Photo © Rick Colbourne. Indigenous youth from northern communities and BMPD students will work together in the Indigenous Youth Stories Project to create multimedia narratives that “articulate their shared vision of a sustainable future.”

Media Production and Design professor Dr. Stéfy McKnight is helping to lead an Indigenous Youth Stories Project that connects young people from northern Indigenous communities with BMPD students from the School of Journalism and Communication and other student collaborators in co-creating multimedia narratives that explore issues related to global sustainable development.

Using software like Esri StoryMaps and Adobe Creative Cloud, the BMPD students will mentor the other students and Indigenous youth in using new software and technologies to share their stories and experiences.

This important initiative will give BMPD students the opportunity to learn skills in community-based research, mentorship, workshop leading, and collaborative research methodologies. More importantly, Dr. McKnight and the BMPD students will work to support Indigenous communities — specifically Indigenous youth in the sharing of their stories in ways that centre Indigenous sovereignty, knowledge mobilization and Indigenous agency.

“Multimedia storytelling can be a source of empowerment for Indigenous youth, and a collaborative co-creation process with post-secondary students can serve as a platform for mutual understanding, respect, and healing, and ultimately contributes to reconciliation,” states the project website.

“The complementary skills and experiences of this team will allow us to engage youth from northern Indigenous communities to work (virtually) with Carleton students from multiple disciplines to articulate their shared vision of a sustainable future,” the website notes. “Their multimedia stories will be uploaded to a curated website that will be linked to other initiatives that amplify youth voices across the north.”

Dr. Stéfy McKnight, Dr. Rick Colbourne and Dr. Kim Matheson are among the Carleton teachers and researchers leading a collaborative Indigenous Youth Stories Project involving BMPD students and Indigenous youth in creating multimedia narratives exploring sustainability.

The project is led by Sprott School of Business professor Dr. Rick Colbourne — who is also Carleton’s Associate Dean, Equity and Inclusive Communities — and Carleton neuroscience professor Dr. Kim Matheson, Culture & Gender Mental Health Research Chair jointly held at Carleton and The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research.

Dr. Colbourne, an Algonquin Anishinaabe member of the Mattawa/North Bay Algonquin First Nation, has deep relationships with communities across Canada and has been working extensively with Indigenous economic development agencies. Dr. Matheson has been working with First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario as part of a SSHRC Partnership Grant she leads to support communities to create the conditions for their youth to flourish.

Dr. McKnight teaches students a wide range of digital storytelling techniques, and her research provides insights into contemporary instances of settler colonialism and white supremacy in Canada. Her scholarly work takes the form of performance, multi-media interventions, online curatorial projects, 3D printing, installation, video, and live streaming. Her creative research projects have been exhibited at galleries in Stratford, Kingston, North Bay and elsewhere.

The storytelling project will take shape within a holistic perspective using a Two-Eyed Seeing framework or Etuaptmumk. Etuaptmumk recognizes the importance of diverse knowledge systems rooted in different spaces and places and grounded in local perspectives, languages, understandings, ways of knowing and being. This includes recognizing commonalities and variations in Indigenous knowledge and methods (reflecting many cultures, treaties, geographical regions), as well as the variations in Western world views (disciplinary paradigms).

The Indigenous Youth Stories Project is being undertaken in partnership with Indigenous Works, which supports a network of Indigenous communities developing a holistic approach to economic development that includes social and environmental responsibility; the Multicultural Association of Northwestern Ontario and its First Nations-led Regional Youth Leadership Council; and the Arctic Youth Network, a network of young entrepreneurs forging a competitive northern economy that prioritizes sustainable development built on Indigenous values.

The project has received support from Carleton’s Multidisciplinary Research Catalyst Fund.

Thursday, October 14, 2021 in , ,
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