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. 


  1. I agree with the point that was made in the introduction about Aboriginals going back to their roots. I personally believe that this should be an important aspect of everyone’s lives. Now days, people are so focused on having the nicest car, best electronics, and most expensive clothing. If we go back to being one with the land, I believe we would have completely different ideals and priorities. I don’t think we would see our synthetic materials as having as large of an importance in our lives as we do now and we would appreciate what we have been given naturally. There is so much natural beauty out there that we completely forget about, and not to mention the fun that can be had when enjoying the outdoors!

    Like the documentary said, these Aboriginal cultures have survived through all of the attempts at assimilation. The cultures are not as present as they used to be, but since they did survive with all our negative attempts to get rid of them, we should start helping them out instead of tearing them down. This documentary also mentioned how the “Aboriginal people… have upheld their end of the bargain in terms of allowing us to stay, prosper, and take part in this nation” while also mentioning that as Europeans, we are not living up to our end of the bargain and giving them areas where they can flourish and maintain their culture.

    I do believe that we are doing much better than we have in the past with trying to limit the amount of assimilation that we take part in. This, however is very difficult to work towards since most people have grown up in an assimilating community. As teachers, it is difficult to change our ways of teaching to be more inclusive since that is likely not the way that we grew up in school.

    Overall, I think this was a very well done and thought out documentary!

  2. Residential schools have had a huge impact on Aboriginals and their culture. The residential schools almost succeeded in stripping the Aboriginal culture away and completely assimilating into the dominant society. However, the culture survived, speaking to the strength that the Aboriginal people have. The Aboriginal people were not allowed to practice their own spirituality which greatly affected the sense of community. It was said in the documentary that the goal of the residential schools was to “kill the Indian in the child”. This view of total and complete assimilation was detrimental to the Aboriginals; however, all was not lost. I believe that there is a revival that is currently happening among Aboriginals to gain their culture and community back. There is more acceptance of different cultures in Canada which allows the Aboriginals to gain strength once again. There does need to be more communication between Aboriginals and the government so that there can be a working towards reconciliation, if that is possible. What exactly are the problems that are still standing in the way of reconciliation? How can they be solved? These questions need to be communicated and answered between the Aboriginals and the government. There needs to be steps in the right direction to better allow Aboriginal people to practice their culture. The treaties do need to be upheld and acknowledged between both parties that signed them. Hopefully, one day Aboriginals will be seen as completely equal to the rest of society. There are still aspects of racism and inequality in many areas that still exist. I agree with what the documentary stated that perhaps it is time for us to step back and allow the Aboriginals to grow. This is an idea that may never come into practice but may have the best results.