April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Demonstrations: Description

Dane-Wajich – Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land   go to paper

Kate Hennessy, University of British Columbia, Canada
Amber Ridington, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

In the fall of 2007 the Doig River First Nation, an Aboriginal group from northeastern British Columbia, launched its Virtual Museum of Canada-funded Web exhibit Dane-Wajich – Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land. This exhibit was produced by the First Nation in collaboration with ethnographers, linguists, and multimedia professionals. It integrates subtitled Dane-zaa and English video narratives, interpretive e-text, photographs of the production process, recordings of songs, and contemporary and archival images of traditional lands in order to showcase Dane-zaa culture and address present concerns faced by the community as they negotiate legacies of colonialism. The exhibit’s community-directed production process has contributed to the revitalization of Dane-zaa culture and language as it brought elders and youth together to document stories, songs, and their relationship to the land. The project has also provided the First Nation with control over their representation, and has become a valuable learning resource for local and global audiences. Presented by the exhibit co-curators and project coordinators, the demonstration and paper will showcase the exhibition and discuss questions, raised in the exhibit production process, which relate to the politics of cultural representation in the context of museums and the Web: How can curators and communities balance the benefits of sharing Indigenous culture with protecting Indigenous culture? Can consensus be reached over what is appropriate to show a worldwide audience versus a local audience? How is local intellectual property rights discourse constituted? And how do these emerging rights contribute to the development of protocols for meaningful consultation with Aboriginal communities?

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Demonstrations]

Keywords: Dane-zaa, oral traditions, participatory production, collaboration, representation