 63) and the Royal BC Museum offer the First Peoples Box of Treasures Cultural Awareness Program. What is interesting to note is that this program is targeted at all students and uses in class visits and the museum to bring cultural awareness about FN culture here on Vancouver Island and BC in general. I take from this program that all the partners in program recognize and believe that to be a contributing and well rounded member of the community here in Victoria, BC one must have an awareness of and appreciation for how FN culture is intertwined with the city and the province.


November 25, 2012   No Comments

SD#62: Sooke – Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement

Weblog #4: Entry #2

Since I started ETEC 521, I’ve been wondering how the issue of Western education conflicts with or compliments FN belief systems or ways of knowing. While my question(s) focus more on present day instances of education I am aware of the history of Residential Schools here in Canada. More specifically, I wonder about my school district (SD #62: Sooke) which identifies itself by the Anglicized spelling of the T’So-uke First Nation which resides in the same educational catchment area of southern Vancouver Island.

Our student population is made up of approximately 1000 FN students, or approximately 10% of the students in the district. So how do we, as educators, community members, mentors, leaders etc. educated in Western languages and science, excite, engage and reach out to students from a distinctly different society and culture? Having reflected on the course readings thus far, it is evident that ‘learning’ in school can sometimes run contradictory to FN experiences, stories and values.

Apparently, my school district has been very much concerned with these same concerns and in 2009 proposed the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. Skimming this document, linked as off of the site below highlights some differences between Western and FN notions of ‘Student Success’ and the ‘Goals’ of education. I was glad to have taken a look at what things are being done in my own district to recognize the real and honest differences/assumptions that we tend to make about our students and their learning.


November 24, 2012   No Comments

Royal Roads University Recognizes Coast Salish Lands

Weblog #3: Entry #4

Seems like Royal Roads University (RRU) in Colwood, BC just 20 min Northwest of Victoria, has taken a leading role in recognizing the realities of land claims and title as it relates to the land surrounding the city. More specifically, RRU through it’s website recognizes its history beyond the ownership of the land by 18th century coal barons and mentions the Coast Salish as the original residents. The school then goes on to give thanks to the Coast Salish people for sharing their traditions and teachings with the university. The fact that the Indigenous Relations page is a mere two links away from the home page highlights the importance of FN culture in the Western Communities and RRU has done a good job in keeping this relationship at the forefront rather than burying it within obscure, difficult to find links on their website.

I wonder how UVic’s and Camosun College’s sites deal with the issue of giving land recognition and thanks to local FN groups?


November 5, 2012   No Comments

Aboriginal Title and Rights: Victoria, BC

Weblog 3: Entry #1

What a website! In my initial perusals this site takes on the issue of Aboriginal Title and Rights. With specific reference to the ‘Indian-Land’ Page and the ‘Disinherited’ Link, a magnifying glass is set upon the colonial actions of Queen Victoria and her Government in the role it played in promoting British settlement while subjugating FN culture and society in Victoria BC. The discussions and commentary, with specific examples of murals, buildings, statues and pictures etc. illustrates some of the foundations for present day frustrations and struggles for equality, on the part of FN tribes on the West Coast.


October 29, 2012   No Comments

Connecting Weblog to Research Interests: The Western Communities

Weblog #1: Entry #5

Thus far, my thoughts and feelings around indigenity and technology have meandered liked a tributary heading toward a large body of water. At times ideas rush forward in class 3 rapids while most other times the body of thought is happy to move downstream in careful, ponderous reflection. Being interested in the factors that have lead to the community of which I am a part of, I decided to take a closer look at the Western Communities, made up of View Royal, Langford and Colwood, approximately 15 min North of Victoria, BC. More specifically, I plan to focus on how the Western dominant culture has at times worked with, clashed or merged with the three Nations in the immediate area. My sense is that the dominant culture, although it may have initially bullied its way into determining what our community has come to look and be defined as, has been tempered by the communities, beliefs and values of the T’Souke, Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to produce a uniquely hybrid sense of community. I am eager to discover how technology has played and continues to play a role in this hypothesized relationship.

October 1, 2012   No Comments

Esquimalt Nation’s Concept of Community

Weblog #1: Entry #4

While viewing the Esquimalt Nation’s Community Building site I happened upon the statement:

“At the core of the plan are the Natural Laws, which guide the Cycle of Life. These, in turn, inform the Plan, which will consist of a series of goals, objectives and policies covering topics of importance to the community.”

I’m interested in the Natural Laws and the Cycle of Life as defined by the Esquimalt Nation. These two factors will clearly have a role in the emerging community and must therefore have an impact on the larger Western Communities. It’s just a hypothesis at this stage so I’ll look to refine my ideas as I progress.



October 1, 2012   No Comments

Songhees Nation

Weblog #1: Entry#3

The more surfing/research I do the more I realize that I have so little knowledge about the communities around me. Just looking at the Songhees Nation website you get the sense of just how organized and structured a Band can be. There are departments and systems in place to help foster a growing community.

Another point of interest to me was the clear link and partnership with two post secondary institutions, UVic and Camosun College, which were linked directly on the Songhees’ Community Development Page:

September 30, 2012   No Comments

Western Communities: T’Sou-ke Nation

Weblog #1: Entry #2

So I decided to start with the T’Sou-ke Nation as a jumping off point by which to frame my research into how indigenous and the Western dominant community have worked together to create a larger community. Check out the Solar-Power Project on the T’Sou-ke Nation Website – apparently the largest solar power project in BC. Here is a prime example of FN sustainability and environmental awareness blending with Western Science.


September 30, 2012   No Comments