Indigenous Culture and Media Innovation (ICMI) and The Media Arts Network of Ontario (MANO) are pleased to announce the launch of a collaborative community-based project in Northern Ontario. While each organization is managing distinct research projects, work in the region and a shared interest in digital media brought the organizations together to collaborate. Originally conceived as a series of workshops and consultations connecting regional and local needs, the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged us to decentralize the process. MANO and ICMI have recruited paid facilitators and advisors to carry out conversations within their communities and networks to discuss needs and strategies for digital tools and infrastructure.
ICMI was created out of a recognized need for Indigenous access to the arts. ICMI opens its doors to the Indigenous community through professional development, projects, productions, facilities, and equipment. MANO, a representative of artist-run collectives and organizations across Ontario, works to support cooperative ownership of the tools for artistic production, exhibition, and distribution by communities.
Both organizations are committed to the vital role of community control and ownership in the research and development of digital resources for artists in Northern Ontario. We centre equity and collective responsibility in the development of digital tools and platforms for the arts in Northern Ontario. This project counters the pervasiveness of resource extraction in the north (from natural resources to cultural knowledge). This project follows the principle of community Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP) of all information, ideas and knowledge shared throughout the project.
Each facilitator determines all aspects of their research and conversations, including the communities and networks they engage, the participants they invite, the format, process, and length of their conversations; and together the participants and facilitators determine what information is shared with MANO and ICMI, and how it will be used. Both organizations are working closely together with the facilitators to develop protocols for use and access of the research and how it will be stored for the long term. ICMI and MANO have collaborated closely to develop the process of the project and to support the facilitators through mentorship, facilitator training, administrative and other supports. An important aspect of the project is the project is to build respectful and meaningful co-mentoring relationships and networks between the facilitators, and to build in facilitation skills and capacity.
In addition to the shared ICMI/MANO conversations, ICMI will also reach out to Indigenous communities for additional Indigenous-only discussions about how Indigenous people adopt digital technologies and utilize spoken word, symbols, songs and images to capture, preserve and transmit culture, language and ancestral knowledge; and discuss what is needed to create multimedia resources and share cultural materials and what resources can help.
MANO and ICMI invite artists from Sault Ste Marie, Timmins, Thunder Bay and surrounding areas to contact us if you are interested in being considered to join a conversation circle.
For more information, please call MANO at (647) 951‑4810 ext 102 or ICMI at (866) 529‑0260.
Sophie Edwards, Project Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Cuddy, Project Coordinator: email@example.com
ADVISORS and Collaborating Organizations
Holly Cunningham, Near North Mobile Media Lab (North Bay)
Kim DeBlock Kitchen (North Bay)
Weengushk Film Institute (M’Chigeeng First Nation)
Near North Mobile Media Lab (North Bay)
Art Fix Nipissing (North Bay)
Mindful Makers (Thunder Bay)
180 Projects (Sault Ste. Marie)
Anthony Baumgartner (Sioux Lookout/Kenora)
Drew Gauley (New Liskeard)
Jackie Atkins/Weengushk Film Institute (Kagawong/M’Chigeeng First Nation)
Jaymie Lathem, North Bay (North Bay)
Lindsay Sullivan (North Bay)
Makenzie Dokis (Dokis First Nation)
Nadine Arpin (Sioux Lookout)
Sarah Nelson (Anemki Wekwedong/Thunder Bay)
Stacey Hare Hodgins (Thunder Bay)
Sam Cuddy (ICMI)
Sophie Edwards (MANO/Kagawong)
Click for Team Bios.
This project is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts — Digital Strategy Fund.