The Raising Spirit: Opokaa'sin Digital Children's Library (working title) is a collaborative, transdisciplinary project in southern Alberta. Members of Opokaa'sin Early Intervention Society and researchers from the University of Lethbridge are working together to produce a project that promotes resiliency and builds capacity in the Blackfoot community. The team also seeks to address the calls from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) regarding culturally appropriate curricula.
To achieve this aim, the team is working with Blackfoot young people who will collect stories about their history and culture - in both English and Blackfoot. These stories will in turn be digitized and placed in an easy to use, child-friendly "digital library" for use in Opokaa'sin's educational programming.
It is our hope that by involving young people in the process of constructing the library - in the collection and curation of the data - they will develop research capacity and technical skills, as well as foster and reinforce connections within and beyond their communities. Thus our guiding research question at this stage is one of process: does involving young people in the process of building the library help to promote resiliency and build capacity?
Please also see this blog post: Raising Spirit: the Opokaa’sin Digital Storytelling Project
University Project Team: Dr. Jan Newberry, Dr. Kristine Alexander, Dr. Erin Spring, Amy Mack, Taylor Little Mustache.
Community Partner Team: Francis First Charger, Dr. Michelle Hogue, Tanya Pace Crosschild, Edna Bad Eagle.