Around the Medicine Wheel

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

 Serious Games – Skills Practice: A Home Visit

The “Serious Games – Skills Practice: A Home Visit” game by the Digital Educations Strategies team at the G.Raymond Chang School of Continuing education looks at the use of decision based game play with cutscenes to assist the learning for nursing practitioners and students. The game allows the user to interact with the learning module and learn the consequences of decisions without crossing ethical gray-lines and keeping students from immediate danger. The application of decisions made through boxes to click allows for the user to have a sense of control in their learning. If we were to apply strategies from this game, it is recommended to take note of the interaction between the ‘Nurse’ (player) and the ‘Patient’ (npc).

Collaboration for Inclusive Games

A lesson on collaboration by Elizabeth LaPensée talks on the trials and tribulations of collaborating with racialized groups for their representation and inclusion in video games. LaPensée speaks on looking at and being aware of the intentions one has put in place when possibly using issues that are “hot right now,” (LaPensée, 2017) as “this work is for life” (LaPensée, 2017) and what we as developers put out into the world are timeless and must be timeless at the same time. LaPensée highlights that to truly be collaborative, we as developers need to continuously “listening to feedback and being responsive to the communities” (LaPensée, 2017) that we are in a partnership with; By opening up a respectful channel of conversation between the community and the development of the game, we are able to take the game in a route that would be authentically representative of these communities. LaPensée touches on the importance of being aware not to appropriate the issues that these groups are experiencing and allowing them to have their own voice in these games.

Harvey, Kendall (2019). Return to the Rez (Podcast), Retrieved from Retrieved on Feb. 19, 2020.

This Master’s thesis from Columbia University student Kendall was illuminating. Via interviews with Indigenous students in the U.S., Harvey uncovers the pressures and rewards for graduates of post-secondary First Nations students. There is discussion of the systemic and institutional issues faced by students, as well as the community pressure to “give back” to their communities. Not only do students have the pressures of post-secondary but they pull back to their reservations. This desire to “give back” is offered willingly and I was struck by the themes of family support and understanding these students were given through their education journey. I was also incredibly heartened to hear how these success stories were not simple ones, but rather the students embraced trial and error, and worked hard (harder than they should have had to) to find the right institutional fit. I would love to share this podcast with all post-secondary students as the message is one of community, the need for support and that ‘success’ isn’t necessarily a straight line or found on the conventional, ‘tried and true’ path. This is instructive for this project.

Fataar, A. (2018). Placing Students at the Centre of the Decolonizing Education Imperative: Engaging the (Mis)Recognition Struggles of Students at the Postapartheid University, Educational Studies, 54:6, 595-608, DOI: 10.1080/00131946.2018.1518231

This is a very powerful piece for this project. It deals with misrecognition in education. This is defined as not understanding who the students are, creating curricula that doesn’t reflect them, and institutions that don’t support them. “Misrecognized students develop a complex life.” (p. 600). Misrecognized students adopt “survivalist educational navigations and practices” (p. 600). The article also makes the argument that even a South African school system has been co-opted by “techno-modern instrumental reason”; this instrumental reason has replaced racial discipline. The educational experience for Black South Africans has been fraught with “subtle and insidious forms of inequality” (Burke, 2012).

LaFever, M. (2016). Switching from Bloom to the Medicine Wheel: creating learning outcomes that support Indigenous ways of knowing in post-secondary education, Intercultural Education, 27:5, 409-424, DOI: 10.1080/14675986.2016.1240496

This guide could provide the framework we’ve been searching for the Longhouse OER project. LaFever (2016) proposes a reconception of pedagogy away from Bloom’s Taxonomy to the Medicine Wheel. Most classroom instruction uses Bloom’s Taxonomy – which divides learning into the mental, physical and emotional. Indeed, LaFever (2016) notes that secondary and post-secondary ignore the physical and emotional as well, with only some disciplines touching on those aspects such as counselling which deals in emotions and the trades which deal with hands-on physical tasks. The Medicine Wheel proposes a fourth element which is the spiritual.

This fourth aspect is completely ignored in traditional Western/North American pedagogy. How might the spiritual be integrated into the classroom? LaFever (4) proposes that the spiritual can be woven into a learning environment in the following ways:

  • Honouring – a recognition that we are all connected to the earth and that things exist outside of materiality and our own self interest
  • Attention to Relationships – an understanding that relationships and community is key to learning and living; supportive relationships inside and outside the classroom are key to thriving
  • Developing a Sense of Belonging – Helping learners find and understand their place in the world
  • Feeling Empowered to Pursue a Unique Path – Guiding learners to find their unique place in the world and guiding them along their journey
  • Developing Self-Knowledge of Purpose – Helping a learner become self actualized as a “unique entity in the group.”

CBC. (2020, March 26). ‘Language is key in all of our teachings’: Land-based learning must include language component, educator says. CBC News.

This article talks about a progressive joint-program between Lakehead University and the Biitgigong Niishnabeg Nation. Randy Trudeau, part of the founding group of the program speaks on the benefits of the program, but also that without the language the lessons taught may fall flat. He says that, “If you don’t have the language, you’re missing the most important ingredient in teaching our youth about living off the land and about the land.” (CBC, 2020) The article does back our earlier discussions in this project of the importance for the implementation of the lesson’s translation to indigenous languages.

Boutsalis, K. (2019) Before Toronto. Spacing, 52. 30-31. 

An article that talks about the lack of evidence of the Original Toronto inhabitant’s history; the First Nations people who lived in Toronto before its colonization. Boutsalis speaks on the amount of rich cultural history that can be uncovered through archeological artifacts, and how the settlement of Toronto by Europeans was more a, ‘when in Rome’ scenario in regards to the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, and the Aniishinabe people. This article brings an interesting point to the Longhouse-OER project; That we are teaching in a city that was appropriated.

Engel, E. (Dec. 26, 2019). Coding, robotics industry join forces to Indigenization, Barrie Today. Retrieved from

This article has direct applicability to the project because it involves questioning existing Western frameworks and approaches. The piece discusses the work of a 3rd-year PhD Jon Corbett who is a beading portrait artist who is creating a new coding language based on the Cree language. It allows coders to implement the Cree Syllabic Orthography in interactive media artworks. Corbett is a programmer and artist, and noticed that traditional programming languages are very linear and inflexible. Corbett took the looping processes from beading and applied it to programming. In this Corbett said, an Indigenous computing framework “favours cultural practices over computational efficacy.” His project is funded by CanCode.

Dorland, S. G. H. (2018)  The touch of a child, Journal of Archeological Science

This is a fascinating piece that provided key information about the social rhythms and practices of an Iroquian village via an in-depth analysis of pottery. The author was looking for evidence of childhood in artifacts and found them in the fingerprints and fingernail impressions on pottery. The article quotes Warrick (2008) that anywhere from 45-55% of the northern Iroquoian population were children and juveniles. Often girls learned pottery from their mothers. Many of the artifacts were found in the Keffer village site located north of Toronto. Pottery lessons began at the age of 5-7 and a potter would be considered skilled after 6-8 years of dedicated practice. The analyses of fingerprint and nail indentations allowed the author to conclude that learning assemblages of pottery found were made entirely by children. This article provided insight into the lives of children in these villages.


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Into the Longhouse, Around the Medicine Wheel Copyright © by Michael Carter; Ewan Cassidy; Michael Mihalicz; and Tanya Pobuda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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