Indigitization Workshop

The Indigitization workshop at the Indigenous New Media Symposium invites you to learn about Indigenous community approaches to cultural heritage media management and community archiving. Members of the Indigitization team will share how institutions such as academies can develop programs that respond to systemic barriers and challenge expectations/ operational “norms” to deliver relevant, capacity-building resources and support in ways that are practical, ethical and culturally appropriate. Sarah Dupont, Métis, and Aboriginal Engagement Librarian at UBC Library, will introduce Indigitization, unpack some of the ways that Western information practices are not meeting the needs of Indigenous communities, and will suggest practical ways to think about offering relevant support. Chuck Seymour, Cowichan, and Cultural Coordinator for Cowichan Tribes, will share about his work with his Nation’s cultural heritage media, his experience with the Indigitization program, and the experiences of other community members working to digitize their relatives’ recordings. Gerry Lawson, Heiltsuk, and Coordinator of the Oral History and Language Lab at the Museum of Anthropology, will share his journey of how he came to this work and advocated for the funding, ethics, and values that created this program. In addition, Gerry will give an overview of the training topics that are discussed during the Indigitization audiocassette digitization training week offered to grant program participants. This training provides an overview of project management and planning, physical condition assessments of audio cassettes, basic repairs for physical tapes, digitization processes, basic audio editing in Audacity for preservation and access purposes, metadata, file management, and preservation storage strategies. The workshop will then transition to group discussions of “based-on-real-life” scenarios that are meant to solicit engagement with the issues communities face on a regular basis. We will close with reflections from the groups and a closing story that asks workshop participants to reconsider places of discomfort as generative, and potentially revelatory, in navigating some of the biggest questions of our personal, professional and communal lives.

Sarah Dupont, Métis, is from Prince George, B.C. She is a proud graduate of the University of Northern B.C. where she did her undergraduate studies. Sarah received a Masters of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She was formerly the Community Engagement Librarian (Aboriginal Services) with Edmonton Public Library. Sarah’s role is shared between the Xwi7xwa Library, where her work includes providing reference and instruction services, programming, and outreach with the campus’s Indigenous community, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, where her Aboriginal Engagement role extends more broadly off campus. At the IKBLC, her work includes projects such as the Indigitization program and the annual Aboriginal (Un)History Month exhibition. Sarah is the convenor of the First Nations Interest Group of the BC Library Association.

Gerry Lawson is a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation and is the Coordinator for the Oral History and Language Lab, at the Museum of Anthropology, at the University of British Columbia. The OHLL supports media creation and digitization for the purpose of oral history, language and material culture research. Gerry’s previous work as a media digitization and technology consultant has enabled him to work with a wide variety of legacy media formats. He stresses a practical approach recording, digitization and digital media management, which he has tried to bring to his work at the Museum of Anthropology.

Chuck Seymour is the Cultural Coordinator at Quw’utusun Syuwen’tst Lelum, Cowichan Tribes’ Cultural Education Department. The Cultural Coordinator is responsible for Hul’q’umi’num’ language, as well as the language resources. He works with his Elders Committee to ensure the accuracy, meaning and full content of materials produced. Language classes are also facilitated for staff and community.

Chuck works with his Cultural Clerk to ensure all archive material is securely stored both physically and electronically. These materials are used in the creation of language resources.

When not working, Chuck can be spotted on a football (soccer) pitch playing Masters football or on the lacrosse floor playing Masters lacrosse, particularly passing the ball around with his sons. His most precious time is spent with his wife and sons exploring life’s adventures.

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