Language Matters – Part 1

Suzanne  -  Dec 30, 2014  -  , , ,  -  Comments Off on Language Matters – Part 1
As we near the end of the calendar year and the beginning of true winter, Dragonfly would like to call your attention to two words – “Aboriginal” and “civilization” – and how each word has recently illustrated the power relationships that so often underly the use of language in society. We’ll start this month with […]

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Aboriginal Music and the Juno Awards

Suzanne  -  Apr 07, 2014  -  , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Aboriginal Music and the Juno Awards
A Tribe Called Red – the wicked-in-the-best-way Ottawa-based electric powwow group – won a Juno Award this month for Breakthrough Group of the Year for their CD “Nation II Nation.” In so doing, they have made history: they are the first Aboriginal group to win a Juno outside the Aboriginal music category. Composed of DJ […]

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Sovereignty, Identity, and Labels

Suzanne  -  Mar 30, 2014  -  , ,  -  Comments Off on Sovereignty, Identity, and Labels
Dragonfly’s work is really all about communication. When we work with educators, speak to conference attendees, facilitate student learning, or write curriculum, we aim for mutual understanding – and that starts with a critical investigation of the truth of opinions and the testing of truth by discussion. Sometimes the investigation is characterized by a logical […]

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12 Steps to a Post-Colonial Future

Suzanne  -  Dec 31, 2013  -  , , ,  -  Comments Off on 12 Steps to a Post-Colonial Future
In most of Canada, Mother Earth is wearing a blanket of snow. Accordingly, winter is seen as a time of reflection and rest for many Aboriginal nations, as human beings think about the events that have occurred since last year’s winter count (winter counts are historical documents that record events in pictures, with one picture […]

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Critical Literacy and Media in the Classroom

Suzanne  -  Aug 12, 2013  -  , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Critical Literacy and Media in the Classroom
Canadian media recently covered the story of Adam Shoalts, a McMaster University student who discovered a new waterfall on the Again River, which runs along the border of Ontario and Quebec and flows into Hudson Bay. Dragonfly usually has a problem with the word “discovery” – because it’s usually used to describe instances in which […]

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Gender and Sexuality in Aboriginal America

Suzanne  -  Jun 18, 2013  -  , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Gender and Sexuality in Aboriginal America
Prior to colonization, Aboriginal cultures across the Americas understood that there was a gender spectrum, and Aboriginal societies featured at least three and sometimes four genders: men, women, men-women, and women-men. Men-women and women-men often entered into relationships with same-sex partners, which is why “two-spirit” has now become the accepted term for Aboriginal gay, lesbian, […]

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The Urban Aboriginal Reality

Suzanne  -  Jan 15, 2013  -  , , ,  -  Comments Off on The Urban Aboriginal Reality
A few weeks ago, The Globe and Mail published a story about the housing crisis on the Attawapiskat First Nation, with the headline “Why Don’t They Just Leave?” When Dragonfly saw the title, we heaved a sigh and rolled our eyes at the media’s persistent boneheadedness. Truth is, “they” have already left. The majority of […]

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School With No Grades

Suzanne  -  Oct 15, 2012  -  , ,  -  Comments Off on School With No Grades
Chief Matthews Elementary School in Masset, B.C., is going above and beyond the cultures-and-traditions approach to Aboriginal education. The band-operated school, which is on the main island of Haida Gwaii in Haida Nation territory, has done away with grades. Chief Matthews, which serves students from Kindergarten to Grade 4, offers clam digging, berry picking, deer […]

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‘Toronto’ Is An Iroquois Word

Suzanne  -  Aug 20, 2012  -  , ,  -  Comments Off on ‘Toronto’ Is An Iroquois Word
At many gatherings in Toronto, people acknowledge that they are on “Mississauga territory.” That didn’t happen 20 years ago, and that makes it a good thing – non-Aboriginal people are beginning to understand the history of Canada from another perspective, and Aboriginal peoples are regaining a sense of their own history, as well as the […]

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Challenging Assumptions in Aboriginal Education

Suzanne  -  May 10, 2012  -  , ,  -  Comments Off on Challenging Assumptions in Aboriginal Education
Trustees for the Vancouver School Board voted 7-2 at a recent meeting to create an Aboriginal-focused school. The school, located on the city’s east side (where there is a high proportion of Aboriginal families), aims to reduce the 25 percent dropout rate in later years by offering Aboriginal students a culture-based program. The school will […]

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