Recoding Relations: Episode 1, People Over Tools

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In Episode 1 of this 4 part podcast series, we discuss how people and relationships, rather than technology alone, are what hold the power to support Indigenous and decolonial futures. We talk about what being a good relation to Indigenous peoples and territories looks like in the digital humanities and we highlight research relationships and collaborations that work for and with community. We hear Sarah Dupont present on her work with the Indigitization project and Mark Turin discuss language revitalization and new media. We also cover some of the ongoing impacts of Western research on Indigenous peoples, and David Gaertner and Michael and Caroline Running Wolf offer guidelines for anyone seeking to work in Indigenous contexts. (Written and produced by Melissa Haberl in collaboration with Autumn Schnell. David Gaertner is the Executive Producer)

Recoding Relations is produced out of the Symposium for Indigenous New Media was a two-day event held on the traditional territory of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), Lkwungen (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation as part of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI). The symposium was a starting point for an extensive capacity building and knowledge mobilization project at DHSI that included the production of best practice materials and models to support Indigenous peoples and research in the digital humanities (DH). This initial symposium brought together scholars from across the social sciences and humanities, including Indigenous Studies, English, Psychology and Human Development, and First Nations and Endangered Languages. Scholars, students, artists, and community members collaborated closely with one another on a range of projects employing digital technologies in Indigenous contexts.

Overall Goals and Objectives of Recoding Relations

Recoding Relations documents an international event featuring a constellation of scholars with expertise in Indigenous studies and/or the Digital Humanities (DH) in order to mobilize rigorous and ethical models of research between the two fields. We were motivated by the following specific examples:

  • Make more space for Indigenous peoples, technologies, and knowledges in the organization and development of DH theory and practice;
  • Create new Indigenous infrastructure at future DHSI meetings;
  • Supplement the body of research knowledge in the existing literature on Indigenous new media with a collaboratively written, open access document, podcasts, and blog posts;
  • Forge connections and mentorship opportunities between Canadian academics by bringing together scholars and students from various career stages and institutions to share their expertise and experiences, ask questions, and exchange ideas and best practices in a collaborative setting;
  • Foster the development of research-informed practices of Indigenous studies amongst DH scholars and vice versa;
  • Enable DH project developers from multidisciplinary specializations to share their best practices, experiences, and critical perspectives with one another and provide mentorship for emerging scholars and students;
  • Increase usage of existing research on Indigenous new media in DH circles;
  • Develop new curricula for teaching Indigenous new media both inside and outside the academy;
  • Provide a forum for open discussion, questions, professional development opportunities, and future collaborations for each participant, as well as new insights on trends and the future of Indigenous DH that may emerge from shared the scholarly community and public sphere, both nationally and internationally.

To read more about the Symposium for Indigenous New Media, read the the article on Critical Inquiry

See the Novel Alliances New Media reading list here

Episode 1, People Over Tools

Episode 3, Decolonial Digital

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