Our People, Our Climate is a ground-breaking documentary film and photography initiative, aiming to develop the storytelling skills of Nunavut youth and young adults. Inuit communities across Canada’s Arctic are essential to current climate change discussions, and this project brings together a range of young people in these communities to tell important stories through a unique and distinct cultural lens.
Beginning in early 2020, the project emerged as an international collaboration between West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre in Iqaluit, Kakivak Association, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, GRULAC Junior, Museum Cerny, University of St. Thomas and University of Minnesota, Duluth.
This project aims to contribute to and expand on existing work on entrepreneurship incubation, and adds a specific training focused solely on creating digital products and services, to address the barriers of high transportation costs in the North. It follows the examples set by Indigenous and People-of-Color-focused incubation programs such as Inclusion in Northern Research (Canada), Creative Startups (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA), the Neighborhood Development Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) and the Incubator for Digital Entrepreneurship in the Arctic (Alaska, USA).
It’s time for new experiences.
Our program is new. It’s an experimental urban and land-based arts and culture training program aimed at incubating next-generation Indigenous talent. It builds upon proven cultural entrepreneurship training to foster new arts industry employment through a careful balance of traditional knowledge, science and modern technologies.
Creativity for Entrepreneurship
The curriculum helps high school and college-aged students in their journey to developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Students understand the factors that inhibit creativity such as cultural, environmental, and perceptual blocks, through the experiential learning cycles.
Begin your journey to developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Start seeing problems as opportunities, develop a willingness to take risks, be creative and innovative, flexible and adaptable, and learn to accept failures. The World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Entrepreneurship in its 2019 report emphasizes the need for developing an entrepreneurial mindset among the younger generation and the future workforce.
Participants get acquainted with software and equipment, apply creative thinking by performing activities in the virtual and physical world, and finally examine and reflect on their actions in instructor-led sessions.
The learning environment is gamified, with engaging activities in the 3D virtual world as well as some that are place-based at home.
There is tremendous potential to expand the fast-growing global creative economy to include remote, rural and northern Indigenous communities. A key advantage of this sector is the fact that many products and services developed under this rubric are digital in nature, such as (but not limited to) audio and video production, podcasting, still photography, interpretation and translation, augmented and virtual reality games and applications, coding, telepresence and numerous others.
Inclusion in Northern Research: ASM2022
Toronto, Ontario; Dec 5-8, 2022
Learning from Inclusion in Northern Research
The Northern research community is diverse: it includes people from the North and the South, involves artists and scientists from communities, government and academia as well as stakeholders and knowledge-holders from around the circumpolar world.
Learning Happens in Circles.
The pandemic has also brought with it many challenges to business opportunities in the North, but also several opportunities.
The Covid-19 pandemic has damaged opportunities for northern, remote and rural Indigenous, emerging and professional artists to participate in opportunities to display, disseminate, grow and promote their creative and cultural products.
Our goals for this pilot project include:
- Develop and launch art and culture-based businesses utilizing digital technologies (animation, augmented reality, virtual reality, lights and visual projection, film, and immersive digital art).
- Provide hands-on digital arts and cultural entrepreneurship training and advanced mentorship for emerging urban, rural and remote Indigenous artists
- Explore and better understand the role and impacts of culture and creativity in driving community-based research and economic development.
Exploring Future Worlds
Our pilot program seeks to capitalize on one specific opportunity and challenge: The increasing reliance and utilization of digital communication technologies and collaborative hardware/software solutions to connect physically remote locations with each other and major urban centers.
A major focus of our project is the creation of a comprehensive education program for indigenous artists and cultural workers. The incubator will provide synchronous and asynchronous training programs educating youth and adults about the use of digital technologies to create and valorize their artistic work.
Beyond entrepreneurship training focused on starting up a business in their own cultural context, the program also aims to address the creation of digital art work, utilizing the use of augmented and virtual reality, game design, visual projection technology, photography, filmmaking and advergaming.
The summer 2022 program will explore basic finance, techno-marketing, blockchain technologies and explore the creation of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO IMAGINE DECOLONIAL FUTURES
Shaping new pathways
Cultural Entrepreneurship Incubator member Tony Eetak’s very first video production! Great work, Tony!
Results of the project will be shared with the community through a hybrid online/physical exhibition, through social media, blog posts and local regional media. Video and interactive content will be made available through partner communications platforms as well as on Isuma TV.