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Aamjiwnaang history, culture shared with wider world

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Tara Jeffrey

David Plain believes new online curriculum he’s written will reach more people looking to learn about Indigenous issues in Canada and across the globe.

“There’s so much going on now,” said the Aamjiwnaang historian, Elder and author, noting news coverage of mass graves at residential schools and Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “This will give people a good foundation for understanding what’s going on today.

“And a lot of people don’t have that,” he continued. “They just see what’s going on and they really don’t understand it. Like, how did we get here? They don’t know.”

Plain, 78, wrote one of four modules for the course — Global EdD (taught doctorate) in Remote Pedagogy and Stewardship — available now through eCampus Ontario.

His work covers Indigenous learning methodologies, including topics like Indigenous history, worldviews, teachings and culture.

He began compiling the material last May after the University of Windsor invited him to be a collaborator on the program.

“It’s a self-taught doctorate program, so it’s for post-graduates — but anybody can take it,” Plain said of the 12-week course, with contributions from the University of Windsor, Brock University, and professors in the UK and China.

“This is a global effort.”

Students will get a taste of local history and culture.

“It’s mostly Ojibwe, but some Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and some from out west,” he said. “Mostly Great Lakes stuff — because that’s generally what I write on.”

Plain has also been busy working with Lambton College to develop a First Nations-based video game.

“It’s based on Aamjiwnaang history and culture,” Plain said of the three-year project. “There’s a lot of overlap there; we’re using the work I’ve done for [this course], as a resource for the game.

“It’s pretty cool.”


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