At the Edge of Canada: Indigenous Research presents interviews with researchers about their work with Aboriginal peoples. The objective is to assist people in better understanding Indigenous people, our issues and the often asked Google term “what is aboriginal.” It is originally produced as a radio broadcast on UMFM 101.5 FM in Winnipeg Manitoba and hosted by Dr Robert-Falcon Ouellette while working at University of Manitoba. He is now an Member of Parliament in Ottawa. Ekosani.
This radio documentary focused
on four culturally diverse perspectives from individual experiences throughout
the Manitoba education system. The documentary provides insight and evidence
regarding the incredible disconnect between the expectations of teachers and
the reality of providing aboriginal perspectives in the classroom. After
completing the documentary we were left with more questions than answers. Some
of these questions include, how can future educators become better prepared for
teaching in culturally diverse classrooms, specifically in regards to the
inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives? Should there be a mandatory Northern
Practicum placement? Should there be a larger focus on Aboriginal perspectives
and education throughout the faculty of education?
Included in our interview we
have a seasoned teacher, a teacher candidate and two students who have
graduated. All of which have asked to remain anonymous, therefore names and
voices have been altered to help protect their anonymity.
Music: Ancient Winds Jose Cabezas Native American Flute
"Ever thought that a group of youth could change our
We did. Still do, actually.
We are the Canadian Roots Exchange, a group of Indigenous
and non-Indigenous youth who believe that in order to bridge the gap between
Canada's peoples, we need to become educated and aware of the teachings,
triumphs, and daily realities of our Indigenous communities.
So, together we gather, travel and bring together youth in
cities, towns, and traditional territories across Canada in an effort to break
down stereotypes, open a dialogue, and build honest relationships between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people living on this land.
The Canadian Roots Exchange is registered charity
(registration number 832296602RR0001) that provides Indigenous based
leadership, learning and reconciliation experiences to every youth that
participates in our programs. CRE organizes three main types of
activities: exchange programs, workshops and conferences. Central
to CRE programming is the need to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous
youth. Regardless of the activity, we believe that having dialogue is
necessary to foster understanding and reconciliation.
Our radio documentary discusses the view
from teachers of aboriginal students. Our major focus is the challenge
teacher’s face when integrating Aboriginal culture and perspectives into the
classroom. We interviewed several teachers and students on the topic. Most of
our interviewees wanted to remain anonymous on the radio documentary. However,
they will act as some really good connections and resources for us as teachers.
Sarah was the UMSU student who was comfortable being recognized in the
documentary. In addition to her we interviewed three teachers and a Metis
student. Our group members are Carly, Angie, Brianne and Sarah. We also brought
our own views and perspectives to the radio documentary. As well, we drew
information from the articles in the syllabus from the Teachers of Aboriginal
Students section. We also drew information from the survey prepared by the Swampy
Cree Tribal Council called, Community Active Members Youth Leadership Survey
-2010-2011 Highlights Report.
Goulet (2001): “Two teachers
of Aboriginal students: Effective practice in sociohistorical realities” in Canadian
Journal of Native Education, 25(1): 68-84.
This is an independent radio documentary on the changing
roles of aboriginal women since colonialization. This documentary was produced
for the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba Aboriginal Education
course EDUA 1500.Group members include Lana Jorgensen, Kyleigh Hurak and
To provide some personal insight we speak to Wanda Wuttunee
(Professor in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba). Through the
interview we examine aboriginal women's role within the family prior to
colonialization and how the woman’s role in the family was well defined, but
not restrictive. We examine how the arrival of the settlers brought many
changes to the Aboriginal peoples. Primarily through residential schools, the
settlers forced their beliefs and values upon the Aboriginal peoples that
changed the role of women within the family.
Next Wanda Wuttunee explains how through the workforce
aboriginal women have become the strong backbone of modern Aboriginal society.
Like modern women they are overcoming adversity to participate in all spheres
of the workforce. They use their traditions and traditional values to achieve
success in their chosen careers and benefit their communities.
Interviews with: Dr. Wanda Wuttunee
Production Team: Rachael Smith, Lana Jorgensen, Kyleigh Hurak
Our documentary focuses on the challenges Aboriginal youth face upon entering post-secondary education. We interviewed two Aboriginal students at the University of Manitoba who are both very active members in the communities they come from and their surrogate communities here at the U of Manitoba. Clyford Sinclair discusses what he calls the ‘revolving-door’, where teachers travel to northern communities to teach for a short period, thus causing discontinuity in children’s education as new teachers are constantly moving into the community. Clyford also discusses the potentials problems Aboriginal students have when applying for funding from their band. He mentions that there is funding available but not enough for every band member who wishes to attend post-secondary education.
Sam Lewis is another Aboriginal student and shares his perspective on the importance of Aboriginal students entering the field of sciences in order to bring their knowledge back to their communities to consult on logging, drilling and mining industries. Sam Lewis shares Clyford’s view that there are inadequacies in northern students’ educational programs, due to underfunding and lack of support. Lewis explains having to upgrade his math and sciences in order to enter the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Manitoba.
In conclusion, Clyford identifies the importance of including Aboriginal perspectives into university programs by making an Aboriginal studies credit mandatory like the Math and Written requirement. Indeed this is not a solution to the problems raised in this documentary, but by making these changes at the post-secondary level, we can perhaps encourage more Aboriginal immersion into elementary and secondary schools as well, thus encouraging a change in societies perspective of Aboriginal peoples as a whole.
Interviewees: Clyford Sinclair, Sam Lewis
Music Used: From, The Soundtrack of a People, Rabbit Dance Song – Six Nations Women Singers , Iroquois), Shawnee Stomp Dance – Little Axe Singers, Beautiful Girl From Afar – Davis Mitchell (Dineh), Jig Medley 6 – Lee Cremo Trio (Mi’kmaq)