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Project records stories forever
People's memories preserved digitally

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Monday, January 14, 2013

Digitally recording stories, as simple as a happy childhood moment or as complex as the residential school experience, will now be possible in three territorial communities.

NNSL photo/graphic

Brendan Griebel, a senior researcher with the Kitikmeot Heritage Society in Cambridge Bay, was one of six territorial participants in the E-Story Project workshop in Iqaluit last week. Once he returns to the Kitikmeot community, he will organize a digital storytelling workshop to help people record stories. - photo courtesy of Darlene Thompson

The $150,000 E-Story Project is funded through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and put on by the Community Access Program, in conjunction with the Department of Education.

The aim is for community members to collect their own stories so people can tell them the way they want and preserve them digitally, explained Darlene Thompson, the Community Access Program administrator.

She said the stories can then be aired on YouTube, for instance, or kept private.

"It can be little stories like something that happened in their childhood, or it could be a story about their family," said Thompson. "It could be a story about their community or it could a big story, like residential schools or anything like that. It's whatever story they want to tell from their hearts they would like to put on to digital format and be able to save."

Three people from Clyde River, two from Arctic Bay and one from Cambridge Bay participated in a one-week workshop in Iqaluit from Jan. 7 to 11.

The six participants were working on one story that week, doing their own voice recordings, pictures, videos and adding music, before going back to their communities to do others there. Thompson said they're hoping to do about 10 stories per community by March 31.

From Cambridge Bay was Brendan Griebel, a senior researcher with the Kitikmeot Heritage Society, who said the group plans to organize a digital storytelling workshop through the society to hopefully get elders and youth involved. Griebel added he deals with traditional technologies, so it was great to learn more about new ones.

"I'm working on one that looks at the different ways we remember history," said Griebel, referring to the video he's preparing at the workshop. "I work as an archeologist so I'm very interested in looking at how archeologists remember history and how Inuit remember history and kind of what the differences are because that's something I run into a lot in my work."

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