Tag Archives: future

What’s Up In Politics? The Sky? – Political Narrative Doc. of Learning

The past few weeks in class we have been discussing some of the, shall we say, broadcast narratives in current Canadian politics. The four main areas we have been trying to fit these down into are economy, government, identity, and geography, which includes all resource, land, and environment issues. I find the different angles presented of these narratives by the four main parties, heading into this 2016 election, all very interesting however one particularly intrigues me because of my interest in the topic.

Geography, specifically the environment, is an issue that I am very passionate about and I have a strong opinion about how certain issues should be treated both in B.C., Canada, and the world surrounding this topic. For these reasons, I am intrigued as to how the different parties narrate the environment discussion and curious as to what they present to the public about their cause towards it.

Straightforward and bluntly, the Conservative website does not show any signs of care or thought towards the environment, in ads and campaigns the issue  is noticeably not present, only occasionally do they bring it up when discussing the economy’s effect and impact from pipelines such as the Kinder Morgan, Keystone, and Northern Gateway. Their three main sections under their ‘Where We Stand‘ heading show no mention of the health of our planet.

The NDP, current opposition party, don’t appear to have geographical focuses as a main point of interest or value either. Though their policy book, when found, is highly detailed and comprehensive, it doesn’t have any direct mention of the environment specifically or current issues surrounding it. However, some small glimpses of care and thought can be found in multiple other policies, but nothing of significant value.

The Liberals are the only of the three main parties to show a greater care for the environment and the ones who seem more attentive to it and its issues in this changing world. A recent series of Tweets and Facebook posts present Justin  Trudeau’s recent visit to the West Coast and the former Kitsilano coast guard station as a large act towards care of the environment. Upon further investigation, the backing of this case is that the removal of the coast guard greatly reduced the rate of reaction to a spill  or disaster in the marine area.

Nonetheless, the act of reacting is still not the act of preventing, or improving, which it appears there is no major action for the Liberals to uphold if they were to gain significant power. ‘Energy and the Environment‘ is the third third of six headings on the Liberal website, but upon viewing this page and identifying their views on issues, it seems they have other underlying values that in certain cases override their worry and true mindset for protecting the environment, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline.

This leaves only one other main party, outside the big three but still highly relevant, that truly presents this as their leading narrative and focus for the future of our country. Not only that, but the only party who truly shows a real worry and alarm for the worthy issues that are present in our society today.

It is not a surprise that what’s up for the Green Party, is the sky: our atmosphere, our earth, our environment. One out of their nine main categories under their ‘Our Vision‘ heading on their website focuses solely on “Solving the Climate Crisis“, but additionally, almost all of their other values incorporate and include their respect and responsibility for the environment and its current and evermore pressing issues.

The Green Party’s focus is obviously bringing a voice to an invaluable circle of life in the very land and ‘environment’ that we live, but this offer is more than just needed in today’s society. If the other parties are not willing to sacrifice, let a lone side with, the values of our Earth itself, then it becomes all the more important for the voice to become louder, in the people, and in the party. For this to occur, people need to take a chance, just like the other parties. Our Earth’s nature and life has taken a chance on human’s since the beginning of our very civilization, can we not respect it in the slightest and put but a small thought into our own future with it.

For these reasons, the Green party has the best values and support focusses for our future in terms of geography narratives, as they have consistently shown actions and greater support in putting a foot forward on the path to a healthier planet.

To close, speaking from a more literal point of view, if we don’t have an Earth to stand on, what good is anything else? If we cannot physically walk, or drive, or take other modes of transportation, to a store because it is flooded with water, what good is our money to buy our groceries? What will our ‘resources’ be when they are filled with toxins? Where will our children live, when there is no land to live on? I think the Green party has their priorities right for our ‘future’, as it is referenced:  life first, liberties later.

The Deep Depths of Tradition: Aboriginals – Europeans in Canada

Where have we come from? Where are we going? Where are we now?

You may remember these questions from the start of our social studies semester in my blog post, and I’m bringing them back up again because they are, literally, what we have done, what we are doing, and what we are going to do, which is what this post is about. However, this post is specifically focused on learning outcome B2 in the socials studies 10 curriculum: “Evaluate the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815-1914”. I see this in itself, completely as a situation of the above mentioned questions.

This specific PLO directs the attention of the learner to the past, the “Where have we come from?”, 1815-1914.

Where have we come from?

Upon discussing the topics of Aboriginals in Canada I have gained many new perspectives and angles to the topic. Through class discussions, small mini-conferences, and, sometimes heated, debates with my parents, I have heard many different opinions and sides to some of the issues in the modern world surrounding Aboriginals, and how they came to be. In the beginning I was a bit confused, sometimes ‘drowned’, you could say, in the complexities of Aboriginals in Canada.

Over the course of our recent studies I have found myself intrigued by many different aspects of the topic; How did we get to where we are? Who has the rights? Or, had? Where does the puzzle begin? The topic has seemed to present itself as an extremely deep and complex situation, dealing with rights at the time of “North American discovery”, Canadian Confederation, and the modern day.

I have always been interested in Aboriginal peoples and their culture. In grade 7 I participated in an after school group where we learnt about various cultures and traditions of the local Aboriginal people. Further, in grade 8, our class had a guest presenter come in to teach us about the history of Aboriginals in addition to some stories of residential schools. I find it hard to believe that the events of residential schools actually occurred, and that they occurred in our country, and very recently.

Some points that have come up in my various discussions that I am interested and have been struggling to mull over in my mind, are ‘Who actually had the rights to the land when the Europeans came to Canada?’ The obvious answer to this question is the Aboriginal people, who were currently inhabiting the region, but as someone pointed out, if the existing Aboriginal tribes and groups simply overtook one another using manpower and physical attack, then what prevented from the Europeans from doing the same? I then wonder whether the Europeans’ introduction of a new system atop the existing, and to their position successful, form of title and claim simply outdid themselves and made it more complicated than it needed to be.

If you shoot an arrow and hit a target at the end of a dock once, you’ve succeeded, but if you shoot another arrow, in the same spot, and it knocks the target off the dock into the water, it could be lost forever. No one may ever know who shot the arrow, or why, or where from, or who was there. It may take years to uncover the truth, to get to the bottom of it. The arrow and target may end up somewhere totally unexpected, in situations completely unforeseen, but most of all, it will create confusion. Now this is just one little arrow and target of course, but what if those targets become a currency for all of Canada, then it would be pretty important.

In this metaphor, picture that the the Europeans are the shooter, the first arrow is their military, the second is their law. The lake is the people, the unforeseen situation is modern Canada, and the target is the Aboriginals. I’m not saying that Aboriginals are a currency for Canada, but as I am learning, they are becoming more and more of a factor on not only our economy, but also our society.

Further, I am interested in how the ‘modern’, or more man-made style of living of the Europeans, has meshed with the more natural way of life of the Aboriginals years ago, and how they are still meshing today. When I think about the Aboriginals and their culture, I think or peace, serenity, very natural. How have these characteristics changed, or are they true in the first place, since the collision of cultures long ago?

I am very interested to pursue further into the section of this learning outcome  stating “critique the rationale for treaties and the Indian Act, and evaluate their impact on Aboriginal peoples.  I have gathered some questions I have that I would further like to pursue and try to understand surrounding these issues:

  • What do the Aboriginals want now?
  • Did the Europeans fulfill their constitutional agreements, then and now?
  • How did the Europeans’ views at the time of Confederation shape their future?
  • How are they carrying out this ‘future’?
  • Are there other countries in a similar situation to Canada, or that went through similar events with Aboriginal groups? What happened there?
  • Did the Europeans have the right to physically take over the land inhabited by the Aboriginals?
  • What was the beginning piece of the dominos, or what first caused the complexities and confusion, or began it? Who knocked them over? When? How?
  • Why are there more and more treaties and agreements being negotiated?
  • What is treaties and agreements are being negotiated today?

Some of these are very broad questions that could not be answered in a simple black or white response. Though, in order to fully understand these issues, one must first build a basis of knowledge of the past. I feel that I should learn more about what happened in the law and constitution at the time of Confederation and the Indian Act, and how those agreements have been carried out. In regard to learning about another culture or society, I feel that this would be highly beneficial in order to have something to base our history on and compare it to. However, many of these questions are deep and intertwining puzzles that could take years to solve. In fact, they have, and are still. So, many of them will be difficult for me to solve individually throughout our study, however I can attempt to further understand the sides and background of the history.

In regard to what other areas this research and learning may entail, I think this topic, and PLO, relates to almost, if not all, other areas of the curriculum. The fact that this is the case, indicates a certain importance of this issue in our society, both then and now. Some specific PLOs  that connect very closely to this issue are A1, C1. and B3, to pinpoint a few.

A1, which involves cirtical thinking, comparing, and questioning, are the exact skills and techniques needed to fulfil this outcome, B2. Comparison could be used when analyzing the similarities of another civilization to Canada and our Aboriginal relations. Further, questioning and critical thinking are often required to progress in understanding and knowledge, even though it may feel liek you are moving backwards when coming up with radical ideas or questioning the norm.

On the other hand, C1, and B3, are possibly more debatable outcomes in connection to Aboriginal relations. However, I believe that C1, describing the evolution of ‘responsible’ government in Canada, is a key outcome to critically analyze when digging into the depths of Canadian traditions in relations with Aboriginals. Though it may require questioning, and thinking outside of the norm, I feel that the analysis of what exactly ‘responsible’ government is, is a valuable place to start when learning about the relations of Aboriginals and Europeans. Additionally, I think that B3, evaluating the influence of immigration on Canadian society, is another useful outcome to explore. However, I think we should look at it from a different angle, the angle of the Europeans being the mass immigration on the existing majority, the Aboriginals. This may also be a useful area to explore in a slightly earlier time period, but also during this time period of the impacts of more and more Europeans existing and their influence on how society functions and how the land function changed.

To continue, many of the outcomes discussing resource development and therefore the economy connect completely to Aboriginal relations as to do with land ownership and title. As I mentioned before, virtually all the PLOs connect to B2 and Aboriginal relations in some way as they were the inhabitants of our land before the Europeans arrived, and the results of this merger are still occurring today.

I hope to develop more knowledge through this study that will help me in the modern world in understanding current issues and how we can move forward as a nation together. Many of these twists and turns in the knots of law and relations are challenging to understand, but I hope they can take me closer to the deep depths of traditions, and the lake, to find the target.

The Beginning: In-Depth Endeavour #1 – Start Your Ovens; On Your Pots, Get Set, Action!

Feast, or should I say, treat your eyes to some of the desserts I might be making. Treat your mind to the life skills being learned. And treat your heart to the purpose and heart which baking presents.

Photo Credits: Wikipedia
Photo Credits: Cook 13

Over the break I watched a movie with my family released this past summer, titled The Hundred Foot Journey.

Picture Credits: Wikipedia

At first, I was left with great satisfaction and joy from the film, as I thoroughly enjoyed it for many reasons, but after some time, I realized the passion and heart that goes into cooking, that I had gained further knowledge of through this film.

The film takes place in a small French village in the south of France, where an Indian family attempts to open an Indian cuisine restaurant one hundred feet across the road from a Michelin-starred classical French restaurant. The two restaurants initially begin as rivals, and as one could expect, the owner of the French restaurant is not happy to have competition. The story continues, building further similarities with the classic Shakespearean tale, Romeo and Juilet, as the young chef of the Indian restaurant and the sous-chef of Le Saule Pleurer, the French restaurant, fall in love. However, unlike the Shakespearean tragedy, all ends well, and the two communities come together, accept, and welcome each other.

The story obviously revolves around food, but the passion and love for cooking and cuisine is what drives the characters towards their goals throughout the plot. Along with other key messages, this movie showed me how much heart and passion cooking and baking can really involve, and what meaning they can have.

When I have taken HomeEc at school before, and done some basic cooking and baking at home before, I have always taken pride in my work and enjoyed the  experiences. I have often wanted to further explore the area and really learn about the art of cooking and, in this case, baking. So as I have been interested in baking and cooking before, I decided to explore the desserts area specifically for various reasons. First of all, I am a highly picky eater. In cooking, and baking, it is very important to be able to taste the foods that you make , so I figured I would be absolutely fine tasting my cuisine if I studied desserts. Desserts, and baking, are also a very useful skill to have, as they can be used in many situations and could come in handy in many future situations.

Skills in the kitchen and using equipment properly and safely, are skills that can help me all throughout life, and will have a great impact in the future. Desserts can also be useful when preparing a dessert or treat for guests or a party, or when made in quality, can be an upgrade to an average bake-sale. However, for this project, I will be looking into more advanced styles of desserts, and attempting to explore and make some European style desserts and treats.

I am hoping to gain mentorship from my amazing baker neighbour, who has outstanding talent and ability in baking various European style treats, and desserts. Though I know my neighbour fairly well, and the idea is to expand on existing circles in the community, I am still planning on having her as my mentor, however I will be reaching out to one or possibly more businesses or other groups/experts in the field for experience and possibly further mentorship.

I have yet to talk to my neighbour about this proposal, as I have been extremely busy with the crazy start back at school and flash of a start to 2015! Hopefully this works out and I can get set up very soon!

For this project, I am planning on taking out practice sessions with my mentor on a semi-regular basis, as well as practicing skills and recipes learned on my own. As previously stated, I will also be attempting to gain further experience and knowledge from additional mentors or experiences in the community. Through this project, I also hope to gain some more knowledge about desserts in general and possibly some of the history that revolves around this infamous course.

I am still waiting to confirm many of the details for this project, as I am somewhat unfamiliar with the challenges or difficulty of what I plan to undertake, and the area in general. Once I have more information, hopefully in the next week, I will be able to more closely revise some of the more specific guidelines and plans for the project, such as how many different recipes I plan to learn, and the amount of assistance I will need.

As for now, maybe not eggs just yet, but I shall get cracking!