With the increase in land claim agreements, renegotiation of treaty rights and local control of resource development, many Indigenous communities are engaging in the use of new media and information technologies in the process of self-determination. This direct control and involvement leads to issues of preservation and sustainable development of their resources. Education becomes a major factor in this process as many Indigenous communities support the inclusion of these technologies in the students learning:
- To encourage students to be aware of and feel responsible for the lands their ancestors have occupied.
- To assist in the intellectual, emotional and social development of students.
- To better prepare and encourage the students for employment opportunities that exist within Aboriginal territories and beyond.
Through this short issue paper, I investigate the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) and e-learning in a First Nations education context and make the case for their educational, pedagogical and cultural benefits within a system that many believe is failing its students (AFN, 2005; Kirkness, 1998). As I describe some exemplary e-learning educational organizations, I believe that we are currently well situated within political, economic and social systems to increase support for ICTs and e-learning in First Nations education policy and programming at both the local and national levels.