Tuesday, May 8, 2012


For a while now Native Earth had been talking about different ways to get our stories out. Meanwhile, Seneca College wanted to do some applied research through the Canada Interactive Fund through HeritageCanada. From the beginning it was a partnership in the true sense of the word.

Given the challenge of providing content that would challenge the Seneca researchers to come up with top-quality, innovative work we set out to build a portal that had several components:
·     A connection to our blog
·     A demonstration of our Made to Order theatre offerings
·     A computer game based on a creation story
·     A GPS app that would tell people a little about the history and culture of the land upon which they were standing.
As we approached the first meeting last spring Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and I figured that if Seneca agreed to do one or two of those things it would be great. Imagine our delight when the folks at Seneca agreed to do all four. Imagine our further delight when the folks at Heritage Canada agreed to fund all the activities!!! That meant we had to do it.

The path of working with the entire team from Seneca was a combination of education for all involved. We learned the complications of compositing an animated baby into video of a car that is supposed to be moving. They learned about the culture of the Aboriginal people in a way that was a far cry from the world of Walt Disney. We all learned the lessons of mutual respect and the bond that forms when people work on something important together.

The official launch of Turtlesback will be in the middle of next month (watch this space for the announcement). I will leave the official ‘thank yous’ for that occasion. But, I do need to take a moment to thank Donna-Michelle. The ideas that sprang from her fruitful imagination certainly provided the researchers and animators some wonderful material. As well, Laura Jo Gunter of Seneca College who had the vision to call Native Earth and had the vision to see the benefits this project would have for her students, her institution, Native Earth and our people across this Turtle Island.

-Jed DeCory

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