Indigenous Science Network Bulletin
April 2005
(Volume 8, Number 2)
ISSN  1449-2091

Editor: Michael Michie

Tiwi designs by Jennifer Coombs, Munupi Arts & Crafts Association, Pirlangimpi, Melville Island, NT






Commemorating Forty Years of the Freedom Ride

A new online exhibition "Commemorating Forty Years of the Freedom Ride" is now on the AIATSIS Library website at:

The website is based on the diary of Ann Curthoys, who was a student on the 1965 bus trip through New South Wales.  Ann's research papers for her book "Freedom Ride: A Freedom Rider Remembers" are now in AIATSIS Library at MS 4185 and MS 4186.  Guides for these manuscripts are available at

Florida attempts to stamp out "dictator" professors, or is it academic freedom?*

The following item was recently circulated through the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) network.

Editor's note: This item was originally entitled "Florida stamps out dictator professors". I received a comment from one network member who felt that this title did not convey the feelings behind the article appropriately, that the actions being reported in the article are designed to limit academic freedoms. With this in mind I have altered the title. To read the comments, visit Florida comments. MM

Florida Capitol bill aims to control ‘leftist’ profs
By JAMES VANLANDINGHAM, Alligator Staff Writer

TALLAHASSEE ­ Republicans on the Florida House Choice and Innovation Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to pass a bill that aims to stamp out “leftist totalitarianism” by “dictator professors” in the classrooms of Florida’s universities.

The Academic Freedom Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, passed 8-to-2 despite strenuous objections from the only two Democrats on the committee.

The bill has two more committees to pass before it can be considered by the full House. 

While promoting the bill Tuesday, Baxley said a university education should be more than “one biased view by the professor, who as a dictator controls the classroom,” as part of “a misuse of their platform to indoctrinate the next generation with their own views.” 

The bill sets a statewide standard that students cannot be punished for professing beliefs with which their professors disagree. Professors would also be advised to teach alternative “serious academic theories” that may disagree with their personal views. 

According to a legislative staff analysis of the bill, the law would give students who think their beliefs are not being respected legal standing to sue professors and universities. 

Students who believe their professor is singling them out for “public ridicule” – for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class – would also be given the right to sue. 

“Some professors say, ‘Evolution is a fact. I don’t want to hear about Intelligent Design (a creationist theory), and if you don’t like it, there’s the door,’” Baxley said, citing one example when he thought a student should sue. 

Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, warned of lawsuits from students enrolled in Holocaust history courses who believe the Holocaust never happened.

Similar suits could be filed by students who don’t believe astronauts landed on the moon, who believe teaching birth control is a sin or even by Shands medical students who refuse to perform blood transfusions and believe prayer is the only way to heal the body, Gelber added. 

“This is a horrible step,” he said. “Universities will have to hire lawyers so our curricula can be decided by judges in courtrooms. Professors might have to pay court costs ­ even if they win ­ from their own pockets. This is not an innocent piece of legislation.”

The staff analysis also warned the bill may shift responsibility for determining whether a student’s freedom has been infringed from the faculty to the courts. 

But Baxley brushed off Gelber’s concerns. “Freedom is a dangerous thing, and you might be exposed to things you don’t want to hear,” he said. “Being a businessman, I found out you can be sued for anything. Besides, if students are being persecuted and ridiculed for their beliefs, I think they should be given standing to sue.”

During the committee hearing, Baxley cast opposition to his bill as “leftists” struggling against “mainstream society.”

“The critics ridicule me for daring to stand up for students and faculty,” he said, adding that he was called a McCarthyist. 

Baxley later said he had a list of students who were discriminated against by professors, but refused to reveal names because he felt they would be persecuted.

Rep. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, argued universities and the state Board of Governors already have policies in place to protect academic freedom. Moreover, a state law outlining how professors are supposed to teach would encroach on the board’s authority to manage state schools.

“The big hand of state government is going into the universities telling them how to teach,” she said. “This bill is the antithesis of academic freedom.”

But Baxley compared the state’s universities to children, saying the legislature should not give them money without providing “guidance” to their behavior.

“Professors are accountable for what they say or do,” he said. “They’re accountable to the rest of us in society … All of a sudden the faculty think they can do what they want and shut us out. Why is it so unheard of to say the professor shouldn’t be a dictator and control that room as their totalitarian niche?”

In an interview before the meeting, Baxley said “arrogant, elitist academics are swarming” to oppose the bill, and media reports misrepresented his intentions. “I expect to be out there on my own pretty far,” he said. “I don’t expect to be part of a team.”


Culture Studies in Science Education

Masakata Ogawa has launched the Culture Studies in Science Education Research Network. You can visit the tentative web page at

Indigenous knowledge and resource management in Northern Australia

The School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems at Charles Darwin University (Darwin, Australia) have  launched their new web site for a research project on "Indigenous knowledge and resource management in Northern Australia". You are invited to visit the web site at

Learning in Science: the Waikato Research.

Beverley Bell of the University of Waikato has just published a book of the Waikato science education research over the first 20 years (1979 - 1998) and network members might be interested in this. It contains 2 chapters on Maori and science education. Other chapters are on learning, pedagogy, classroom assessment and curriculum development as teacher development.

Bell, B. (2005) Learning in Science: the Waikato Research. London: RoutledgeFalmer.
ISBN (pbk) 0-415-29875-X

Protecting environment through protecting culture

The Chumash are a First Nations group that is based around Ventura, between Santa Monica and Monterey on the Californian coast. They work through the Wishtoyo Foundation, a community based, non-profit, membership organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and restoring Ventura County's marine habitat, coastal waters, and watershed. Their website includes information about Chumash culture and presents the ideas and work of Mati Waiya, the Foundation’s Executive Director.

The website discusses Chumash culture and the education programs that Mati conducts. Teachers exploring issues in indigenous interactions with environments might look at comparisons between local Australian groups and the Chumash. For a flavour of the website material, look at the extract below:

The lessons of nature taught (the Chumash) the balance between mind and nature, and they witnessed the consequences of disrespecting their environment.

People learned the Three Basic laws first-hand: Limitation, Moderation and Compensation.

  • Limitation: Realize our limitations; we are going to live and we will die; we can only do so much. Once we identify and accept our limitations, we can better accept who we are as individuals.

  • Moderation: Harvest from the lands and oceans just what we need; leave some for another day and for others. This applies to our work as well, leave some for tomorrow; don't try to do everything at once.

  • Compensation: If you want to do something for your children, for the land, or for another person, do it because it's inside your heart; don't expect anything in return. Compensation can come in many forms; it can be a child, or happiness, or health, or wealth. It often comes when you need it most, and you least expect it. That is true compensation.

We can apply these three laws mentally and physically, and we can live by them.

Time and Seasons
When we become a part of nature, and let nature become a part of us, we start to understand the time that nature lives by, a natural time. Salmon live by nature's time; they know when to swim upstream to spawn; the birds know when to fly south, or north - nature tells them.

The Chumash lived by Nature's time, not man's time. When we pay attention to the seasons, and the changes, and the helpers and the keepers from each direction, we gain useful lessons about life; they help us understand our role in it. Each season held a special place in relationship with life's cycles.

People are going against the grain and living by the time of man. If we live by the time of nature, I believe people will be enlightened. (Submitted by Greg Hunt)


I recently came across this site at AIATSIS on ethnomathematics. It links to a number of earlier papers on ethnomathematics.
. MM.

Sharing our pathways

This is the newsletter of the Alaskan Native Knowledge Network, based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They have produced five newsletters annually for the past nine years. You can access Sharing our pathways at, and it's available in html or pdf formats.

Native Voices in Research

Explores innovative ways of learning based on traditional Aboriginal Peoples’ ways of knowing. Authors include Aboriginal practitioners, academics, and community leaders in the fields of anthropology, community health, dentistry, education, history, nursing, linguistics, literature, political sciences, economic development, and women’ studies.

The book, which includes 32 papers on 347 pages, has five sections:
I. Health and Education - presents Aboriginal Peoples’ perspectives on the meaning of “place or home”, collaborative field work, distance education nursing programs, the meaning of cancer, and university life.
II. Colonization - presents colonization through changes in Mi’kmaq-Acadian alliances, Anglican missionaries, use of Guarani by indigenous peoples in Paraguay, and the role of Coyote!
III. Ethics and Methodology - introduces ethics and methods based on Aboriginal traditions highlighting experiential learning, storytelling, relationship building, and inclusive learning.
IV. Consultation and Public Policy - questions policies in Canada and India, provides advice on effective consultation, and discusses the essential need for respect in presenting traditional ecological knowledge.
V. Traditional Knowledge in Planning - shares examples of how community-based research was used to learn invaluable perspectives on topics ranging from Arctic climate change, lake sturgeon and moose, northern economic development, Greenland fisheries, and indigenous potato farmers in Bolivia. 

CAN$25.00, delivery extra

Faculty of Environment
204 Isbister Building
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

Yalanji Warranga Kaban

I know a passionately green photographer Steven Nowakowski, who has done some lovely work with a mob up north (the Yalanji people of Cape York) whose country is between Mossman and Cooktown. With full cooperation of the elders he has produced a book looking at their rainforest fire management, seasonal hunting and gathering, food preparation and other cultural practices. With colour pictures on every page, it is an excellent resource for anyone interested  in Australian Aboriginal knowledge systems. Steven took most of the photos, with the text provided by Yalanji in their language and English on alternative pages. Check out his website for the book, great value at only $29.95, with all profits going to organisations directly part of or working with Yalanji in support of their land management and other cultural projects. (Submitted by Mark Linkson)

Science and Development Network

I would like to draw your attention to a recent addition to our dossier on indigenous knowledge on the Science and Development Network website ( If you could share this information with colleagues that would be appreciated.

Spotlight on the regulation and protection of traditional medicine (

Traditional medicine is growing in popularity, making it urgent to address topics such as a lack of international standards, concerns over the quality of the medicines and the threat that the  excessive use of medicinal plants can pose to  biodiversity.

 This spotlight highlights key issues in traditional medicine, with two new policy briefs discussing global standards and legislation as  well as the protection of indigenous medical knowledge in South Africa. The dossier includes news and opinion articles, background reading material and links to relevant sites.

 If you find this information useful please let others know about it by passing on the url. And, if you have not already done so, you might like to register to SciDev.Net ( This way you will automatically be updated with information about topics you have indicated are of interest to you. You will also receive a free weekly email with all the latest news, views and notices about science, technology and development.

 Thank you for your interest in SciDev.Net. We welcome feedback and suggestions; if you would like to comment on this or any other resource please contact: (Author - Eva Tallaksen, submitted by Liz McKinley)


Language, Culture, Concept Construction, and Development of Teaching Materials for Science and Mathematics Education

If you are attending AERA in Montreal, April 11-15, 2005, and would like to contribute to a small informal discussion about educational research with Aboriginal groups and communities, in the research area of “Language, Culture, Concept Construction, and Development of Teaching Materials for Science and Mathematics Education”, please contact Glen to find out where we’ll be meeting (a seminar room, the number of which he will know by April 1). If you can join us even for part of those discussions, you’d be most welcome.

April 15 and April 16, 9 am to mid afternoon (each day)
Delta Centre-Ville Hotel
777 University Street (in the neighbourhood of AERA hotels)

Glen Aikenhead (
College of Education
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Canada

What is Aboriginal research, and: What does it mean to Aboriginal communities?

The 2005 Aboriginal Education Research Forum call for papers "Shawane Dagosiwin" (In Anishinabemowin means being respectful, caring and having passion for Aboriginal research). June 1, 2, 3, 2005, Victoria Inn, Winnipeg MB, Canada. Conference website link:

Within the Forum theme: "What is Aboriginal research and: What does it mean to Aboriginal communities?" the forum will explore the inclusion of Aboriginal values and perspectives in Aboriginal research. For example, does the research have integrity, is it respectful, does it honour family, community etc? "Shawane Dagosiwin" embraces some of these ideas.

The Forum is organized by a planning committee that includes respected educators from Manitoba's universities, the provincial departments of education, First Nations and Métis governments and various representative organizations.

The three day event will include Keynote speakers Drs. Marlene Brant Castellano (Mohawk) and Jo-Ann Archibald (Sto'lo), both of whom have been instrumental in promoting and developing respectful ways of doing research with Aboriginal peoples in mind. Local speakers will also share their words about research involving Aboriginal peoples. The Forum will be opened with a Pipe ceremony and supported by Elder engagement.

Call for Proposal Submissions- Due: March 15, 2005 Proposal submissions are invited from the following people:
* Researchers from various sites of learning and teaching, organizing, consulting, or community engagement to submit proposals.
* Individuals involved in different kinds of research content and processes involving Aboriginal peoples in educational research.
* People across all levels of educational research from pre-school to post-secondary and adult/community education.

Various presentations styles are welcomed:
* Paper or Oral presentations: A session involving a speaker presentation followed by questions and answers.
* Workshops: A session involving audience participation
* Roundtable, panel or circle discussion: A session involving presenters who will discuss their work followed by a discussion - time allotment to be determined. Panels will be organized by theme and will have a chair.
* Showcase or display by poster sessions of Indigenous research methodologies: Presentation of a display of written and graphic (pictures) research projects.
* Sharing circles - open sharing of research;
* Open - We encourage presentations that may not be formal academic papers and could engage participants to think of other research processes

The following topics are welcomed (not limited to these):
* Sharing/collaborative and/or linking partnership approaches to Indigenous research
* Aboriginal/Indigenous Research Methodologies and Ethics/Protocols
* Past/Present/Future Research themes * Languages, cultural and community benefits from research processes 
* Research that Benefits Aboriginal/Indigenous peoples
* Discussions of Research Methodologies that engage Aboriginal peoples and communities
* Community projects that demonstrate research processes
* Engaging guiding principles for research
* "Best Practices" to research
* Importance of Research to Policy and Practices
* Stories and Lived Experiences
>* Language and culture
* Aboriginal Educational Research and Implications for Education

All presenters can enjoy the Early Bird Registration fee of $175.00 (Post Early Bird Registration -$200.00). Students who submit proposals can also enjoy the early student registration fee of $75.00 (Post Early Bird student fee $100.00). Early registration is encouraged to facilitate our planning of the conference program.  Please note that this low registration fee covers the following items: meals and snacks at the conference; banquets; entertainment; and all sessions. Prices are in Canadian dollars.

Conference Proceedings: Papers may be submitted for consideration for selected online conference proceedings to the Conference Proceedings

Committee Chair,
Dr. Helen Armstrong: E-mail address

Send Proposals through the methods below by: March 15, 2005
E-mail: ; or
Fax: Attention Laara Fitznor - 204-474-6459; or Attention Mary Young, 204-779- 0570

Regular Mail:
Laara Fitznor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3T 2N2;
or Mary Young, 2L01D, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3B 2E9.

Indigenous Issues in Australian Universities: Teaching, Research, Support

The Weemala Indigenous Unit, ACU National
The International Australian Studies Association (InASA)

Call for Papers
VENUE:        Brisbane campus, ACU National.
DATE:         16-17 June 2005.

The increasing interest in Indigenous studies both domestically and internationally and the increasing numbers of Indigenous students attending Australian universities is a positive development that presents challenges to the tertiary sector that it is only just beginning to grasp. The International Australian Studies Association (InASA) and the Weemala Indigenous Unit of the McAuley campus of ACU is holding a 2-day symposium on these issues and is seeking proposals of 100 words for papers, panels, performances or yarning sessions by academics, students and community members that engage with a broad range of topics including, but not limited to:
·        The relationships between academic cultures and Indigenous cultures;
·        Indigenising the curriculum;
·        the development of Indigenous research and its epistemes;
·        the incorporation of Indigenous knowledges into the academy;
·        Indigenous governance and leadership in universities;
·        university-community relationships;
·        the role of Indigenous support units and research centres;
·        Indigenous pedagogies
·        case studies of successful programs;
·        the issues facing Indigenous tertiary students at graduate or postgraduate level;
·        gender and age factors for Indigenous students
·       non-Indigenous resistance and responsibility in the academy;
·        the role of cultural awareness training for non-Indigenous staff and students;
·        the impact of internationalisation on Indigenous studies;
·        the impact of the history wars on Indigenous studies;
·        the impact of federal policies on Indigenous students;
>        the impact of whiteness studies on Indigenous studies.

For information, contact Weemala: 07 3623 7195

Please send abstracts or proposals to Maggie Nolan Abstracts and proposals close: Monday April 18, 2005

Indigeous Knowledges: Reconciling Academic Priorities with Indigenous Realities Conferece

The Indigenous Knowledges: Reconciling Academic Priorities with Indigenous Realities Conference will be held in Wellington (New Zealand), 22-25 June 2005. The conference provides a forum for debate and discussion about indigenous knowledge systems, research priorities, and the indigenous struggle for social justice in the 21st century.

The event will be well-attended by Maori and overseas researchers working in a diverse range of research fields in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Further information about presentations and speakers can be found on our website.

If you are interested in presenting a paper, or if you would like to attend the conference, please contact us or visit our website

Day rates are available for those who do not wish to attend the full conference, and the Conference Committee is happy to accept a limited number of late abstracts.

36th Annual Conference of the Australasian Science Education Research Association

Hosted by the Centre for Science and Technology Education Research, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 6 - 9 July 2005

Important Dates:
Deadline for Abstracts 18 April 2005
Deadline for Registration 16 May 2005
Deadline for proposals (only for those who need refereed acceptance 18 April 2005)

More details available from the conference website:


This is mostly a summary of upcoming conferences. More details may have been given above or in previous bulletins. A web-based contact is usually included.

April 2005

4-7 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Dallas (

6-8 April: Race, Culture, Indigeneity and the Politics of Public Health. A Short Course presented by Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin. Details and  Registration: Catherine Richardson, Ph: 08 8922 7873, E-mail:

11-15 April: American Educational Research Association, Montreal (

11-16 April: Linga Longa Aboriginal Philosophy Week 2005,"Sustaining Ourselves Through Indigenous Philosophy". For further information contact: Jack Beetson (02) 6585 8282, Email:

15-16 April: Language, Culture, Concept Construction, and Development of Teaching Materials for Science and Mathematics Education. Delta Centre-Ville Hotel, 777 University Street, Montreal (in the neighbourhood of AERA hotels). Contact Glen Aikenhead ( (April05)

May 2005

30 May - 1 June: Redesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

June 2005

1- 3 June 2005: What is Aboriginal research, and: What does it mean to Aboriginal communities? 2005 Aboriginal Education Research Forum. Victoria Inn, Winnipeg MB, Canada. (April05)

16-17 June 2005: Indigenous Issues in Australian Universities: Teaching, Research, Support. The Weemala Indigenous Unit, ACU National and The International Australian Studies Association (InASA). Brisbane campus, ACU National. For information, contact Weemala: 07 3623 7195 (April05)

22-25 June 2005: Indigenous Knowledges: Reconciling Academic Priorities with Indigenous Realities Conference, Wellington NZ. (April05)

July 2005

4-7 July: CONASTA 54 - Australian Science Teachers Association, Melbourne, Vic. 'Science Education Unplugged'. Visit

6-9 July: Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), 36th Annual Conference, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand ( (April05)

15-18 July:  International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group, the University of Leeds, UK.

August 2005

9 August: International Day of the World's Indigenous People

13- 21 August: Australian National Science Week 2005. School theme - Energy: Future Challenges

November 2005 

27 November - 1 December: World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, Aotearoa New Zealand

April 2006

8-12 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual meeting, San Francisco, (

8-12 April: American Educational Research Association Conference, San Francisco, (

July 2007

Combined ICASE, CONASTA and perhaps ASERA conference in Perth

Last updated: 1 April 2005