Eci832

Treaty 4 Final Project

Posted on December 13, 2015. Filed under: Anti Oppressive Ed, cultural, Eci832, eci832finalproject, educational, First Nations, Masters, Privilege, Race, Technology |

For my Ec&I832 final project, the goal was to work on the tech part of my Master’s project.  This summer, I came up with an idea to incorporate some of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action.

As the project developed in my mind, I realized this was going to be huge.  I applied to change my Master’s program from course route to project route for this very reason.  The change was accepted, and I started my journey with this project.

When I entered Alec and Katia’s EC&I 832 class, I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to work on the tech component of this project.  I was going to be developing a GPS enabled Treaty 4 experience using the ARIS app.  The app allows participants to physically travel around a space and interact with characters, videos, websites and history using augmented reality. This University of Wisconsin developed app was going to be a large learning curve for me.  It had a lot of coding involved, and I was going to have to learn step by step how to incorporate my content into their app’s infrastructure. Luckily for me, there was an ARIS Global Jam happening on October 23 and 24.

aris global jam

Photo credit: Aris Games

The Global Jam was a full two day experience where people from all over the world came together online to develop their own ARIS game/experience.  I got permission from my school’s admin to take part on the Friday, so for the entire school day, I sat in my vice principal’s office and took part in the live stream.

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During the Friday and Saturday, I was able to talk to the app’s creators and ask questions while I developed my game.  I followed the ARIS app’s demo game structure and added each individual item.

Check out this video to see their demo game:

For example, to have a participant take part in a conversation within the game, I needed to create the characters involved in the conversation and a flow chart.  The flow chart allows the game’s participants to make a choice once they’ve taken part in a conversation. Multiply this by many conversations and characters, and my hours were flying by without, what I thought, was a whole lot to show for it.

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Furthermore, I didn’t just have to create characters and conversations, but plaques, player attributes, items and web pages.

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Over those two days, I painstakingly created some of the tech skeleton for my project. It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever worked on with a computer.  After the first day, I blogged about the experience.  I wasn’t able to put in any of the actual script because I hadn’t yet met with any of the First Nation’s allies who were going to help guide the content for this project.

The next month I met with Sarah Longman and Tamara Ryba.  Sarah works at my school division’s board office as an aboriginal consultant, and Tamara Ryba teaches at Scott Collegiate.  During my meeting with Sarah Longman, I share my vision and hopes for the project.  She listened to my ideas and told me she would be willing to help.  We talked about some of Saskatchewan’s history, and we discussed how residential schools might fit.  We decided that she was going to introduce me to Noel Starblanket and Gramma Bear so I could request their assistance with this project as well. She agreed to bring tobacco and help me offer it in exchange for their wisdom and guidance.  She explained that when I offer them tobacco, I am also requesting their prayers for me in this way.

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“Sweet grass” Photo credit: Daniel Fuller via Flickr

When I met with Tamara, we planned out how I could collaborate with her high school students on this project.  I wanted this project to be more than just me re-telling the story of Treaty 4.  I wanted other Aboriginal and non Aboriginal students to be a part of creating this experience.  We decided that they were going to help with some of the language research.  Specifically, they were going to find some words that would be considered the “artifacts” or items to be picked up within the game.

Originally, I thought we could use some Aboriginal artifacts like tipis, buffalo skin, or arrow heads as items within the game, as the app allows you to “pick things up” and keep them in a game inventory.

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Photo credit: Richard Elzey via Flickr

Tamara challenged that idea, (rightly so) and showed me how ARIS’s game structure in itself is very Euro-centric; the idea of collecting items and keeping them is not in step with First Nations beliefs.  Instead, we decided that participants will collect a Cree, Lakota or Saulteaux word every time they enter a new conversation or quest within the game. By the end of the game experience, they will have a “bank” of new words that they have learned. This felt like a much better way to honour First Nations history and language.

Sarah Longman had set up a meeting with Noel Starblanket and Gramma Bear in late November, but unfortunately due to illness, this meeting was cancelled and will be rescheduled for the new year. I am looking forward to sharing my project ideas with them and hearing their ideas of what “story” needs to be told through this.

To sum up, these are the things I have worked on for my Masters project during the  EC&I832 class.

*I’ve researched the history of the signing of Treaty 4. I read many government documents, OTC documents and re-tellings of what happened in 1874.

*Using the OTC’s resources, and other timelines, I made an online timeline of the treaty relationship in Canada. Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 7.43.17 PM

*I took part in the two day ARIS Global Jam on October 23rd and 24th where I created the game’s code skeleton.

*I met with Sarah Longman to discuss how Regina Public Schools could support and guide this project.

*I met with Tamara Ryba to discuss how she can incorporate this project into her student’s ELA curriculum. We co-planned her unit so that her students can take part in the research of Treaty 4 and the incorporation of Cree and Lakota words for the game’s word bank.

*I developed a theoretical plan to debunk some main misconceptions surrounding treaties and First Nations people.

*I made a presentation that allows me to quickly show and explain my project.  This will help others grasp what I am trying to do and help my explain to them how they can come alongside to help.Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 7.44.28 PM

Things I still need to do:

*Meet with key elders and Aboriginal allies to discuss what part of the signing of Treaty 4 needs to be told.

*Meet with another group of high school students from Campbell Collegiate. Sarah has some students in mind that she would like to see be a part of this project.  They will most likely be researching Treaty 4 history and finding Saluteaux words for the word bank.

*Using the research and following the guidance of the elders, I will create a story board and script that tells the story of Treaty 4 in an easy, concise way. The story/ game should be able to engage people of all ages including primary students, high school students, EAL learners and tourists.

*Get permission/ work alongside the First Nations University to use their land for the GPS coordinates and the “home base” of this project.

Thanks for following along this semester. Please let me know if you are interested in being a part of this project in any way, shape or form. My hope is that in a year from now, this project will be complete!

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Treaty Misconceptions and Facts

Posted on December 12, 2015. Filed under: Anti Oppressive Ed, Eci832, eci832finalproject, educational, First Nations, games, Masters, Privilege, Race, Technology |

As I have been developing my Treaty 4 ARIS game/experience, I have been thinking about what content should be included, and what misconceptions should be addressed through this experience.

I have looked at some information from the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, and they have a lot of great resources when it comes to the history, story, and misconceptions of Treaty 4.

I am going to use some of their misconceptions through my project.  I want to find a way to incorporate the facts clearly by having my participants learn them through story and experience. Here are some of the things I want to address:

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When I meet with the Aboriginal elders and allies helping with this project, I will discuss how they think we can address these myths through the game’s story.

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Extra Extra! Read All About It…

Posted on December 6, 2015. Filed under: digital citizenship, Eci832, Masters, online safety, reflection, remix, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology |

… ECI832 is finished, and I blogged about it.

I have finished a summary of my learning throughout this ECI832 class.  There is no way I could fit all of my learning into one tool, but I tried to highlight some of the main things I learned through an E-Maze presentation.

E-Maze is a neat tool I learned about at #rbeappyhour this month. It’s a combination of PowerPoint, Prezi, YouTube, and the like. The link to my project is below.  (Sorry it’s not embedded. From what I understand, the E-Maze plugin only works with a paid WordPress account, and I didn’t feel like dishing out $300 for one post) 🙂

Enjoy!

ECI832 Summary of Learning

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Digital Citizenship in Grade One

Posted on November 29, 2015. Filed under: behaviour, collaboration, digital citizenship, Eci832, edublog, educational, Grade 1 & 2, Masters, online safety, parents, reflection, Social Media, Social Networking, teaching and learning, Technology |

There are a few ways that I try and teach digital citizenship in the primary classroom, and after my #eci832 class, there are some new things I am going to try now. In this post, I will share what I am doing, and what I want to try to incorporate into Health later this year. I will bold each tool or instruction method I am discussing.

Twitter– For the past 3 years, I have been using Twitter in the primary classroom. (@mrsmaleysclass)  I use it to teach sentence structure, grammar, and conciseness.  BUT, Twitter is good for more than that! In fact, Twitter is a perfect tool to talk about online safety. Every time someone follows our class, we look at their profile and decide if they are a) safe b) someone we can learn from c) a company.  We have decided as a class that we are only going to follow other classes or people that will be posting stuff applicable to grade one.  We don’t follow individual teachers, and we don’t follow every class that follows us. We look at their profile, their profile picture, their bio and their tweets, and we vote on if we should follow them.  You wouldn’t believe how many times kids choose not to vote on a class because their profile isn’t interesting enough, they don’t have a profile picture, or they haven’t tweeted consistently or often enough.  This in itself has shown students what a creative/positive online identity can look like.

The students have also learned about hashtags through Twitter. This is a year long learning curve as they don’t always understand the contextual underpinnings or language play that happens with hashtags, but they have learned some hashtags that are safe to use, and some that aren’t as good. For example, one day one of my students wanted to wish another student a happy birthday in his tweet. He wanted to use the hashtag #happybirthday.  We decided against it after checking out the hashtag and realizing that there was some inappropriate content there.  We decided we didn’t want to promote that content to other classes that might be following us.

Twitter is also an excellent avenue to look at advertising.  Since 2013, Twitter has used targeting advertising towards its users. This has been a great opportunity to show kids the difference between our regular home feed tweets, and those used as promotional tools. Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 7.07.13 PM The children can easily recognize the little yellow “promoted by” arrow and we often talk about what they are trying to sell us.  My goal is that students (even in grade one) should be taught critical thinking. They should be questioning what they see and who they follow. They can’t assume that everything is safe or trustworthy because we have a class account.

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An example of a tweet we got last year where students were encouraged to think critically.

That being said, I do have MULTIPLE students who have joined Twitter since being in my class. I haven’t encouraged any children to get their own Twitter account, but once they have used it in the classroom, they like it so much they ask their parents if they can get Twitter. At that point, it’s out of my hands, and all I can do is be a good online example for them.  I must say, it is neat to watch them interact with each other online though!

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Here’s a few examples of kids who have joined Twitter since being in my class. You make your own judgment. Do you think I exposed them to it too early?  Or perhaps are these the type of kids who would have joined anyways? I think we have moved beyond the question, “SHOULD students this young be on social media?”  The fact of the matter is, THEY ARE. Payton, Bayan, Greyson, Rayka, Minwoo, Justin, Maguire, Brody, Jed,

Research– Even though the students are young, I still think one of the best skills I can teach six year olds is how to research.  Gone are the days where the teacher is the giver of all knowledge.  Children need to be good at finding the information they want to know at the click of a button. A useful skill for student of all ages is Googling information and finding research that is safe, informative, and appropriate.  Why wouldn’t we start teaching this skill as young as possible?  We do Genius Hour in my classroom, and the kids get to learn about any topic they would like.  This involves gathering information, and researching their topic. I have tried different kid friendly search engines, (Safe Search Kids, KidRex etc.)  and I have come to the conclusion that Google is actually easiest and has the best results.  A lot of the time the kid safe search engines have pre-set filters that try and sway results to things that have to do with kids, but that aren’t always helpful.  For example, if a kid is interested in cars, these are the top results the child would get if he/she typed “cars” into KidRex’s search engine:

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The top results have to do with car seats, and buying and selling cars.  If a child typed “cars” into Google, these are the top results:

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Google’s results are already more appropriate and easier to navigate than the kid friendly search engine.  Google’s results bring up the movie Cars, which many children are familiar with, and it provides the Wikipedia entry that would have lots of information about the history and the make up of cars.  This is just one tiny example of how Google outdoes the other kid friendly engines, but there are many.

What I have learned is that for the students to be great researchers, they need to know how to type key words like +kids/ for kids when necessary.  Depending on their reading level, usually the BEST option for them is to click right on the Videos tabs so they don’t have to read at all.

 

 

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One thing I haven’t ventured into yet is copyright.  It was hard enough to teach grade one students how to find a Google image, save it to camera roll, and then use it in their Genius Hour presentation.  If anyone has any great ideas or kid friendly tools on how to find creative commons images that would be easy for grade one, I am all ears!

Blogging– Another way I try and promote a positive online digital identity is through our class blog.  I use the student blogging platform, Edublogs. (Mrs. Maley’s Class Blog) Every couple of weeks the students blog.  We talk about not sharing personal information in their posts like address, phone number etc. Sometimes the students are prompted with writing tasks, but a lot of the time they are allowed to blog about whatever they want.  I have found that this type of writing becomes much more authentic than students only printing in a journal for me to see.  The kids know their audience is global, and their writing improves drastically over the year.

Last year I also started a blogging buddy program with grade 11 students from Campbell Collegiate.  The grade 11’s would comment on my student’s blogs and in turn, my students would grade/rate their narrative essay assignment where they wrote a children’s book. The collaboration between both classes was neat, and through specific feedback, my students were able to improve their writing and digital identity.

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Things I want to do: After watching Sext Up Kids a couple weeks ago,

http://www.cbc.ca/i/caffeine/syndicate/?mediaId=2200745858
I decided that I wanted to address some of the gender, body image, and sexual content issues mentioned in this documentary with my grade one class this year.  Obviously I can’t address a ton of the sexual content that Sext Up Kids talks about, but my eyes were opened to the fact that kids in grade one are definitely not immune from this type of exposure even at an early age.  In the documentary, Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, suggests that it’s not a big jump to make between girls wanting to be “the prettiest little girl” to “the hottest little girl.” And THAT is something that we can talk about.

In the Saskatchewan Grade One Health Curriculum, one of the outcomes is based solely on Pedestrian Safety.

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Though I will definitely cover this during my Health class, it already seems a little out of date to me. How much time do kids really spend outside crossing streets/dealing with traffic without an adult?  My guess would be not as much time as a child might spend unsupervised on a device/computer inside the home. I have decided that I am going to devote a large chunk of time during my Health block to explicit digital citizenship/sexualization/gender lessons.  We know that digital citizenship must be taught all throughout the year in different ways/contexts, but I also think this might be something I need to add into the curriculum on my own.  I plan on using puppets to help create dialogue on this sensitive issue.

I plan to look at different children’s books and movies as a starting point.  The students will look for different gender/sexualization themes.  I want the students to have discussions and think critically about what it means to “be a boy,” or “be a girl.” I want them to start unpacking their own identities and discuss how this might affect online behaviour. Today’s Meet is a great tool I have used in the past to create a back channel for students to share their ideas while watching a movie. They can be recording what types of stereotypes they see as they watch.

I have a colleague who teaches older grades who has shared with me that she doesn’t talk about sexting much during her digital citizenship lessons because she is worried about what the parents of her students will say.  This is a very real concern at our school because we have high parent involvement.  Often times parents at our school have very strong opinions about what happens in classrooms, and sometimes what they say or want goes.  Obviously I will have to be very careful about how I address these issues.  In the past, my daily class blog post has been a great place to debrief parents on certain conversations we have had throughout the day. Sometimes grade one students ask questions about death, war, or school shootings and we have to gently address those issues without scaring them or giving them more information than they need to know.

As a public school teacher, this might be dangerous to say, but overall, I think the best thing I can teach students is how to look at/listen to their heart. As Jen Stewart Mitchell discusses in her blog post, citizenship is citizenship.  It doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline. Children and students young AND old need to listen to their conscience, and make choices based on what they know to be right and wrong; and that, I believe, is what makes you a good citizen. Sure we are all going to screw up and make mistakes, but our job as teachers isn’t to make or limit the student’s choices for them, but rather give them opportunities to reflect on, and learn from their mistakes.  And if we as teachers don’t give students an opportunity to peel back the layers of their heart and critically look at the reasons they struggle or desire certain things in life, how can we expect them to do this on their own? Are they supposed to “just know better?” It’s something to think about…

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My Own Story of Remix

Posted on November 23, 2015. Filed under: cheerleading, Eci832, Masters, remix |

I watched a couple different documentaries this week. One of them was RIP: A Remix Manifesto.

RIP : A Remix Manifesto from Laurent LaSalle on Vimeo.

It was such an interesting video that took a look at how intense our North American copyright laws are. It followed the story of the band/DJ/songwriter Girl Talk. Gregg Michael Gillis (Girl Talk) took music and remixed it to create new beats and songs. Technically, he is under a ton of copyright infringement because he is using other people’s original music. The documentary discussed the vast amount of money he would have to pay if he went through the right copyright avenues.  It also discussed that copyright infringement laws don’t benefit the artist who wrote the songs, but the companies that have signed the artists.

Speaking of companies. I was blown away when the documentary explained the media flow.  I had no idea it looked like this:

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Photo credit: Screen shot from RIP: A Remix Manifesto

Notice the 6 companies that own all media outlets.  Two words come to mind; power and control. That’s what these copyright laws are about.  When these 6 companies have control over the entire market, it’s no wonder they also control the government and have influence over the law and how strict it is here in Canada and the USA.

In the past 10 or so years, I too have been dabbling with remixing music… (Illegally I guess!) I have been involved with the cheerleading world, and when I was in high school, I learned how to cut cheer music for my team’s cheerleading routines. It’s similar to what I did with garage band for one of my last posts: Remixing Education A Report Card Rant. The only difference is that Garage Band allows you to do a lot more original creation because they just supply you the chord and beat options, and you put them together. With cheer music, I was literally using other artist’s songs, adding voice overs, sound effects (whips, dings etc.) and layering them over each other.

My goal with making Garage Band music was to create a piece of background music to compliment the words I was speaking.  With the music editing software program GoldWave, my goal is to create music that will enhance the cheer routine.  For example, when a stunt hits, it’s neat when there is a sound effect to go with it.

The oldest piece of music I can find that I have remixed is from 2009. Take a listen. I uploaded it from my computer to SoundCloud, and then embedded it in my post. You can hear how the sound effects still feel a little awkward at some points.

When I am making the music, this is what it looks like in the Goldwave music editor. This would be what the full song you just heard looks like.

screen shot gold wave

 

This next video is a cheer routine I choreographed using the above music.  The choreography starting at 1:45 goes along with the music you just heard. You can see how I tried to fit the music to the routine and vice versa.

As I have continued mixing music, I feel I have improved on the technical side. I’ve learned to zoom in, splice and edit tiny sections of music. I know my own musical background has helped me to know the counts/half counts and be able to “read the music.”  Typically when someone says “reading music,” it means looking at notes and knowing what pitch to play on an instrument:

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Photo Credit: Michael Summers

That isn’t actually what I meant when I said reading the music though.  Reading the music for me is this:

Grey cup routine

This is a zoomed in screen shot of one of my remixes. This pic only shows 10 seconds of the entire piece.  In fact, this screen shot isn’t just one song. It shows two pieces of music getting spliced together. The timing has to fit into the 8 count rhythm, and the little blip you see in the middle is where Kid Ink says “Kid Ink” in the song Delirious.

As I have been getting a little better at remixing, I have started to do bigger projects. While I was on the Rider Cheer Team, I edited and mixed their routine music for them. Here is a video of us at last year’s Grey Cup. (FYI I was able to download this video from my coach’s Facebook page using GetFbstuff.com’s instructions. Even though she is my FB friend, I wasn’t able to download it normally because her FB page is set to private.) Using this website, I was able to download it to my computer and then upload it to YouTube.

Surprise, surprise! While I was uploading this video to Youtube to show you all, I received two emails letting me know the audio in the video is infringing upon their copyright. They kindly muted it for me. 😐

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Youtube copyright

Well hopefully Vimeo doesn’t catch me as fast as YouTube. When my video lost sound on YouTube, I decided to sign up for Vimeo and try it there. Here it goes!

Rider Cheerleader Performance at Grey Cup 2014 in BC. from Danielle Maley on Vimeo.

Here is one more quick splice of video from the Grey Cup the year before. (You know, the year we won the Cup!) That year the coaches sent all of my spliced pieces of music to a DJ who edited them together.

Grey Cup 2013 Rider Cheer Performance from Danielle Maley on Vimeo.

Honestly, this post might just end up being a social experiment to see how many copyrighted materials I can put into this blog post before someone asks me to take it down. Wait- should I even be posting this?! Maybe I will be the next person to get a lawsuit summons at my door. Yikes!

I don’t want to take this post down because I, like the directors of the documentary want to show how “illegally remixing music” can be beneficial. I have done all my music editing on a volunteer basis for cheer teams.

ONE MORE STORY before I conclude this post. Speaking of POWER and CONTROL…I help my own school’s cheerleading team by mixing their cheer music for them. I had downloaded Goldwave’s free trial onto my teacher laptop and mixed the music from there.  BUT since my school division just got a technology refresh and we all got new teacher laptops, guess what happened? Our IT department wants complete power and control over what teachers are allowed to download on their laptop.  Goldwave does not fit into their approved program list. Apparently because it’s a trial version, and unlicensed, our board won’t let me download it.

Unlicensed version

They want me to use another program from their approved list. They don’t quite get that it has literally taken me about 13 years to learn and master the Goldwave program. This is super frustrating for me as I am using the program for the benefit of staff and students in their division, but it is just one more way that the copyright laws of Canada have everyone’s hands tied.

What about you? Any stories of copyright infringement?

This is a story of a wedding videographer who got sued for using copyrighted music in his weddings videos.

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The Journey

Posted on November 20, 2015. Filed under: Anti Oppressive Ed, cultural, Eci832, eci832finalproject, educational, First Nations, personal, Privilege, Race, reflection |

Yesterday I met with my friend, Tamara Ryba at Scott Collegiate. It was a great meeting where we covered a lot of ground on my final project. She has agreed to have her students help with research and language connections for my final project. It’s great to have all hands on deck when it comes to this Treaty 4 project, as it’s a big one.

However, today’s post isn’t going to be about the specifics of my project.  Today’s post is going to be about the mental and spiritual journey I have started that relates to this project. It’s going to be about the embarrassing, sometimes painful journey I have experienced as I work through these discourses.

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Photo Credit: Carlo Scherer

Through this summer’s anti-oppressive master’s course, my eyes were opened to the oppression and racism that is systematically infused into our culture and society. My mind and heart were changed as I began to see the world in a new way.  I began to recognize how I see the world through a female, privileged, white settler lens. My ideologies slowly began to change, and I started a path that is working towards anti-oppressive education.

Though the process isn’t linear per se, I am going to walk through the timeline of how I have seen my views change, and how I have seen my comfort challenged… even today.

Summer 2015- I took an anti-oppressive education summer institute. I read a plethera of articles about Canada’s unfortunate racist history. I had great discussions with colleagues about the TRC (Truth and Reconcilliation Commission of Canada) documents. I began seeing things in new ways.

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Photo Credit: The Media Project

I read the TRC’s Calls to Action for education, and decided I wanted to use the ARIS app to create a Treaty 4 experience that allows participants to “experience history” rather than read about it.

September 2015- I started looking at the logistics of this project. I thought that I had a pretty clear vision of where I wanted to go with the project.  I was encouraged and challenged by a friend/mentor that I should not try to be the “white knight” and re-tell history through an app, because I still saw the world through female, white settler eyes. I learned that I was going to need to come along side Aboriginal allies/ key players who are already involved in anti-oppressive education, and whose views I am trying to depict through this experience.

November- Met with Regina Public School’s aboriginal consultant, Sarah Longman.  She dropped names of people and resources that I had never heard about. Meeting with her did two things: 1) Made me realize how much I don’t know. 2) Made me feel like I have an aboriginal advocate who will walk through this project with me.

Yesterday-November 19, 2015- I went to visit Tamara Ryba at Scott Collegiate.  As I was using my GPS to drive to Scott, I realized that I had no idea where the school was, and in my close to 30 years of living in Regina, I don’t think I had ever driven by this high school in central Regina.  As I was parking, I looked to my right.  In the front passenger seat, I had a 4 Operation Christmas Child boxes that I planned on dropping off later that day, and I had my lunch sitting on top of the boxes in a Lululemon bag.  Embarrassingly, I am going to share with you the thought process I had:

  1. I looked at the Christmas Child boxes and thought about if someone would steal them.  I then thought, “Well it might be ok if they get stolen, because the people who steal them will probably need that stuff anyways.”
  2. I looked at the Lululemon lunch bag and thought, “Hmm, someone might think I have Lululemon clothes in that bag, and they might want to break in.” I then moved the Lulu bag under the boxes where it was out of sight from the window.
  3. I then glanced into the backseat to see if there was anything else valuable that might be stolen, and left the car, being sure to lock it behind me.

After the great meeting with Tamara, I got in my car and started to drive back to my school which is located in East Regina.  As I got closer to the main roads, and closer to the East end, I physically started to feel more comfortable.  It dawned on me that I drive from Harbour Landing (where I live) to the east end every day for work.  There is an entire part of our city that I literally never see or experience.  As I continued to reflect on my morning, I got more and more disgusted with my responses. The very racism and prejudice I am trying to fight with this project is so ingrained in my thoughts and everyday life that it affected my behaviour as I was outside of that school. I was/am disappointed with myself, but I am also aware that this recognition of my behaviour is the first step to change.

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Photo credit: Duncan C.

Next week I am going to be meeting with Noel Starblanket and Gramma Bear and learning how to offer them tobacco. This is a step I am excited for as it is a step out of my comfort zone, but something that is so valuable. They will be a giving me ideas and information that will help with the story part of my project. I am offering them tobacco as a ceremonial gesture that shows I value their knowledge and wisdom.

I know I will continue going through a process of “unlearning” thoughts and behaviours that I have grown up with. It is uncomfortable thinking about how I am not an expert in this area, and how much I have to grow. I know that sometimes it will be two steps forward, and one step back.  That said, I am committed to moving forward, and with supports in place, I know this journey is going to be good.

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