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Community-Based Multiliteracies and Digital Media Projects

Questioning Assumptions and Exploring Realities

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Edited By Heather M. Pleasants and Dana E. Salter

Within community-based digital literacies work, a fundamental question remains unanswered: Where are the stories and reflections of the researchers, scholars, and community workers themselves? We have learned much about contexts, discourses, and the multimodal nature of meaning making in literacy and digital media experiences. However, we have learned very little about those who initiate, facilitate, and direct these community-based multiliteracies and digital media projects. In Community-Based Multiliteracies & Digital Media Projects: Questioning Assumptions and Exploring Realities, contributors discuss exemplary work in the field of community-based digital literacies, while providing an insightful and critical perspective on how we begin to write ourselves into the stories of our work. In doing so, the book makes a powerful contribution to digital literacies praxis and pedagogy – within and outside of community-based contexts.
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Chapter 6: You Want to Do What with Doda’s Stories? Building a Community for the Skins Workshops on Aboriginal Storytelling in Digital Media

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You Want to Do What with Doda’s Stories? Building a Community for the Skins Workshops on Aboriginal Storytelling in Digital Media

Jason Edward Lewis and Skawennati Fragnito

Who We Are and How We Came to Be

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) is a research network of artists, academics and technologists centrally concerned with Indigenous representation in, and production of, digital media (AbTeC, 2008). AbTeC investigates and identifies ways for Indigenous peoples to tell our stories via networked technologies, and in so doing, strengthen our communities while proactively participating in shaping cyberspace. We are based at Concordia University, in Montreal, Quebec.

We had been thinking, talking and making artwork about Aboriginal representation in webpages, virtual environments and software for years when, in 2004, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) offered a new grant program focused on creating and supporting Aboriginal research networks (SSHRC, 2011). This program was unique in several ways that were key to AbTeC’s launch. First, it provided a concrete framework within which to articulate the conversations we had been having with colleagues within both the academy and the Aboriginal arts community regarding the lack of Indigenous characters and stories in popular media in general and in cyberspace in particular. We had been engaging a wide range of people on this topic, with the seminal conversation taking place in 2003 at the Skinning Our Tools symposium (Banff Centre for the Arts, 2003) with...

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