Tag Archives: Digital storytelling

Module 1 Weblog: Digital storytelling

After the first few readings of this course, my interest has been peaked by the use of digital storytelling that is created by or with indigenous peoples for indigenous communities. Ginsburg (2002) discusses the potential that media such as satellite television transmissions have to indigenous communities in terms of offering a means of “cultural preservation and production and a form of political mobilization” (p. 54) and I’d like to explore the impact of the medium of digital storytelling.

I’ve found the following resources to be a great starting point for this focus. I’m not sure at the moment how I will narrow my focus down, but I’m excited about the possibilities within the realm of digital storytelling!

  1. Digital Stories – First Nations Women Explore the Legacy of Residential Schools

This project looks at how the residential school legacy is passed on between generations. There are several digital stories told by six women in their own words and their understanding of how residential schools have impacted them and the relationships they have with their mothers.

  1. Community-based Indigenous Digital Storytelling with Elders and Youth

This article by Iseke and Moore (2011) covers a few projects of indigenous storytelling and discusses the many benefits of indigenous storytelling, including creating opportunities to understand political activism and reflecting cultural mandates of communities. It highlights the importance of indigenous self-representation and “reversing the colonial gaze by constructing their own visual media, telling their stories on their own terms” (p. 32).

  1. The rise of Indigenous storytelling in games:

I was intrigued by this aspect of storytelling. While different from digital stories, it discusses using videogames as a medium to spread indigenous values and stories. They are also being used to reconnect youth with their heritage and help to maintain it. The video game released is called Never Alone with the hopes that youth would listen, learn and pass down their stories for future generations. Here’s a video clip of the game developers discussing the collaboration between game designers and members of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council on the videogame’s development. 

  1. Yijala Yala Project: a project by Big hART

The Yijala Yala Project is based in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and it “seeks to highlight cultural heritage as living, continually evolving and in the here and now, rather than of the past, and works with community members to create content and develop skills that assist in communicating their cultural heritage to a wide audience.” You can see the list of all the videos they’ve created so far here: https://vimeo.com/user5307782

  1. VIU Digital Storytelling Project Empowers Aboriginal Youth

This article discusses a digital storytelling research project at Vancouver Island University where five Aboriginal youth are trained as mentors and research assistants to teach other Aboriginal Youth and Elders how to create their own digital stories about topics they find important. I want to share one quote that stood out to me from one of the research assistants, Gladys Joe: “I hope I can do this kind of work for the rest of my life. Sharing stories and culture through modern technology is beneficial for future generations.”

Teaching the Students (Mod 1 Post 2)

To play off Natalie’s post, I find that Wab Kinew’s videos are informative and popular with students.  Like Natalie says, it’s important to get the right information and I try to find sources of information about Indigenous peoples BY Indigenous peoples. He is a great speaker and tackles issues like residential schools and First Nations stereotypes.  He was also recently within the past 24 hours elected as the leader of the Manitoba New Democrat Party.  There are a lot of great resources out there and not always time to get through them.  Thats why I enjoy posting links to different videos found both by myself and other students for them to watch on their own time.  I find it very rare that they ever just watch the one video but watch multiple videos connected with the original post.  Technology is always a double edged sword.  And in the same way one can get sucked into watching multiple cat fail videos, students can also get sucked into an issue or topic brought up in class using the same technology medium if we provide them the right guidance.

Circle of Stories

“Indigenous storytelling is rooted in the earth. Years upon years of a kinship with the land, life, water and sky have produced a variety of narratives about intimate connections to the earth. In a call and response lasting through time, Native peoples have experienced a relationship of give and take with the natural world.” (Circle of Stories)

PBS hosts an interactive multimedia site, Circle of Stories, which explores Native American storytelling.

The site features documentary film, photography, artwork, music and includes discussions and lesson plans.


One Laptop per Child Canada


Educational Technology for Aboriginal Youth

For those unfamiliar with the One Laptop Per Child organization, they are group that endeavors to empower the world’s poorest children through education. They operate all over the world and are active in Northern Aboriginal communities. The site is one example of how technology is being used with the intention of protecting Aboriginal culture and is therefore a great resource for my research.


The site is updated regularly and contains multiple articles and information as well as endorsements from famous Canadian Aboriginal people.

Module 2 – Post 2
Ryan Silverthorne

Storybases – Distance is not an issue




The goal of this site is a global initiative to allow groups that are physically separated to share their own oral history.  What I found interesting about this site is that is so simple yet effective.  There is a saying that once an elder dies that a library burns down.  It just makes sense to put these important aspects of culture into a digital form so that they are preserved and available for future generations.  Each story is a connection to the past that should not be lost. This project is gathering stories from Mali, Peru, Canada and Ethiopia and teaches people how to continue taking their own stories.  This give the power to the people creating the stories and allows them to be interpreted in the way that they see fit and allow them to become part of global culture.  I find this idea to be both a benefit to those wanting to understand these cultures better and empowering to the cultures themselves

Native Health and Digital Storytelling


Native Health and Digital Storytelling

I’ve included this site because I know from my own experience working with native people   (along side native interpreters at Fort William Historical Park) that stories play a key part in the cultural narrative of native peoples (Ojibwa in my case).  This site takes people’s personal stories of healing and transfers them into a digital medium which allows them to share their experiences with a much wider audience.  This is a powerful tool because their unique perspective can be shared with others and perhaps help them with situations in their own life.

VIU Digital Storytelling Project is Empowering Aboriginal Youth

This is a case of how digital storytelling has been used in a positive way in Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island. I like that while the project is led by Dr. Jennifer Mullett of Vancouver Island University’s Center for Healthy Communities Research, part of the project’s mandate is to train a youth team to act as mentors to teach other youth and even Elders how to use the technology. Hopefully this knowledge can continue to be passed on.


Indigenous Youth Screen and Digital Media

I found this link while researching for my digital storytelling paper. imagineNATIVE “presents new and innovative film, video, audio, and digital media works.” (from the imagineNATIVE mandate) They promote Indigenous artwork by exhibiting works, offering workshops or networking opportunities, having community screenings and many other events to support and promote Indigenous art.

The youth screen media section caught my eye because of what each artist is expressing through the use of digital media.


To view the actual artwork scroll down and click the hyperlinks at the bottom of the page.

Module 4, Post 5 – Digital Activities

Following the Ginsburg article, I was wondering what other initiatives there were supporting First Nations self-representation in the digital realm.

First Mile is an organization that shares stories of First Nations in ICT. They also conduct research into digital issues.


There are also several initiatives to create digital stories about a variety of First Nations experiences. This website focuses on the experiences of men:


And this one on women:



Reconciliation, Resistance, and Residential Schools: digital stories for healing and awareness

This week’s post continues my interest in digital storytelling. I was interested in how Indigenous people in Canada are using digital storytelling as a way to share stories of their experiences in the residential school system.

1. Resistance to Residential Schools: Digital Stories

Center for Youth and Society – University of Victoria


These stories are part of a “Resistance Narratives” project funded by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The goal of this project is to document resistance to the residential school system. For example, one digital story told of a woman who managed to defy assimilation and retained her language and then taught it to a few people in her community. This project is also meant to increase awareness and promote intergenerational healing.

Of particular interest for me personally was the digital story, “Cultural Revitalization of Sts’ailes Community School,” by Alexandra Kant because it compared and contrasted the experiences of residential schools with the work being done to reclaim the culture and language and heal the community in an educational setting.

Of particular interest for me personally was the digital story, “Cultural Revitalization of Sts’ailes Community School,” by Alexandra Kant because it compared and contrasted the experiences of residential schools with the work being done to reclaim the culture and language and heal the community in an educational setting.

  1. kiskinohamâtôtâpânâsk: Intergenerational Effects on Professional First Nations Women Whose Mothers are Residential School Survivors

Prairie Women’s Health


A collection of 6 powerful digital stories exploring the relationship between mothers and daughters. The videos illustrate the impact that residential schools had on generations of families, the project title is “kiskinohamâtôtâpânâsk: Intergenerational Effects on Professional First Nations Women Whose Mothers are Residential School Survivors (Source: Oral History Centre).” One of the videos, “My Journey to Motherhood,” Lorena Fontaine, was interesting because Fontaine shares that her decision to have a home birth on her mother’s ancestral lands meant that her daughter was the first child born there in 50 years. It is actually against the law to give birth at home in her province, so she had to pretend that she was going to give birth in the hospital and eventually arrange to have two midwives present. Another video, “Mary-Lou and Me” by Lisa Forbes describes her mother’s assimilation to the dominant culture. But it was the last sentence or so of the video that impacted me the most and really demonstrated the damaging effect that assimilation and loss of culture can have on people.

  1. ininiwag dibaajimowag*:First Nations Men and the Inter-generational Experiences of Residential Schools

Oral History Centre


The Oral History Centre website has published three of seven Digital stories produced by the male children of residential school survivors. This is part two of the project that I linked to above. So again, these videos explore the impact that residential schools had on generations of families. But one man said in his video, “the cycle stops with my grandchildren.” I found that the three selected videos offer hope for healing and a positive message in spite of the trauma and abuse that was experienced.

There is also a link at the bottom of the home page if you wish to view the four videos that were not selected to be published on their website. Or follow this link:


4. Trickster Art -Digital Storytelling of Chris Bose – written by Jennifer Dales


This is an article about the artist Chris Bose. I will also link to his blog. I’m glad I found this article explaining his work because as much as I liked his blog and found some of his work to be powerful, I needed this explanation. Bose states that residential schools “(are) our hidden holocaust. The residential school is always going to be in my art and in what I do until I figure out a way to destroy it.” This is certainly a powerful statement.

5. Urban Coyote TeeVee – Blog of artist Chris Bose


This is a collection of some of the artist’s work. Here you can find Jesus Coyote which is mentioned in the link above. He is participating in a challenge to post a work of art a day for one year so there are many different kinds of artwork. One of the pieces I found most moving is a digital story called All Things to All People.