With films like Pocahontas, Apocalypto, Peter Pan and The Green Inferno, it’s safe to say that Hollywood has a deplorable track record when it comes to its portrayal of Indigenous Peoples. Perhaps it’s to be expected given that films tend to be produced through a Eurocentric lens. Even when production companies try to get it right, they still somehow manage to fail–such as the case with Disney’s Moana.
It makes us all the more grateful that Hollywood has lost its monopoly on film. New Independent film makers are constantly emerging to give us something genuine, heartfelt and inspired to watch with family and friends.
This year was particularly exciting for indigenous film. Among the hundreds–if not, thousands–of feature films, documentaries and television shows that indigenous filmmakers made in 2016, indigenous nations started releasing their own independently-produced films to tell their own stories in their own words and languages.
We also saw a sturdy wave of truly inspiring animated shorts that celebrate indigenous culture, breathing new life into the incredibly rich and equally important tradition of storytelling.
We loved these animated shorts so much we just had to share them with you. Read more…
Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l’éducation has just published its latest issue [Vol 39, No 4 (2016)] at http://www.cje-rce.ca/index.php/cje-rce. We invite you to review the Table of Contents on our site and review articles and items of interest.
The January orientation schedule is available at http://orientation.grad.ubc.ca/schedules/january-2017/ and includes offerings from International Student Development (Jan 4 and 12), Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Jan 5), and the Graduate Student Society (Jan 5). This information has been emailed to all incoming graduate students.
There is still space available in today’s workshop: Strengthening Teams: Managing Emotions, Conflict and Change
Contact: Jacqui Brinkman
Manager, Graduate Pathways to Success Program
Office of the Dean | Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
170 – 6371 Crescent Road | Vancouver BC | V6T 1Z2 Canada
Phone 604 827 4578 | Fax 604 822 5802 email@example.com
Are you a single mother attending UBC? Are you looking to connect with other single mothers on campus who share your experience of balancing work, studying and parenting schedules? A new group was created for single mothers on campus with the support of the YWCA, UNA and UTown@UBC.
Please see the tentative schedule below and please contact Aurelia Kinslow with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Place: Old Barn Community Centre (attached to Bean Around the World)
ab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations’ and First Peoples’ Cultures is a journal devoted to issues of indigeneity in the new millennium. It is a multi-disciplinary journal embracing themes such as art, history, literature, politics, linguistics, health sciences and law. It is a portal for new knowledge and contemporary debate whose audience is not only that of academics and students but professionals involved in shaping policies with regard to concern relating to indigenous peoples.
Each issue will consist of 40-50,000 words. All academic articles should be approximately 6-10,000 words long. An abstract of approximately 150 words must accompany each manuscript. All articles and comprehensive review essays will be peer-reviewed. Opinion pieces or short research reports, which are not peer reviewed, should be approximately 1,500 to 3,000 words in length.
When Claudia Krebs, professor of teaching in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, first thought of making videos for a course in neuroanatomy, her focus was on re-thinking how students are taught in medical school. “Neuroanatomy is traditionally a course that is very difficult for the students. I wanted to break it up and give them the content in manageable pieces,” said Krebs. With MEDIT Media groups, she created nine videos accompanied by 20 modules and posted the content online for public access.
She never foresaw how popular her videos would become. “The materials just went viral. They went everywhere. There are a lot of universities now using them,” she explained. Since its first iteration, Krebs has produced two more seasons of the Neuroanatomy series.
Understanding the medium
Krebs didn’t know much about making digital media when she embarked on this project. The first time she sat down to write a script, it was almost written like a textbook. “That’s what we knew how to do – how to write a lecture, how to write a textbook. But doing a video or a module is really different and you have to play to the strengths of the medium,” she added.
Krebs and her team tried to get the videos to be interesting for the viewer by introducing hooks and making them relatable. Having the help of experts in the medium was instrumental for that. According to Krebs, without a team of experienced people, it wouldn’t have worked. But once the professors and others involved understood the medium, they were able to stretch the limits of what the videos could do.
The impact of teaching in the open
The professor hopes the videos are helping take away student neurophobia, or the “fear of medical students for everything that is brain related.” By having the content available to students, she is hoping to make the material more accessible and understandable.
Krebs gets emails almost every week from people around the world who are using the videos and other course materials. The resources are currently used as a formal part of the curriculum in several countries, including the Netherlands, where it’s used as part of the medical undergraduate curriculum.
“When you look at the hits that the website and the videos get online it’s really from all over the world,” she said. “I think that can fill an institution like UBC with a lot of pride, that what we’re producing actually has an impact for education everywhere.”
Krebs was particularly surprised and thrilled when she received an email from somebody in Baghdad, Iraq, who had accessed these videos and had some follow up questions. It was evidence of the global reach of the project as well as the benefits of open education.
“The more an institution opens itself to the world the better it is for the institution. The more we are aware of the challenges that other universities have and the more we can reach out and collaborate as partners to work on global issues, such as access to information and access to education, the better it is for everyone,” she concluded.
Open education as a social responsibility
More broadly, Krebs believes open education is the future. She sees it as a social responsibility “I don’t think that we can stay in our ivory tower and keep the knowledge to ourselves. It’s not within the tradition of what academia and universities are. We’ve always shared our knowledge and now with digital media it’s become easier than ever,” she added.
Because the videos are accessible everywhere, Krebs has built up a network of collaborators who are also interested in creating digital media for education and medical education, specifically in anatomy. They have been working together to create a repository of resources that can be shared with everyone.
“We’re all really passionate about open education and not hiding things behind a firewall or a university access code or something like that so that we can share with everyone,” she said. They have even reached out to universities in developing countries to offer collaborating with them. Currently the group has contacts in Africa. These contacts can already access Krebs’s online materials and she’s looking at ways of collaborating to create media locally that can in turn be used at UBC.
“When you look at access to post-secondary education worldwide, there are a lot of countries who can’t afford to produce media like this. We can and so we should share that information and with that facilitate access to post-secondary education for anyone.”
SSHRC has developed these guidelines to ensure that the merit review of Aboriginal research upholds SSHRC’s principles for merit review. These guidelines are intended to supplement the SSHRC Manual for Adjudication Committee Members, but might also be used by applicants, external reviewers and the postsecondary institutions and partnering organizations that support Aboriginal research.
Since the early 2000s, SSHRC has promoted research by and with Aboriginal Peoples, having recognized its potential to increase knowledge and understanding about human thought and behaviour, past and present, and to help create a better future.
The Guidelines for the Merit Review of Aboriginal Research further ensure that Aboriginal research incorporating Aboriginal knowledge systems (including ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies) is recognized as a scholarly contribution and meets SSHRC’s standards of excellence. The guidelines are also designed to encourage that Aboriginal research be conducted with sensitivity, and only after consideration about who conducts the research and why and how it is conducted. The guidelines complement information contained in the second edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2), and, in particular, Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.
These guidelines are relevant for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers who conduct Aboriginal research.
Merit Review Measures in Place
For applications related to Aboriginal research, SSHRC ensures that:
external assessors, either Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, have experience and expertise in Aboriginal research; and
when the volume of applications warrants it, adjudication committees are in part or entirely composed of members having community research experience and expertise in Aboriginal research.
SSHRC may solicit external assessments from experts in fields of inquiry relevant to the applications, to aid the adjudication committee in making its decisions.
Key Concepts for the Merit Review of Aboriginal Research
Indigenous or traditional knowledge, according to Chapter 9 of the TCPS2, “is usually described by Aboriginal Peoples as holistic, involving body, mind, feelings and spirit” (p.108). Indigenous knowledge is rarely acquired through written documents, but, rather, a worldview adopted through living, listening and learning in the ancestral languages and within the contexts of living on the land. Engagement with elders and other knowledge holders is acknowledged as valued and vital to knowledge transmission within the context of Aboriginal Peoples living in place. Both Aboriginal knowledge content and processes of knowledge transmission are, thus, embedded in the performance of living, including storytelling, ceremonies, living on the land, the use of natural resources and medicine plants, arts and crafts, singing and dancing, as well as engagement with the more than human world.
Reciprocity is considered an important value in Aboriginal ways of knowing, in that it emphasizes the mutuality of knowledge giving and receiving. In the context of research, and, more specifically, SSHRC’s evaluation criteria, the emphasis on a co-creation model should result in reciprocity in the form of partnerships and collaborative practices, which can include: identification of research objectives and methods; conduct of the research; ethical research protocols; data analysis and presentation; and transmission of knowledge. It also recognizes that access and benefits are, thus, integrally connected.
Community, in the context of Aboriginal research, can refer to places or land-based communities, as well as thematic communities and communities of practice. Furthermore, community-based, community-initiated and community-driven research can involve varying degrees of community engagement; the research outputs will be negotiated taking into account the interests of relevant Aboriginal community members.
Respect, relevance and contributions are important considerations in the merit review of Aboriginal research. Applications should demonstrate that the proposed research identifies and respects relevant community research protocols and current goals, as well as the contributions to and from the community that are likely to emerge or are in place. A respectful research relationship necessitates a deep level of collaboration and ethical engagement. This may include engaging with existing, distinctive research processes and protocols for conducting ethical research reviews in the community; learning within language and/or traditional knowledge systems; collaboratively rebuilding or revitalizing processes that have been displaced or replaced; and/or codeveloping new processes, based on the community’s expressed interests. Finally, this level of collaboration and engagement may also require additional, targeted consultative or review processes.
The following points are intended to assist committee members when reviewing Aboriginal research proposals.
Committee members evaluating research grant applications should use the following list of considerations in relation to the specific evaluation criteria used in assessing grant proposals (i.e., Challenge, Feasibility and Capability).
Committee members evaluating applications for fellowships and scholarships should use the following list of considerations in their review of proposed programs of study or programs of work, as well as in their general assessment of a candidate’s academic capability. While some of these considerations relate more strongly to aspects of SSHRC’s grants programming, they also offer relevant guidance for the review of proposals for doctoral and postdoctoral support.
1. Challenge—The aim and importance of the endeavour:
Given the emphasis placed on lived experience, both written and oral literature are appropriate forms of knowledge for consideration. Examples of oral literature can include interviews or personal encounters, or traditional teaching with elders.
Theoretical framework and methodology may be combined. For example, in storytelling, the stories represent in some instances both theory and method, a way of explaining phenomena or illustrating how behaviour or actions contribute to living in a good way.
Community involvement and the co-creation of knowledge, as appropriate, are considered essential, especially in data interpretation. In this context, the co-creation of knowledge could include interpretative approaches that are jointly developed, reviewed and confirmed by and with community members or their community-delegated organization.
Where appropriate, priority should be given to Aboriginal students and postdoctoral researchers when training opportunities are offered.
2. Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence:
The research should address the needs of each partner, if applicable, and demonstrate how the research meets these identified needs.
The application should demonstrate how outputs will be made available to, and potentially used by, Aboriginal Peoples and other stakeholders, with community benefits configured into the research outputs. Examples of outreach may include: websites, videos, presentations, artistic or community exhibits, performances, or festivals.
The availability and nature of organizational or administrative infrastructure varies from community to community. This aspect should be considered in the structuring of the research in ways that acknowledge and maximize the contributions of a community partner organization.
Where required by the funding opportunity, the leveraging of cash and/or in-kind support from host institutions and partners can include social capital, an asset that may emphasize social and familial relationships and networks and may affect the cost of research. Furthermore, linguistic capital, the ability to engage in the community with the ancestral language(s) of the community and a national language of Canada, can also be considered as a contribution.
Expectations about the management and governance of the coproduction and outputs of knowledge and related support, during and beyond the award, should be outlined.
3. Capability—The expertise to succeed:
The career and academic stages, as well as the rates of research and publication contributions, of applicants and team members need to be reviewed with respect to the following considerations:
Aboriginal scholars may have had to start their academic path later in life, or have had interruptions.
For some scholars, there are expectations that they significantly contribute to and engage with their home community.
Applicants’ accountability to their postsecondary community is also important, as demonstrated by Aboriginal scholars providing support that could include providing student support, teacher training, committee work, and cultural sensitivity training to non-Aboriginal scholars; and contributing to the incorporation of Aboriginal knowledge systems, language, culture and experiences into their postsecondary institutions, including through the creation of associated programs.
In the Special Circumstances section, reviewers should take into account the degree of difficulty in an applicant’s career as a useful measure of merit, especially where they have succeeded in overcoming career obstacles.
The relevant experience of Aboriginal scholars should take into account the life/knowledge journey of individuals.
Collaborators who are considered to have a strong role and community connection should be regarded favourably in the review of Aboriginal research. In particular, elders and community-based partners need to be recognized and respected in terms of their contribution of knowledge assets.
Source: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Guidelines for Merit Review of Aboriginal Research Retrieved from: http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/merit_review-evaluation_du_merite/guidelines_research-lignes_directrices_recherche-eng.aspx on August 1, 2016