Events Calendar

Indigenous voices in the digital age

Friday, March 5, 2021
4:30 pm
Zoom (by registration)

"Indigenous voices in the digital age: using digital storytelling to illustrate the lived experiences of urban Indigenous peoples"

Presented by Percy Sherwood and Joy SpearChief-Morris as part of the FIMS mediations lecture series.


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls both call on academic institutions, journalists, and more generally anyone working in media and communications to support Indigenous Peoples in sharing their stories, from their perspectives, free of bias, discrimination, and false assumptions, and in a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive way. In taking up this call to action, how might digital media be appropriately used in the context of research involving Indigenous Peoples?

Linda Tuhiwai Smith famously begins her book, Decolonizing Methodologies, by noting that research is “probably one of the dirtiest words in the Indigenous world’s vocabulary.” She says any research approach involving Indigenous Peoples must be premised on respect, community engagement, reciprocity, and the co-creation of knowledge.

This talk outlines how digital storytelling may sit at the nexus of these aims, which refers to the process of illustrating personal experiences by using multimedia in the form of videos, photographs, artwork, text, audio, music, or some combination of these cultural products. Digital storytelling is a collaborative and multimodal approach that supports Indigenous control over the research process. Joy SpearChief-Morris, Student Opportunities Coordinator at Western’s Indigenous Student Centre, will also respond with comments about the importance of storytelling and valuing situated knowledges in research.


Percy Sherwood is a second-year media studies PhD candidate at FIMS.

Joy SpearChief-Morris is an Indigenous Black Canadian woman. She has a master’s degree in Political Science specializing in Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict reconstruction. Her research looks particularly at the connections between Indigenous land rights, sovereignty and reconciliation with the Canadian state. Joy is the Student Opportunities Coordinator at the Indigenous Student Centre at Western University where she is a lead for student programming, campus and outreach events, student administration, and social media and communications. She is also a 100m hurdler and member of Team Canada training for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Faculty of Information and Media Studies
FIMS Communications

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