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An Ojibway Framework

 Many frameworks exist to guide the design and delivery of online learning, such as the CoI Community of Inquiry Framework, which seeks to establish a teacher, social and cognitive presence for online learning environments which includes video conferencing platforms, learning management systems and various digital technologies such as slide decks and pdf course materials.  However, there are no design frameworks for First Peoples-based education.  From this vantage point, I present a culture-specific framework to help guide the design and delivery of an online learning environment for First peoples-based education.  This culture-specific framework seeks to establish a visible cultural presence by incorporating cultural gifts such as First Peoples arts, crafts, medicines and songs into all aspects of an online learning environment, from the video conferencing platform to the learning management system to the slide deck presentations and pdf course materials.  This culture-specific framework intends to provide students with an environment they can relate to, which can help foster their (w)holistic well-being and cultural identity.  This visible cultural presence can make the students feel at home, especially for those who grew up in traditional First Peoples homes that housed traditional First Peoples arts and crafts and spiritual medicines such as sweetgrass, cedar, sage and tobacco. 


Mark Sayers

Mark Sayers is a Full-status and Treaty Ojibway Anishinaabe nini who grew up in his home community, the Garden River First Nation, near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  Mark is an enrolled student in the Doctor of Education Ed.D program at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario.  In addition to his Master of Education degree from Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, Mark also earned a Bachelor of Education in Aboriginal Adult Education from Brock University in St. Catharines, a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and a Diploma in Anishinaabemowin Language Immersion from Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

In September of 2023, Mark was awarded the Indigenous Studies Dissertation Completion and Teaching Fellowship with the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, where he is also in the 2nd year of the Doctor of Education Ed.D program.  Mark's doctoral research aims to create a culture-specific instructional design framework for Ojibway-based post-secondary online education, drawing upon the traditional teachings of his Elders and other Garden River First Nation community members. As a professional educator, Mark incorporated numerous interactive technology tools into the online classroom environment, such as Perusall, Hypothesis, Kahoot and Flipgrid, and is proficient in utilizing various online learning management systems such as Canvas, D2L Brightspace, and Sakai.


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