My name is Jackson Dionne. Executive Director of the Indigenous Wellness Training Society. Og Mandino says:
“I have one life and life is not but a measurement of time. When I waste one I destroy the other. If I waste today I destroy the last page of my life.”
He goes on further to say…
“I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today.”
Need to capture elders stories NOW using technology.
Why is it important to capture the elders stories? Truth and Reconciliation Commission started to capture the stories but it was way to fast, way too intense. It was just like ripping off a band-aid. It is our belief that we need the same amount of time to heal which is 150 years. The way to heal is to listen to the elders. To live a healthy life we need to avoid disease/disability, need to maintain a high physical and cognitive capacity in our later years, and also need to continue active engagement with life.
Adult Children of Alcoholics says don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel. For these reasons I want to capture elders stories.
Recognition of Importance
I have read a story about Augie Merasty who was a Residential School Survivor. It is very important to understand intricate details about what happened in the Residential Schools because we often hear what happened, but knowing the intricate details about how it happened makes it real. We need to understand what the relationship Residential Schools have had on future generations because it does impact the future generations. Knowing what happen will provide an outline of what First Nation people need to do to change in order to function in today’s society.
There is an idea of transmitted vs. evoked culture – Evoked culture is when certain environmental conditions evoke certain universal responses from people while transmitted culture is a cultural idea, belief, or practice that is learned through social transmission or modeling. Since we follow traditions of oral history we transmit our culture from one generation to the next.
Search for Fulfillment
In 2010 we did a presentation to a group of elders and one of the elders stated “just because I have grey hair does not mean I do not have a voice.” For that reason we hosted a 6 session Elders Forum in 2011. The goal was to give elders a voice – out of the Elders Forum we created an elders council and hosted several events which also led to the commencement of the DTES Powwow. The premise of forum is people are of value and what they have to say is of value
Our elders are valuable and what they have to share is of value. Therefore, we need to capture their stories and teachings using today’s technology of social media. We have several options to help elders share their stories – such as videotape, recording their stories through audio, creating podcasts, using Youtube, Facebook, Twitter or on someone’s personal website. We can also convert 35mm negatives or slides or old pictures to digital photos, converting VHS videos to digital, or converting old cassettes to digital as well.
Not all options appeal to everyone, some teachings not appropriate to be recorded, but we can share as much as we can. Also if this is not for you, maybe you know someone who is willing to share their stories. Overall goal is to share elder stories one person at a time similar to how American Pickers share the history of America one piece at a time.
We can develop videos similar to this video and by no means am I a professional, this is more of a hobby. Other professionals charge up to $40,000 for a 3 minute video. I will leave it up to you to decide if you would like to develop a video or other means to share your story. We can answer such questions like – what do you do? How do you do that? When and where do you do this? Why do you do it? Who participates? Basically answer what, where and when?
If you have any questions please let me know. If you would like to share your story please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will begin the process – choosing us to help share your story will be a wise choice and you will not be disappointed with the cost or the final product.