Star Wars

When I view Star Wars: A New Hope, the lens that I find the most valuable to view it through is the gender lens. The premise of the film is based predominantly on change within the dynamics and pre-determined roles of its society. Despite its intentions, the characters of the movie are inherently microcosms of the values and gender roles of the time. Star Wars: A New Hope portrays female and robotic/non-gendered heroines as solely counterparts to or people who work for the male heroes of the film. The movie’s main male characters, such as Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan, are involved in the majority of the action and are present on screen to an exponentially larger magnitude. Using the gender lens shifted my attention towards the niche that robots fill in the society. Whenever a robot is on the screen, their dialogue or actions revolve around the duties they must respectfully complete for their masters. The pre-determined norm of droids existing for their owners is demonstrated in the scene in which the droids enter a bar. The sneering customers and bartenders shoot a crude remark towards the droids, claiming that they “don’t serve droids here”, a blatant display of the low social status and regard that robots held. A similar attitude is shown towards women, although Princess Leia is given free will and personality. When the Princess is first introduced, the film immediately introduces her as an attractive, potential romantic interest for Luke rather than a character with a developed arc of her own. Luke stars in awe at her image and the very first thing he remarks about her is that “she’s beautiful,” proving that although the Princess is marketed as a hero, an underlying intention for her character in the film is mainly to serve as a motivating force for Luke’s own success. Leia is a paramount reason that Luke has to embark on the journey because she is in need of saving and Luke wishes to pursue her. Additionally, Leia’s relationship with Luke occasionally cusps the line between romantic interest to apparent sexualization in the film. When Luke infiltrates the Death Star and saves Leia, she’s found in a questionable position and Luke stares silently for a few seconds, in awe of her. Though this can be interpreted in an empowering lens, the nature of the scene feels unnecessary and entirely out of place with its central plot. Many of Leia’s scenes in the movie are contradictory to the strong, independent character she was originally presented to be and are there for the purpose of creating a romantic subplot. Although the film is progressive with its female main character, her title and past accomplishments cannot extenuate the film’s lack of justice to the full potential of her character. The gender lens presents the concern of incomplete and one-dimensional female characters, and from observing Star Wars: A New Hope, we can conclude that a film that effectively moves past gender stereotypes and misogyny will present female/non-gendered characters as individuals with their own purpose and impetus.

TED Talk

The studies were conducted by scientists at Northshore University in Illinois.

(Image citations on the slide show, as they may be hard to see in the video)




Independant Investigation #2


How is Hannah Ingraham a microcosm of a refugee’s experiences during war?


Historical Significance

Outline the focus of your inquiry and provide background knowledge. Why is this an important and significant question to ask about the past? Provide evidence from primary to secondary.


The focus of my inquiry is to evaluate the POV of a Loyalist refugee during the war of 1812, and evaluating how it serves as a microcosm for other war refugees. It is important to consider the perspectives of an everyday person, including families with women and children. When studying history, we focus on important figures or large scale events without considering its impacts on a normal, everyday family. A Loyalist family had ideals that differed from revolutionaries, making them susceptible to violent attacks and humiliations due to the revolutionaries’ rash and dauntless behavior. Loyalists supported Britain holding a more dominant role in the governing of the colonies, were against expansion and were more reluctant to embrace the ideals of democracy. Their sustained idea was regarded as a crime, so many Loyalists were forced to become refugees and flee to Canada, which eventually led to the division of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada in 1971.

Hannah Ingraham was mentioned in the video we watched. It details how her family was separated when she was only 11, and presents a narrative that essentially serves as a microcosm for the struggles many Loyalist families endured as well. Hannah also represents a side of history’s story that we don’t commonly encounter: she speaks from the perspective of a young girl in the war of 1812, a demographic that isn’t as well represented as Caucasian men who participated on the frontlines of the battles and wars that raged.

Ingraham was born in 1772 in New Concord, New York.  Her father was part of the “King’s American Regime”, a militia of Loyalists that fought for England during the American revolution. She was no stranger to the hostile treatment her family faced; she witnessed a group of rebels roundup suspected Loyalists and condemn her father to imprisonment. Even after her father served jail time, the family’s land was taken away, and they were left with very little resources. Their family left New York for New Brunswick in September 1784, and settled in modern-day Fredericton.

There are various primary sources of Hannah’s diary entries and writings, from her childhood perspective. I will be re-writing those in my own words, and also writing a diary entry from the perspective of a Syrian refugee (continuity and change).


(Historical Perspective)


I remember how much sheep we used to have on our farm. We had cows and I had my own sheep, and I’d often go into the fields to play with them in the evenings. But then the rebels (mother calls them Patriots) took all our things and sold them. Father was taken prisoner. Mother and I don’t know where he is. They do bad things to us if we try to send letters, and they already took grandfather away on a prisoner ship. Mother and I pray daily for Father to come home safe. Mother has to pay rent for our home, and they only gave us a few of our sheep back.


When Father came home, it was an abrupt greeting, because he told us we were going on a ship to Nova Scotia in three days. I didn’t know where Nova Scotia was, but Father told me that was to be our new home.  I helped mother and grandmother pack up our butter, wheat, and potatoes. Uncle helped us pack our things.

Suddenly our house was surrounded by screaming voices, and I cried and cried for hours, but mother told me they were the Patriots. They kicked our door down and took Father away. Mother and I didn’t know if he would come back. Uncle spoke to the Patriots and made some sort of deal, so the next morning, Father was back. I have spent too many nights wondering where Father was and what was happening to him.

When we boarded the ship the next day, I clung on to him tightly. The ship was alright, but the rocking on the waves made me feel very sick. We ran into a horrible storm in the Bay of Fundy, but some kind Frenchmen then took us in their canoes.

I remember hearing babies crying on the ships. Mother told me no one died, but I know that many babies were born. Once we got to St. Anne’s, a stern looking man escorted us to our tents. We were to eat a specific amount each day, and the snow would seep through the frail tent’s edges and make mother and I very cold.


Father worked hard for shillings, and eventually we could build our own little hut and crops. Sometimes I would see Indians trading fur with Captain Clements, and I would run into them. I was scared of them, because of the stories I would hear, and how big and strong they were. Father assured me they would not harm us. We sold cream and butter to make money for groceries and were part of the Loyalist gentry. My brother and I used to run down by the river and pick berries for mother. The ground was new so plants grew well, and we had corn and beans and seeds.


(Continuity and change)


2012 – Syria

The war has been raging for two years now. Our neighbours are crouched together in our house, squatting, squished together, as if our intertwined hands will somehow protect us from the bombs that are hitting us. Other neighbors are running wildly around the streets. We know that running will do nothing, and I don’t like being out there anyway. I didn’t want to be with the screaming and crying. I thought our little house would comfort me.

Dad found us a smuggler. We hid underneath the seats of the car. Everytime we passed a checkpoint, we would hold our breaths and pray that they wouldn’t see us. We got to our camp in Jordan, but we had to walk a long way through the mountains. The sound of a plane or helicopter struck panic and fear every time I heard it, and I ducked down with Dad when we thought someone was coming to capture us.


13 of us live in a tent. We have to pay for everything here, even things like water. There is nothing to do all day. We cannot work, or go to school, so the most we can do is talk to each other. Boredom reigns our daily schedules. We are urging for something to do. ‘The most we can do is help out with cooking or cleaning.

2016 – Canada

We live in Canada now. Mom and Dad always say how grateful they are. A worker from the UN helped us get here. We went to the U.S. first, and then came to Canada, because everyone speaks well about Canada. We don’t understand the language everyone speaks. We have a small house, with a single air mattress, but I don’t have to worry about the bombs or the yelling men again. Dad is worried because we are living off donations, and he wants a job. He volunteers at a food bank, but he said he wants to do more. Mom argues that he can’t get a good job because his English is poor, and no one will hire him. We can’t find opportunity to participate, and Mom and Dad are frustrated. Sometimes I feel a bit lost, as we don’t have many friends, and people don’t talk to us. Mom and Dad tell me to be grateful, as Dad’s mom is still in Syria, and many of our friends are in a far worse state than we are.


Social Studies Inquiry Process

What conclusions can you reach about your question, based on the research you conducted?

It is evident that every war or conflict of loyalties within a nation creates refugees. Refugees are people who are displaced, due to political dissent, that are forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Often, refugees are innocent children who are victimized due to their parent or friend’s affiliations.

By learning about Hannah Ingraham’s story and comparing it to modern day war refugees, we can see that her narrative is an effective microcosm of a refugee’s life and struggles. Refugees live in fear and uncertainty. A key struggle they deal with is displacement and the prospect of completely starting their life over in an unfamiliar place. The issue of Syrian refugees is highly relevant to Canada, as it shapes our diversity and identity. Refugees still deal with a lack of resources and material when arriving at a new place, so it is laborious for them to ignite their new life. This parallels with the war of 1812, as the plethora of Loyalist immigrants fleeing to Canada also molded Canadian identity. 

The Liberal Party of Canada accepts 25 000 refugees through both government and private sponsors. It is a highly controversial topic and is often a defining question in an individual’s political stance and belief.

Hannah Ingraham’s story allows us to look at major events and wars from the perspective of an innocent child or individual that is impacted by disparities in ideas and power. She herself is a microcosm of a byproduct of war and conflict and the increasing prevalence of immigrants and refugees in our society.


***disclaimer – the struggles and privileges of British Loyalists and a Syrian refugee are vastly different. We cannot compare them in terms of which demographic struggle(d) more, but we can draw similarities in order to better understand refugees and the idea of a displaced people.

Ecological Footprint

After completing the checklist, I was astounded to find out that my ecological footprint is 14.75 hectares, which is 147500 square meters! I am truly disgusted and quite honestly disappointed in how I wasn’t paying attention to how my actions and the way I interacted with my environment impacted the earth as a whole. My footprint is on the high end, with Albert and Elaine’s scores being 7.45. Most people’s scores were around 8 hectares, with Kimi’s 16.45, Yunmin’s 13.85 and Sarah J’s 14.85 being on the high end of the spectrum. Through talking with other classmates, I can definitely draw some comparisons and recurring habits between those with higher footprints and those with lower footprints.

Actions that currently increase my footprint are:


  • Clothing consumption. I buy a lot of clothing that I don’t need / won’t wear often and in turn, I use the washing machine very frequently. 
  • Leaving lights on when i don’t need them/ when I could use natural lighting
  • Using copious amounts of tech, such as computers or loud speakers
  • Not finishing food, and also consuming non-organic local food and meats
  • Taking long showers. My showers are unnecessarily long, usually lasting around 15 minutes. A contributing factor is my tendency to listen to music when I shower as well.
  • Using cars for transportation, when I can use other methods
  • Supporting using land for entertainment by snowboarding, using gyms
  • Using disposable items: such as pens, and cans, and things with wrappers, and straws
  • Use my heater/ac
  • Brushing teeth with water running
  • Buying makeup and cosmetics that are not environmentally friendly

Actions I can change are:

  • Not buying unnecessary amounts of clothing. My sister has a plethora of clothes she’s left in our house, and I can easily look through those to wear/put to use. Another fun way to implement this change is to buy second-hand or go thrifting. Over the next few weeks, I’ll look into a lot of clothing that I don’t wear anymore and donate them/repurpose them.
  • Use transit/other transport. When the weather gets better, I can use my bike or my skateboard to get to places. Also, Yuwen and I carpool to and from school, so I’ll continue doing that with more and more school events that we both go to. Currently, I tend to ask my parents to drive me to a lot of places that aren’t that far from my home. To be able to incorporate different methods of transport, I can combine exercise with transport, which makes it more enjoyable for me and an awesome chance to bask in the better weather. 
  • Taking shorter showers. This is simply a matter of self discipline and control. I’ll set timers for every shower I take, and compile a concise, orderly routine to avoid wasting time. 
  • Changing the way I eat food. This includes both making sure I make correct portions in which no food is wasted, and also altering the type of food I eat. I have limited control over diet and what I eat in my household, but if I ever run errands for my parents I can specifically buy organic, non-pesticide foods that are locally grown. When I cook, I will ensure I cook the right amount in order to prevent food being wasted or thrown away. Additionally, I’ve been wanting to go vegetarian for a long time, and eventually vegan. I’ll have to look up and plan specialized meal plans and speak to my parents.
  • Using more reusable items. Being a skill I already have experience with, due to TALONS trips, I can begin repackaging food and buying things that don’t use as much plastic or wrappers. Rather than buying things in small, travel packs, I will consume materials that are in bulk or are home-made. I want my garbage production for a day to be limited to a small basket. Our world produces about 3.5 million tons of solid waste a day (source), so the least I could do is reduce that on my part.


Changes that were easy for me to make were:

  • Use transit/other transport. Thankfully, as the weather gets hotter and more enjoyable, I find myself willfully spending more time outside and finding other means of transport. Truly, this change was very fun and a positive impact for me personally as well. I began to use my old bike and skateboard often, which virtually produce no gas/pollution. Using skytrains/buses was effective and allowed me to familiarize myself with various routes and ways I could arrive at my destination.
  • Clothing. Altering the severity of my shopping problem was tough at first, but overall beneficial in various aspects. Firstly, I dug through a lot of old clothes I didn’t need and actually gave them to my relatives/little cousins in China, which will allow for the clothes to be worn by people who will wear them often. I began to thrift shop more often and also use clothing for other purposes, such as towels/cleaning materials. Thrift shopping was genuinely enjoyable, and so was digging through my sister’s old clothes. It really shocked me how my house was filled to the brim with clothes/material that I had forgotten about or hadn’t seen in ages. My materialism impeded my ability to use older or worn out materials, but after recognizing the extent of my problem, I worked hard to reduce my clothing consumption.
  • Reusable items. I bought groceries and food in bulk that required less packaging, and re-packaged in ziplocs. My parents enjoyed this change as it made our kitchen space organized and easier to manage as well. I observed how our family trash can became less and less full as we progressed towards using containers and ziplocs rather than one-time use packaging.
  • Shorter showers. Using a timer and making a step by step routine allowed me to be efficient and thorough with my showers. I need to take more showers now in the summer with my increased physical activity, so the frequency of my showers increased but I made sure to keep them at a reasonable duration. My showers went down to around 5-7 minutes, and I also cut out distractions, such as listening to music.
  • Turning things off when I wasn’t using them. These changes were simply changes in habit, ingrained with repetition. When I was brushing my teeth, I turned the tap off and only turned it on when I needed to rinse. Every time I left a room, I performed a routine, three step check, checking for:
    • Light sources
    • Water sources
    • Tech sources

Changes that were harder for me to make were:

  • Food. My family was not completely compliant with me cutting out meat from my diet, or being more careful with what we bought. We did make an effort to buy organic food/milk, but struggled with meat and reducing food with harmful production techniques. However, I tried to use other sources of protein to reduce my own personal consumption of meat.
  • Technology use. I spend a very unreasonable time each day using some sort of power or technology. With me having personal interest in music production, I use my MacBook for at least 2 hours a day, therefore also using the power sources and plugs in my household. I tried to set timers for technology use, and took routine breaks from technology, which also gave me time to reflect on my use and unplug anything that wasn’t currently being used.
  • Materialism. I have a tendency to buy things I don’t need, or forget to read labels and certifications before buying. Whenever I bought makeup or any sort of cosmetics, I often forgot to read the labels or check if the company was environmentally friendly or not. It’s important to keep in mind that buying non-environmentally friendly products can indirectly support their harmful impact on the environment.

In general, finances, willpower, and emotional/family influence were the main obstacles I encountered. The first step I had to accomplish was increasing my general awareness of the impact of my actions, which was initially hard to incorporate in my routine. I realized the importance of habits and routines, and how having a regimen would help these things become instinctually habitual for me. Making these changes also inspired growth in my individual autonomy and responsibility, helping me account for my own actions and health. For the future, I plan to continue with the changes I have made, and work harder to talk with my family members to change our lifestyle and perspective on environmental impact. I’ll hopefully go fully vegetarian, set strict limits for screen time, reduce consumption of materials, and continue to find ways to repackage things.


Document of Learning – The Schuyler Sisters


The Schuyler sisters introduces Peggy, Eliza, and Angelica Schuyler, daughters of Philip Schuyler. They come from a wealthy family with high level connections and influence in New York. The sisters are downtown, examining the drive and excitement of the revolution, and observing how common, poorer people are living their lives. They introduce themselves and voice their admiration for New York, a hub of change and progress. Burr flirts with the sisters, and as they turn him down, the Schuyler sisters demonstrate their own desire to ‘work’, and establish their roles as influential female figures in the revolution and in the presence of women during the time. The song’s upbeat tempo and fast lyrics embody the joy and anticipation of the revolution, and captures the essence of a fast-paced, changing society in which more individuals are fighting for what they believe in, and are moving towards the idea of equality.

The song’s three main characters are interestingly representative of contrasting mindsets and emerging ideas of the revolution. Peggy is the youngest of the Schuyler sisters. She is less involved in politics and is cautious about their adventure, showing her tendency to be more of rule-follower. Her concern with her father’s expectations can be interpreted as a metaphor for loyalists, or people who are reluctant to become an independent nation without Britain’s guidance. Eliza is the second youngest. Her personality is determined and impulsive. Though she doesn’t have solo lines in the song, we can infer that she is also basking in the aura of the revolution. Lastly, the central character is Angelica. She is the elder sister. Angelica is intellectually driven, ambitious, excited and enthusiastic about the revolution. Angelica is the image of a revolutionary; she prides herself on strengthening her moral compass and intellectual prowess in order to contribute as much as she can to her cause.

Aaron Burr provides somewhat of comedic relief. He flirts with the sisters, and pokes fun at their social status. He playfully points out their rebellious behavior: leaving their father to have fun in the city with the common people.



“I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine”

Common Sense was written in 1776 and was a text advocating for the thirteen colonies’ independence from Britain. He argued for American independence. Common Sense appealed to the common American with its use of straightforward language. It discussed themes like warfare, injustice, social class, freedom, and  patriotism, especially emphasizing how American should be free of Britain’s imposed taxes and unjust laws, such as the Stamp Act. The book was a bestseller and helped involve more colonists in the revolution. Whereas in past times, education and influence was exclusive to solely the upper class, now common people were receiving emoluments for their effort and could easily access inspirational and groundbreaking literature.

In a sense, the entire song revolves around the idea of revolution and a united cause. With lines showcasing scenes such as people shouting in the square, and minds hard at work, we can observe how an idea can affect both the rich and the common people, awakening an ambitious drive.

A demographic that is also connected to the dynamics of privIlege is women. Women during this time were expected to be caregivers who resided at home. However, since the Schuylers were notoriously wealthy, the sisters could involve themselves as much as possible by listening to their father’s conversations or exchanging letters with political figures. Interestingly, Angelica Schuyler had an exchange with Jefferson in which he implied that she was not suitable to participate in political affairs. The song directly references this historical exchange, saying:

“I’m a compel him to include women in the sequel!”

In terms of the setting, historically, New York was a hub for initial progress during the revolution. The Stamp Act faced tremendous backlash specifically from New York, due to its reputation of being a center for commerce. The Stamp Act Congress was formed in New York as a sign of protest, with the Battle of Long Island ensuing.

Relating to New York, the big idea I’ve chosen is:

The physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.

The song is upbeat and most lyrics concern the joy of living in New York, often considered the epicenter of revolution. Its upbeat tempo, glorifying vocals and repeated mantras synthesize to create a love letter to New York and the joy of living in a fast-paced, influential city. The influence of environment also incorporates your social environment and how it interacts with physical environments. The Schuyler sisters purposely visit downtown New York to watch “minds at work”, or people who are working relentlessly and are sparking new ideas in order to persevere and achieve a common goal. In contrast to their privileged environment, it is inspiring to observe people of lower social class come together and rise up over their obstacles. This is an idea central to the revolution. Anyone, regardless of background, can work hard and make their ideas part of a legacy. Essentially, Alexander Hamilton also reflects this idea.



What initially propelled me to chose this song was its focus primarily on female characters and its playful nature. I also particularly enjoyed the dynamic that’s mentioned between people of different social class and status.

“We’re looking for a mind at work” is a line that resonates with me deeply because it encompasses a large theme of the revolution; the idea that ambitious and education can unite a people to rise up against a larger power. Initially, this line can be viewed as a line sung to the men, but after deeper analysis it spans more than simple attraction or desire for a man. The sisters want someone who can help include them in the revolution, which foreshadows the relationship between Eliza and Alexander.

Another line that struck me significantly was Angelica’s revelation on the Declaration of Independence. She sings about the idea of equality and equity, and how people can be self regulated and dictated if given equal opportunity. Angelica to her core is the image of a feminist character, being self driven and seeking to further her own education despite her father’s control or societal limitations.

We can look at “The Schuyler Sisters” as a source of inspiration to our lives. The song’s upbeat tempo and repeated mantra of “Work!” tells us to keep pushing towards our goals with passion guiding us, and the Schuyler sisters are role models to girls who wish to make their own impact on the world in a fashion that is exclusive and special to your own strengths and personality.

Final In-depth Post!

It has been a long journey! My experience with music production has been rewarding, challenging, and overall quite enjoyable.

Initially, I was faced with a seemingly unsurmountable task. The endless gadgets and controls in an intimidating program honestly caused me to shy away from exploring everything I could do with my program. Eventually, as I made more and more productions, and gained more experience from my mentor, my passion and confidence grew.

I learned about basic terms in production, such as MIDI, master, input, output, linear, live mixing, mixing and mastering, modulation, transposing, and much more. Once I learned the concept behind these terms I applied them by experimenting with my program. As I progressed through the project, I diverted my focus towards rhythm and how to make a project that expressed a particular mood and meaning. An extremely frustrating obstacle was most definitely rhythm. As I didn’t have external instruments I could plug in, it was difficult to make a production with a beat that wasn’t off or awkward. This led to a lot of roadblocks. Eventually, to overcome these roadblocks, I lowered my expectations and used more and more experimentation to help me familiarize myself with how to fine tune my songs.

What was particularly helpful to me was my previous knowledge. Having an extensive knowledge in music theory, composing chord progressions, and having years of experience in piano definitely aided me throughout the project. However, classical music skills do not translate flawlessly to electronic music production in a modern age.

My first demo, which is around 30 seconds on my soundcloud, was a compilation of a plethora of sounds. The purpose of the demo was for me to simply familiarize myself with the various samples, instruments, and noises that were available to me.

I then moved on to “Lo-fi 1”. In this track I used sampling, which means I found a sample or voice recording I liked and inserted it in my track. I employed compressors, saturators, and vinyl effects to give me track a rainy, old sound. After I decided on the vibe I was going for, I made chords and used a digital drum rack to make a beat.

After lo-fi 1, I made “house”. This track allowed me to analyze the components of a song, including intro and buildup. Rather than producing a loop that was the same throughout, I used a few buildups throughout the song whenever a new element was introduced to create excitement.

My next track was another lo-fi/jazzy track. I used a jazz sample, then warped and manipulated it to my liking. For this track I combined all the elements I had learned so far.

For my presentation, I have decided to collaborate with Sam. Sam is learning about lyric writing and the instrumentals of creating a song, whereas I am learning about digital production and processing. Sam will be recording her music into my laptop, and I will be editing it and creating a backtrack to support her vocals. We will show a short snippet of our song during in-depth night, hoping to illustrate how a composition/song is not as simple as it seems.

I am very excited!

Big Ideas in Hamilton!

  • Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.

“There’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait….”

This line highlights an ambitious focus on the future, and how Hamilton’s emerging ideas and ideologies will have significant impact on the following course of events that drives the revolution and the growing strength and independence of America.


  • Disparities in power alter the balance of relationship between individuals and between societies.

Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came

Hamilton has worked tirelessly to be able to acquire an education. The line is reminding him to remember his roots, and highlights the extra amount of effort he had to use in order to push past his initial low status and power as an illegitimate child in a family of despair.

  • Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.

“Left him with nothing but ruined pride, sayin’

You gotta fend for yourself”

Hamilton’s tragic childhood left him lost, and seemingly hopeless. To find purpose, he immersed himself in education and strengthening his skill sets and individuality. Hamilton’s collective identity is changed with the course of his life and the milestones he faces, which is parallel to how Hamilton helps construct the identity of America.

  • The Physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.

“In New York, you can be a new man”

New York is a hub for change and the perfect place for Hamilton to chase after his pursuit of the American dream. In New York, with Hamilton’s intellectual mind and determined perseverance, his emerging ideas and ideologies can drive change.

Independent Investigation #1

A: The focus of my inquiry is to evaluate the significance of the alliance between Champlain and the Wendat people and how it paved the path for further interaction and positive/negative relationships between indigenous peoples and Europeans.

The Wendat Confederacy was a confederacy of four Iroquois-speaking bands. They were the Rock, Bear, Cord, and Deer bands. During the time of Champlain’s contact, the Wendat occupied an area known as Huronia, around Lake SImcoe and Georgian Bay, Ontario. In 1650, although they were aided by Champlain they were defeated by the Iroquois Confederacy. After the devastating loss, the Wendat Confederacy split into two major groups: the Great-Lake Wyandots and the Huron-Wendat. In 1609, Champlain arrived near the St. Lawrence River and made contact with the Wendats. He allianced with the Wendat Confederacy, aiding them in their efforts to win trade wars against the Haudenosaunee in exchange for furs to bridge France and the Canadian Shield. Primary sources from Champlain’s stories demonstrate an eagerness for First Nations culture, and how the interactions allowed both explorers and indigenous peoples to progress.


Both parties of the alliance were monumental aspects of future relations between indigenous peoples and explorers, both negative and positive. While studying the history of these relations we must ponder the intentions of both parties and recognize the true wants of both indigenous peoples and Champlain. Champlain could’ve genuinely strived to formulate a personal relationship on an intimate level, or was strictly seeking resources and an exchange of strengths to aid his own agenda. The ethics and connections between two vastly different cultures in a time of ambition is a broad, yet crucial topic to consider.


  1. Cause and consequence

The French observed the superior furs that the Wendat possessed. They utilized missionaries was to convert the Wendat people to Christianity. The Wendat response was initially reluctant, but when Champlain helped the Wendat raid the Mohawk, his loyalty to the Wendat was solidified and a relationship started to form. Once the Wendat began to recognize the strength and dominance Champlain would bring to their group, they formally entered an agreement and were able to access advanced technology. The root of future alliances stemmed from an acknowledgement of both side’s weaknesses and strengths. This alliance in turn raised tensions between the Wendat and other groups, which ultimately led to their death. However, it is important to consider and the increasing idea of European contact and utilization of resources that benefited and shaped the development of future organizations, including the Hudson’s Bay.


On the other hand, Champlain did not fully respect the spiritual culture of the Wendat, sending missionaries to convert them into Christians. In our course of history, there is often a repeating pattern of efforts to mask or suffocate indigenous history to conform it to Western culture and beliefs. Though Champlain made efforts to encourage bonding between indigenous people and Europeans, through marriage and exchange trips, it is evident that he had somewhat ulterior motives and was ambitious in his pursuit of rather westernizing their culture to accommodate to his idea of a trade relationship. Europeans additionally brought in several diseases which created great unrest and consideration of severing all ties. The realization of these intentions may have led to the death of Huronia in 1649 and the downfall of the fur trade after its peak performance. This could have indirectly began the cycle of eradication of indigenous culture in the future, which is still evident today. 



  1. Ethical judgement

At the time, the members of society were focused on self development and furthering their own span of control on resources and land area. Little groups rarely considered the ethics or morality of decisions, because making decisions based on morality was relatively rare. In the case of alliances between indigenous peoples and Europeans, both parties saw an opportunity to advance their dominance through obtaining materials that were exclusive to each party. Both groups had similar motives (to control the fur trade), so with needs that could be fulfilled by the other party, the agreements were obviously an advantage.

From a current perspective, sending missionaries to the Wendat without notice is considered rather invasive and disrespectful to the Wendat’s own cultures. Even in our society today, we make trade agreements for our benefits but we ensure that both parties are represented as equals and moral standards are being met. Champlain’s requests were blunt, including marriage (with Europeans), which contradicted Wendat beliefs. In today’s society, all areas of the other party’s needs are to be discussed within a contract agreement. This includes company protocol, their values, laws, and goals. A trade or agreement must not be invasive or have one party imposing their ideas on the other.


B: Champlain’s alliance with the Wendat heightened the efficiency and power of the fur trade, growing the economical and business prowess of New France. The Wendat had access to advanced Western weapons, which would aid them in wars. The gain both parties received demonstrates a basic principle of trade and future alliance. If one party has something the other is lacking, and vice versa, a trade is the best solution for their shortcomings. The alliance with the Wendat, and Champlain’s enthusiasm to grow interest in their culture, although expressed in a bluntly disrespectful manner at times, showcases a bond that was a stepping stone for other alliances in the future.



In depth week 11

I’ve made two official short tracks apart from my demo so far. One of them is a relaxing, lo-fi beat, whereas with the other one I experimented with faster rhythm and tools to create buildup. The learning process has been quite difficult and often frustrating, but I am satisfied with my progress and my grasping of basic tools and concepts.

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor allows me to experiment with Ableton rather than providing me with a strict structure that may limit my exposure to all the various features of the program and the possibilities that could occur.

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

To reinforce new learning, it is always helpful to watch online tutorials (which I have been using quite often) and listen to existing tracks that demonstrate the material learned. Music production is not often like instruments in the sense that it requires practice to strengthen motor skills, but it does require auditory practice to be able to produce a beat and recognize the effects of compressors, reverb, saturators, and etc. A simple thing I do after a session is simply go through all the sounds and effects discussed with my mentor, as it is easier for me to remember the effects of various tools with how it manipulates the audible sound rather than remembering the technical definition of what it does in terms of frequency, etc.


3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Opportunities such as taking an official class, visiting a production studio, or even attending an artists concert / live performance may help me accelerate my learning by sparking my interest and allowing me to learn large amounts of information combined with real life experience and application. It is always easier to learn music production when you can hear other examples and be able to analyze existing tracks and recognize how they use the tools I am learning about. Music production definitely requires adequate auditory learning skills and the ability to synthesize what you hear.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

We speak about the meaning of tools and what tools may help me accomplish a specific sound or vibe I am going for, and some tricks or tips producers commonly use. Kody and I share our personal experiences with learning production, and how the first few tracks can often not sound as pleasing as we imagined them to be.  Aside from the technical learning aspect, Kody also talks about his experiences being in a band and using music production tools.

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

I have recognized that Kody is also learning with me, rather than our relationship being strictly teacher and student. We have reached an excellent level of understanding and openness, and I feel free to discuss any struggles or frustrations I have with having the beat a little bit off, or etc.

6. What are you learning about one another?

I am learning about Kody’s background in production, and how he likes to teach. Kody is learning about my learning styles and also what type of music/effect i am going for, which helps him modify his lessons to fit my needs. We are both learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and how we can accommodate our sessions to overcome any obstacles or learing roadblocks.

Letter from 17th Century

Mother Sutton,

I hear their rushed whispers about me, and the stares that follow me as I stroll around town. The people stare at me, they speak of you in frantic exclamations. Master Enger has spread his lies about us, claiming that we have murdered his lifestock, the horses and swine that once roamed his land. Mother, I think it is time we leave, as the rumours have grown more and more intricate and it is not safe for us anymore.

They are speaking of throwing me into the depths of raging water, hand and feet tied, merciless. I beg for you to consider my innocence, and save me from my fate. If I drown, I am innocent, and though I may die, I am proven of my loyalty and innocence to God. I cannot bear to imagine the uproar of the village, and the cruel fate I must face if I sink. The thought of being burned, alive, forever remembered as a sin, an evil entity, will put me to shame for eternity. I will be a disgusting creature in Heaven’s eyes, a servant of the Devil.

King James has been relentless in his pursuit of us, and others accused. I see rows of women marching through the streets, heads hung, with rope around their necks. He has his men out for us. God has chosen to punish us, and for what, I still do not know.

I wish for you to believe of my innocence, and pray to save me and bring me redemption.


Mary Sutton.