Smoke Signals Movie Review

“You know the only thing more pathetic than Indians on T.V.? Indians watching Indians on T.V.!” -Thomas Builds-The-Fire

“Smoke Signals” uses a unique way to lessen and inform people about the typical stereotypes about First Nations. In typical Hollywood movies, they portray First Nations as savages and hunters that are chased by cowboys. “Smoke Signals” gives us a realistic view of First Nations and talks about the hardships on reservations, poverty, and forgiveness. The movie uses comedy to explain sensitive topics, which is hidden in each scene. “Smoke Signals” also gives you a better idea of how life is like for First Nations on reservations instead of what stereotypes tell you.

Chris Eyre, the director of the movie, has done a brilliant job of capturing the emotions and environment of the characters and the situations they are in. At first, the movie is quite boring, but as you keep watching it gets more and more interesting and intense. Arnold Joseph caught a baby in his arms as it was thrown out of a burning house.Thomas and Victor grew up together as close friends and sometimes enemies. Arnold Joseph, Victor’s dad, left his family and never came back, which caused Victor a lot of distress and grief. Victor’s mother gets a phone call one day that says her husband is dead. Victor and Thomas goes to retrieve his ashes from Pheonix, Arizona. During their long journey, Victor learns how to forgive, with the help of Thomas.

The movie had an exciting beginning and ending. It was not only funny, but it also made you think again about First Nations and their lifestyle. “Smoke Signals” will teach you that First Nations do not always follow the stereotypes that they are given. Many people will be able to relate and learn something from this movie because of the many subjects it touches on. All the characters were well developed and had their own personality. “Smoke Signals” is a very heartfelt, yet funny movie that deserves to be watched more than once.


Lives of Women

Over the last 200 years, women have been treated as objects and accessories for men. Women have fought very hard for their rights and dignity. Many things like religion and society have taken away their freedom and prevented them from expressing themselves. Even though women have worked hard to improve their lives, there are still challenges such as gender discrimination and unfairness in salaries. “Yet, despite many successes in empowering women, numerous issues still exist in all areas of life, ranging from the cultural, political to the economic. For example, women often work more than men, yet are paid less; gender discrimination affects girls and women throughout their lifetime; and women and girls are often are the ones that suffer the most poverty.” (Shah, 2014, para 3)

Women have earned a better life by fighting for their freedom and more rights. Women now have the same rights as men, and they are no longer thought of as bring inferior to men. Women no longer have to stay home and take care of the children and do housework. They have the right to go out to work, just like men. “Many of us think of “traditional” gender roles as being like a 1950s sitcom: Dad puts on his suit and heads to the office, while Mom, in her pearls and crisp house dress, stays home and keeps house. But that scenario was just an aberration.” (Barksdale, 2014, para 1)

Although many countries have opened their eyes towards women rights and freedom, countries such as Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan still treat women unfairly and refuse to give them their rights and freedom. In Iraq, women “fear risking kidnapping and rape by sending girls to school. Women who once went out to work stay home. Meanwhile, more than 1 million women have been displaced from their homes, and millions more are unable to earn enough to eat.” (Ward, 2014, para 13) Many women are fortunate to live in countries such as the USA and Canada where women are free to express themselves are roam with freedom. 


Click here for more information about the lives of women


Barksdale, M. (2014). How Are Men and Women’s Roles in Society Changing? Retrieved from

LaRocco, L. (2014). NPR Explores the Changing Lives Of Women. Retrieved from

News and Letters Committee. (2014). Women’s Worldwide Struggle for Freedom. Retrieved from

Shah, A. (2014). Women’s Rights. Retrieved from

Ward, O. (2014). Ten Worst Countries for Women. Retrieved from

The Geography of Canada

Canada and Australia are different for many reasons. Their seasons and climates are totally the opposite, literally. When it is summer in Canada, it is winter in Australia. Even the winters in Australia feel just like summer. Australia is summer all year round while Canada has four distinctive seasons. Their locations are also different. Canada is on one side of the world, while Australia is on the other. Australia is also remote…and some places in Australia are really remote. Most of the population of Canada is right next to the U.S. border, so we have huge impacts culturally from our cousin to the south.(Kurucz, 2014)

Despite the fact that Australia has some of the warmest weather in the world, beautiful scenery and a culture which is varied and historic, it would appear that the standard of living available in the country is its biggest attraction.(Benson, 2012) There was 26% who voted that the standard of living was the main reason they wanted to move to Australia. Many people want to move to Canada because Canada rated as the world’s best advanced economy, one of the world’s safest countries, and the world’s soundest banking system. Canada and Australia are both popular countries to live in. They are both the world’s most multicultural countries.

Canada’s weather and activities associated with it, shapes the people and culture because cold winters give Canadians an opportunity to play hockey, and that is why hockey is Canada’s main sport. Being in the north gives Canada cold winters, and generally those from other countries stereotype Canada. Due to many immigrants moving to Canada, we are bilingual and multicultural. Australia’s unique geography effects its people because of its location. Since it is an island, Australia needs to have a larger Navy to protect the entire country. Another reason Australia’s unique geography effects its people is when it split from Asia. If that hadn’t happened, Australia wouldn’t have the unique animals it has today.


Click here for more information about Canada vs. Australia


Benson, M. (2012, Feb. 23) Why do people move to Australia? Retrieved from

Kurucz, P. (2014, Jan.) Moving Back to Canada from Australia. Retrieved from

All About Me

Hey! My name is Jessica. I have a family of four which consist of my mother, father, and my five year old sister. The three of us lived in China before my sister was born. We moved to Canada when I was three years old. My family is important to me because without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. They have supported and taught me many things throughout my life.

I would describe myself as an artsy person. I enjoy cooking, drawing, sewing, and reading. I could do any of these four things for hours and hours. When I am stressed out, I like to pull out a book or a pen and pencil. I love to cook because I can share my food with my family and friends. It makes me feel good when I see them enjoy my food. I have always been interested in textiles because I like fashion. Textiles allows me to make my own clothes without spending too much money. Why buy clothes when you can make your own?

My goals are to work hard in high school and maintain my good grades so that I can someday go to university and become successful. After, I plan on joining a teaching program and getting a job as an elementary teacher. I hope to earn enough money to travel the world and visit places such as Vietnam, Korea, and Thailand.


photo (8)

What does it mean to be a critical thinker? What can you do to become more of a critical thinker?

To be a critical thinker, you have to be able think of things from different angles and perspectives. You can’t just look at things the traditional way or how things are normally thought of. Critical thinking isn’t like math, there isn’t one definite answer. You need to stop, step back, and take time to think things out. In critical thinking, you have to look at the information presented to you and verify in your head whether or not the information is right, wrong or neither and you have to be able to prove why you feel that way.

To be a critical thinker, you have to be able to ‘think outside the box.’ You need to have patience and determination because it is not easy to be a critical thinker. To become more of a critical thinker, you should try to become more empathetic with the people around you and understand how they feel towards things and why. In debates and arguments, you have to understand both sides of the story before arguing/debating for one side. A critical thinker would decide for him or herself which side they believe in and why based on what they feel internally, rather than blindly join a side because a friend is on it.

Critical thinking helps you distinguish and solve problems. Being a critical thinker makes you want to learn more, and you also find things more interesting. Critical thinking will also benefit you in the future because it will help you with everyday situations you might face that will force you to ‘think outside the box.’ Critical thinking will help you develop a stronger mind and will help you with university and future jobs. It is essential and important to think critically. “Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”– Richard Paul

teaching critical thinking