Harnessing Technology to Capture Indigenous Stories and Traditions

February 29, 2024 The Sharing Circle

Indigenous nations are rich in culture and in history. From ceremonies to food and clothing to values, the history of Indigenous culture ties back to community and to the land. The way these practices were passed down was through oral storytelling. Storytelling was a way to connect individuals to their communities and piece together generations of knowledge. The impact and significance of storytelling also places a great importance on Indigenous languages.

As time has passed Indigenous people have moved to all areas of the country, some living in their communities, others living outside. This can create challenges when it comes to sharing knowledge and building community connections. Preservation of Indigenous culture is more than capturing this knowledge for the history books. It’s about restoring pride and identity in Indigenous people and strengthening nations for generations to come. Recognizing the challenges of the new age and the importance of cultural preservation, there is great opportunity in leveraging new technology to capture knowledge and share it through this medium.

Celebrating Indigenous Heritage

When we look at education on Indigenous culture, the focus is most often on the history of colonization and its lasting impacts today. While this topic is incredibly important in understanding and learning about Indigenous people, there is so much that goes undiscussed when it comes to traditions, practices, celebrations, and ways of life. This is something that is important to recognize as it paves a path for non-Indigenous people to continue to learn about our culture while celebrating all the beauty and history of it.

What many may not know is that there are many Indigenous people who feel disconnected from their culture. Because Indigenous traditions are deeply rooted in community and storytelling, the only way for these practices to be passed down is through Elders and Knowledge Keepers. For those who may not be involved in their community or don’t naturally have these connections it can be difficult to learn and feel connected.

Finding Connection to Culture

Image of man standing above a peaceful lake with drawing of eagle in the sky.

Screen capture from the ImmersiveLink 7 experience teaching about the connection between traditional cultural teachings and work ethic.

Time and time again we have seen how deepening this connection to culture allows individuals to understand themselves better and feel more confident in their skills and who they are. What’s important to recognize is that everyone is at a different stage in their journey of connecting to culture.

It also may be challenging to find where to start. Some people may find that being out on the land and learning skills like hunting and forging speaks to them. Others may find themselves starting with spiritual ceremonies and practices.

Traditional Teachings in Indigenous Culture

Something that is shared between nations is the 7 Grandfather Teachings. These teachings underpin the values of what it means to walk the good path. We do see some variations in these, but they all focus on similar values. From the Ojibwe nation these teachings are humility, bravery, honesty, wisdom, truth, respect, and love. Learning these teachings can be a pivotal starting point in connecting or reconnecting to your culture. They can be used to guide how you treat yourself and others.

These teachings underpin the values of what it means to walk the good path.
Humility Respect your place and carry your pride with your people and praise the accomplishments of all.
Bravery Defend what you believe in and what is right for your community, family, and self.
Honesty To walk through life with integrity is to know honesty.
Wisdom Cherish knowledge by using your inherent gifts wisely and live your life by them.
Truth Show honour and sincerity in all that you say and do.
Respect Find balance and live honorably in teachings and in your actions towards all things.
Love View your inner-self from the perspective of all teachings. This is to know love and to love yourself truly.

Through these teachings and other traditions, all people can have a better understanding of what Indigenous culture represents.

Working with Elders and Building Experiences

When it comes to preservation of this knowledge, understanding how to protect Indigenous heritage and capturing it in its true form is extremely important. Building out cultural experiences involves close collaboration with Elders and Knowledge Keepers to create a relationship of trust and open communication. During filming, we have to ensure we remain respectful of practices.

With the support and contribution of Knowledge Keepers across Canada, we have a library of over 25 immersive experiences available today. Some of the experiences include canoe building, fireside chats, traditional dances, building a teaching lodge, medicine walks and more!

2 individuals working together to stabilize the teaching lodge.

From IL Cultural experience “Building a Teaching Lodge with Cindy Crowe”

With the use of 360 video technology, this knowledge can be preserved while keeping intact the storytelling element that has underpinned cultural transmission for hundreds of years. Using virtual reality breaks down the barriers of geography and community connections. It allows for the content to be shared widely without the concern of the message being tampered with.

Finding ways to educate and share about Indigenous culture is something that our team will continue to work towards. The goal of ImmersiveLink Cultural is to create content that is accessible and accurately represents traditional knowledge. Whether it be in the workplace, community, or classroom, integrating Indigenous culture is an essential step towards education and reconciliation. Let’s continue to celebrate Indigenous traditions and instill pride across the nation!

If this sounds like the right fit for your community or organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team for more information.

Let’s work. Together.