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

Hope or Heartbreak: Aboriginal Youth and Canada’s Future

Horizons: Policy Research Initiative (March, 2008) titled Hope or Heartbreak: Aboriginal Youth and Canada’s Future

This document contains multiple articles pertaining to issues facing Aboriginal youth.  I was particularly interested in Castellano’s article titled, “Reflections on Identity and Empowerment.”   Castellano discusses the foundation (and policy) necessary for Aborginal youth to be empowered, connect to their community, and find academic and personal success in Canadian society.  The article highlights Aboriginal youth historical and current resiliency, and provides information on how to support youth and acknowledge their experiences.   Aboriginal youth have a promising future, however the author indicates government and educational policy will need to be created and implemented to support youth.

Castellano, M.  (2008).  Reflections on identity and empowerment: Recurring themes in the discourse on and with aboriginal youth.  Horizons: Policy Research Initiative, 10(1), p.   7-12.  Retrieved from www.horizons.gc.ca/doclib/Horizons_Vol10Num1_final_e.pdf


November 25, 2012   No Comments

Urban Native Youth Association

The Urban Native Youth Association is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver.  The organization provides support for Indigenous youth who are living off-reserve in Vancouver.  “UNYA’S mandate is to provide meaningful opportunities for Native youth (Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit, First Nations, Status, Non-Status) in the urban setting. Our goal is to be a safe place for Native youth to come and find out about programs and services at UNYA and in the broader community.”  The website is an example of how groups and Indigenous communities are using technology to reach community members.

The website has multiple resources including information on parenting, health, eating on a budget, empowering youth, sexual exploitation, sports and rec, GLBTQT/ Two-Spirited Youth issues, and post-secondary education. As well, there are links to multiple news articles focusing on indigenous education issues such as: curriculum, Aboriginal Focus School, and graduation.

I felt this site was a worthwhile read because it targets urban Aboriginal youth (which my paper is focused on), is a technological forum for support, and presents pertinent issues for its audience.


November 25, 2012   No Comments

Shannen’s Dream

I first heard of Shannen’s Dream last year and was blown away by the social action endeavors of this young woman to bring “safe and comfy schools” to all First Nation communities.  I was reminded of Shannen this module for two reasons. First, like the youth in March Point she was empowered to take action and advocate for change in her community.  She is an inspiration for young people across Canada and particularly Indigenous youth.  Shannen used video and social media to connect with children and media outlets across the country to raise awareness of the educational injustices Attawapiskat students were facing.  Secondly, she empowered her community and the country to change the funding model of Aboriginal education in Canada, thus taking a step towards decolonization.  After her untimely death, her classmates, family and community continued to advocate for improved funding, resulting in a funding change this year.


November 3, 2012   No Comments