Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Sun Dance: Connecting with the Children (Media and the Great Debate)

A controversy has erupted in Manitoba. The first time since the 1960s a Sundance ceremony has been recorded. There have been many negative and positive comments about this. APTN the Canadian National Aboriginal TV Network did a three part mini series in June 2013. What are some of the reasons against or for sharing the Sundance ceremony?
At the end of the Sundance with my boys

In the 19th century up until the mid 20th century many of the traditional ceremonies were recorded both in word, but visually with photos and later in video. Many of those doing this recording were anthropologists, Indianophiles and in the 1950s and 60s Indigenous peoples themselves. There was a tendency after the 1900s to start hiding the ceremonies because religious officials and government agents would take children during the ceremonies and they had been declared illegal both in Canada and the United States

To see the video

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Perceptions of Aboriginal Students (Radio documentary)

Summary: Albee, Kamila, and Kurt look the perceptions of aboriginal students through research, interviews, and our own opinions.  Included is an interview with Verna Kirkness, Manfred Hildebrandt, and Questions and Answers with Albee and Kurt.  This 25 minutes radio show incorporates some trendy Aboriginal electric music fused with intriguing theory’s behind the perceptions of Aboriginal students.

Producers Involved: Albee Eisbrenner, Kamila Cecelon, Kurt Hildebrandt

Songs Used:
A Tribe Called Red – Electric pow wow drum
A Tribe Called Red – Look at this
A Tribe Called Red – Electric Instrumental 
To Learn More (Radio Documentary)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Metis Federation of Canada (New National Organization)

A new national organization has been formed on Nov 16, 2013. The Metis Federation of Canada interim president Robert Pilon says "The Métis Federation of Canada was formed to recognize, represent and  support Métis citizens across Canada, uniting us from coast to coast to coast.  As a grassroots organization, with representatives from all regions of this country, we are people from varying walks of life who are passionate about our history, our culture and our rights..." 

YouTube – Anglais (Robert Pilon – President):
YouTube – Français (David Bouchard – Membre fondateur):
YouTube – Anglais (Bob Stevenson – Membre fondateur):
Notre project – teaser:

Facebook ( and Twitter (@metisfederation). 
The founding members are Robert Pilon, David Bouchard, Karole Dumont-Beckett, Theresa Lizotte, Dan Goodon, Hélène I Savard, Bob Stevenson, Alfred Chiasson, Daryle Desjarlais, Daniel Gilbeau, Ray Racicot, Bill Gabbani, Jim Laroche, and Deborah Bastien.

Good luck to this group of people and the cause they hold dear. It will be difficult challenging the current power structures. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Role of Gender in First Nations Education

Summary: In this radio documentary, the topic of discussion is gender roles and gender identity in First Nations Education: past, present, and future. After examining the traditional context of gender role education, challenges and barriers to Aboriginal education are discussed more thoroughly. There is a brief exploration of these challenges through the selected music tracks and poetry. We thank the participants for their time and patience in preparing this radio documentary.

Interviews with: Dr. Kim Anderson, Dr. Robert Falcon Ouellette, and Dr. Niigaan Sinclair

Production Team: Kevin Morall, Derek Barnett, Jason Neufeld, Sean Giesbrecht

Music by: Tribe Called Red featuring Northern Voice "Sisters"; Buffy Sainte-Marie "Eagle Man / Changing Woman"; A Tribe Called Red "The Road"

Poetry by: Comaka "The Heart Beat" & Stephen John Marshall "The Traditional Knowledge"

To Learn More (Documentary)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Aboriginal Voting Patterns and Preference in Manitoba

This is a video and interview concerning the research of Dr Christoper Adams, Rector of St-Paul's College at the University of Manitoba. He discusses his research into Aboriginal voting patterns and preferences in Manitoba. Dr Adams once worked for Probe Research and was able to investigate the ways that Aboriginal peoples vote in Manitoba. The paper he wrote is to be published in a book Understanding 2011: The Manitoba Election edited by University of Manitoba political scientists Andrea Rounce and Jared Wesley. This is a two part video.

Christoper indicates that the Aboriginal population is often not used as a force within politics because they are very often found in safe seats, but when they are in swing seats political parties could use them for winning and forming government. We also discussed the idea that Canadian Aboriginal peoples only just received the right to vote in 1960 and really could exercise that right in the 1962 federal election. So while 75% of Aboriginal people indicate they have a voting preference, much like the general population they are less likely to vote. The Idle No More movement though has propelled them to a higher level of political participation, because by marching and taking an active role in protests Indigenous peoples are moving beyond the simple act of voting to actually influencing larger events and debates within society. They have moved beyond a passive role to that of an active participants in democracy.

 Part I

Part II

Another paper by Dr Adams on Aboriginal voting 

Learn Learn more (radio show version)

Friday, 15 November 2013

Canadian Indian Residential Schools as “Cultural Genocide” (Radio Documentary)

This is a 30 minute independent radio documentary Canadian Indian Residential Schools as “Cultural Genocide.” We will look at how cultural genocide is defined and how various experts in the field would justify using the term genocide to describe the terrible tragedy that is a part of Canadian history. 

Article 2 of the Genocide Convention states that "genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

From these criteria, we see that the Indian Residential School system could easily be classified as a type of cultural genocide. We also explore the intergenerational effects of the Canadian Residential Schools. It is clear that being removed from your family and placed in these institutions could have a negative impact on your life and on the lives of your children. In addition, we provide the views of some everyday people on the issues surrounding Canadian Indian Residential Schools.  Finally, we offer some suggestions for moving forward from here, such as the promotion of aboriginal culture and awareness of past events.


Red Revolution by Robert Ouellete as sung by Ila Barker
The Road Before Us by Peter Kater
Inuit Stand Up by Susan Aglukark
Voices of the Wind by Alice Gomez
Pocahontas - World Championship Song 96 by Clayton Chief as performed by Melsin Stone

Produced by: Nicole Buhler, Keirston Smith, Cara Fehr, Sara Pirch

To Learn More (Radio Documentary)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Cultural Immersion in Schools (and curriculum integration) Radio Documentary

In our radio program our group discussed the idea of coming into a classroom as non-aboriginal teachers and the challenges of teaching aboriginal students. We looked at the cultural challenges aboriginal students face in western schools. We then talked about possible solutions.and techniques to integrate aboriginal culture in our schools and the western curriculum. Our guest in helping us understand these concepts was Joanne Halas. She spoke to us about these topics as well as what it meant for her to be an ally to aboriginal students. She did this through telling her experiences and stories.

Producers; Tyler Belog, Matt DeGraaf, Scott Church

Music: Deer Dance by Joanne Shenandoah
Kahalu'nyuhe by Joanne Shenandoah

Friday, 8 November 2013

Where Do We Stand in Regards to Aboriginal Education? Radio Documentary

This radio documentary is presented by classmates, Morgan Christie, Brandy Lippoway, Nicole Vaughan, and Brady Pullman. We are all students in the Faculty of Education here at the University of Manitoba. Currently in our class, EDUA 1500 Aboriginal Education, we are studying where Aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples position themselves in regards to Aboriginal studies and education. Manitoba has a large Aboriginal population, full of Aboriginal culture, traditions and communities. Throughout Kindergarten – Grade 12 students in Manitoba study and learn about culture traits and the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.
Throughout our study we targeted two significant components, First of all, we looked at who should study/or research Aboriginal Education to create the curriculum or content? and secondly we looked at who should teach this content to the students? During this radio documentary, we will summarize our findings and ask the personal opinions of two University of Manitoba instructors teaching the Faculty of Education; Gary Babiuk and Frank Deer.
Producers:  Morgan Christie,  Brandy Lippoway, Nicole Vaughan, Brady Pullman
-  Gary Babiuk, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Education, Professor
-  Frank Deer, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Education, Professor
 Songs: Red Revolution: Indigenous National Anthem, Sung by Ila Barker

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Super Savages and Sovereign Traces: Introduction to Indigenous Graphic Novels

Dr Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair a professor at the University of Manitoba is featured in a video by Trevor Greyeyes News. Niigaan talks about the course Super Savages and Sovereign Traces: Introduction to Indigenous Graphic Novels he developed at the University of Manitoba which explores the ideas of the graphic novel from the Indigenous perspective. Obviously there are the portrayals of Indigenous peoples in graphic novels by non-Indigenous peoples and the growing field of the Indigenous artist using the graphic novel to tell their own narrative and story. 

The use of Indigenous peoples in graphic novels (comics) was also a means to consume the Indian, to use the image of the Indian to reinforce stereotypes. I wonder though if we can still find pride in those images of the warrior in the comics which allow Indigenous peoples to feel strong and recognize that their culture is so powerful and enduring. When the dominant culture must use anothers image to supplement their own what are they missing? What forces them to do so? Now many Indigenous artists and writers like Dave Robertson (Sugar Falls) are using the graphic novel to tell difficult stories about Indigenous survival. They take the academic and make it real.

To Learn More (Video) 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Cultural Initiatives and Aboriginal Culture: Radio Documentary

By: Steven Schapansky, Erin Rafferty and Jeremy Ritchot

This documentary will be taking a look at aboriginal history with a focus on how the culture amongst Native Americans has evolved over the years. This short documentary will display the ecological perspectives of how the aboriginal cultures have shifted over the years, and how aboriginal peoples are beginning to reconnect with their spiritual roots through community and nature. The presenters that will be leading us through this discussion are Erin Rafferty, Jeremy Ritchot and Steve Schapansky. This documentary will begin by taking a look at the stripping of aboriginal culture through the residential schooling system and how this has lead to the detriment of the community and the ecological underpinnings of aboriginal teachings. Our view will then shift to the aboriginal communities in its present form in Manitoba and how the residential schooling system has impacted the culture as a whole and how we can help with the revival of these communities.

Music: Creek Mary's Blood from the album "Once" by Nightwish. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Non-Aboriginal Teachers and the Students' Culture: Radio Documentary

This documentary discussed how teachers do and should take into consideration the lives and culture of Aboriginal students when they are teaching.  There are many students out there, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal that have difficulties at home which could have an impact on their life in school.  This narrative brings together the thoughts of Canada’s own “8th Fire” host, Wab Kinew, Australian educator Chris Garner, Native Studies professor, Emily Faries, American Indian Specialist, Debra Lehmkul, as well as a Louis Riel School Division teacher, Melodie.

Some of the issues of Aboriginal students and what teachers can do to help them through these issues are discussed in this documentary.  Kinew gives his expert advice on everything from the stress of students to their cultural traditions.  Garner tells us how we can help our students succeed in the classroom, Faries tells us that we need to show the students that they need to be proud of their heritage.  Lastly, Lehmkul and Melodie then showed us how they incorporate Aboriginal traditions into their classrooms.

Produced and Narrated by Craig MacFarlane; Katie Adamson; and Cheri Reimer
1.  Batman Begins theme

2. Poncharelli Young Bird Northern Cree Powwow

3. Buffy Ste-Marie: Darling Don't Cry
4. Eagle and Hawk, Mother Earth (from Indian Summer Music Awards)
5. Ryan d'aoust - York Boat Days
6. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves theme

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Learning to Dance the Pow wow: Stepping in time with Terrance Goodwill

Terrance Goodwill
The Great Grass Dancer Terrance Goodwill came to the University of Manitoba to teach a class (EDUA 1500 Aboriginal Education) about the great culture that he loves and supports. He was there on Oct 1, 2013 with Education teacher candidates who are training to become teachers and who will most likely be confronted with the need to address Aboriginal issues within the classroom, because even in Winnipeg many of the students will be First Nation and Métis.   

Taken from StatsCanada. The Aboriginal population living in Winnipeg is much younger than the non-Aboriginal population. In 2006, the median age4 of the Aboriginal population in Winnipeg was 26 years, compared to 40 years for the non-Aboriginal population.
In 2006, about half (49%) of the Aboriginal population was under the age of 25, compared to 30% of non-Aboriginal people. Furthermore, only 4% of Aboriginal people were 65 years and over, compared to 14% of the non-Aboriginal population. Three in 10 (30%) Aboriginal people in Winnipeg were children under the age of 15, compared to 17% of their non-Aboriginal counterparts (see chart 1). For more details on the age distribution, see table 1 in the appendix.
Aboriginal children aged 14 years and under represented 17% of the census metropolitan area's children. Just over a third (36%) of the First Nations population was 14 years of age and under. Similarly, children in this age group comprised a third of the Inuit population (33%). For the Métis population, about a quarter (27%) were aged 14 and under.
2006 Aboriginal Population Profile for Winnipeg

 The words Great are used because as the video demonstrates Terrance was able to use teaching techniques so naturally and involved each of the students in what he was doing. Also the students had a good time, but also learned about the history of these dances. These classes are excellent in both social studies as well as physical education because students must move, but also understand the historical changes going on in First Nations communities and the movement from celebrations to powwow from spiritual to more commercial aspects of modern culture.  Teachings like this make for greater cultural understanding, but also cross cultural competency and make the learning of students more relevant.
George Councillor, & Freeman White were the singers.