Playing catch up

Like many people, I suspect, who went to school when I did, my education included a certain approach to our First Nations people.  Looking back now, I completely see that it was biased and certainly did not even attempt to address all sides to us.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that our teachers were affected by the romantic notion often conveyed in the movies.

We didn’t even use the name First Nations.

I also suspect that, like many, it was the issue with Dudley George at Ipperwash that raised whatever level of understanding that I now have.  Before this, honestly, Ipperwash was the “other” Provincial Park near Grand Bend that wasn’t as commercial as the Pinery.  The only First Nations communities that I knew of first hand were in Delaware, Walpole Island, and Sarnia.  Just within the past year, I’ve become aware of the Caldwell Nation along the north shore of Lake Erie.

We now understand the importance of recognizing First Nations communities, treaties, and conducting meaningful land acknowledgements.  It’s been a personal learning journey for me.  Like so many, I was impressed that the Ministry of Education was going to fund support for the Ontario Curriculum this summer.  Like so many, I was deeply disappointed when it didn’t happen.

Recently, I’ve become aware of the resource “Whose Land“, a joint project of Bold Realities, Canadian Roots, and Taking IT Global.  This is an interesting collection of text, maps, treaties, communities, links, and videos showing Land Acknowledgements.

Overlaid on Google Maps, this resource is a visual portal for research.  This has been a useful resource for my own learning.  I can’t believe how much I need to understand to catch up.  So much of this should have been part of my Canadian Studies classes.

I’m sharing it here for those who are looking for appropriate and respectful resources for the class this upcoming school year.

While the scope is North American, I’m starting local and then branching out.


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I certainly am humbled when I view that “our borders” don’t have a place on this map.

I had nowhere near this availability of information and resources when I went to school.  Our students are so much better off and hopefully will grow up with the understanding and respect that is so necessary if we truly believe in compassion, understanding, and living in an interconnected world.

Whose Land has a working relationship with Native-Land which had previously appeared on this blog here.

Tracking Twitter messages

This is an interesting tool.

It’s called OneMillionTweetMap and it pretty much does what you would expect it to — it plots Twitter messages on a world map according to your rules.  Just a blank snap world-wide looks like this.


If there is any doubt that people are using Twitter, this should dispel that notion.  Since it’s a digital map, you can zero in on any particular location and check things out around that neighbourhood.

It gets very interesting when you start to play around with the tools and look for results with a purpose.

toolsAs people in education know, the big ISTE conference is on this week.  It’s an opportunity for educators to gather and learn.  For some, it’s a chance to dust off that Twitter account and share pictures of meals others or to send the message “I’m at ISTE and you’re not”.  Regardless, there’s evidence when you do a search for the hashtag #iste18


I let it run and gather 5000 Twitter messages for the purpose of this post and these were the results.  That it’s got global interest shouldn’t come as a surprise.  It’s also early morning as I write this; I may run it again later in the day to see what’s happening.  In addition to the one hashtag, there’s also a #notatiste18 tag.

Its results?


The little red dots appear to be the application checking by location.

You’ll also notice, I hope, that the tool allows you to have a hashtag battle.  You can plot both of these on the same map.

Beyond ISTE?

Do you want to prove to yourself that soccer is a world wide event, try plotting #WorldCup18!

Any time there’s an event with a hashtag, you could use this tool to share the results.  I’m thinking, for example, of something that you’re district is promoting.  It would be nice way to summarize the results for parents, trustees, administration, …

Play with it.  I’m sure that many ideas will come to mind.