How can we educate the people of Manitoba about Indigenous People in Manitoba? Howcan we debunk the stereotypes that surround them?
These are the questions that are central to the Indigenous Stories Capstone project. Our goal was to create interactive media pieces to help solve these two issues.
By isolating one of the bigger concerns of our clients -- All FNMI people are the same -- we came to the solution of designing and developing children’s books that focused on the Anishinabe, Dakota, and Métis communities that are largely present in southwestern Manitoba. We chose to target a younger demographic because we believed the children’s books would provide the readers with an accurate learning opportunity about these three different cultures, and to defer their beliefs from the stereotype that all FNMI people are the same.
Not only that, but it would be a bonus that parents would read the books, and they would learn something, too!
Our Capstone group worked together with our clients and Elders, to research and create an authentic deliverable. We completed the project within 12 weeks.
Research and Development
The first few weeks of this project were spent researching everything about the Indigenous people of Southwestern Manitoba. The work was evenly distributed between the 5 group members. This was a key stage in the process, as this was where we determined what our main focus was, and how exactly we were going to achieve our two goals.
Métis Children’s Book
This book is named “Marie and the Beads”. It features a Métis family in the mid 1800’s making a move across southwestern Manitoba to a new home. Throughout the book, young Marie, discovers and learns many things about her Métis culture.
Dakota Children’s Book
This book is named “The Seven Teachings”, and features a Grandmother passing on her wisdom to her curious Granddaughter. Throughout the book she teaches her about the seven sacred teachings, and what each one represents in the Dakota culture.
Anishinabe Children’s Book
This book is named “The Creation of Turtle Island”, and depicts how the Anishinabe people believe North America was created. This book was drawn in an aesthetic meant to represent the art style of this nation.
In addition to having the books professionally printed, we chose the create an interactive copy for each book using Adobe InDesign. By doing this, the books can be viewed online and therefore reach a wider audience.
We chose to have the books printed at a local print shop to ensure that the final product would come out looking professional. We decided to print a small amount of each book so that we could give a copy to everyone who helped us.
The website sums up the entire project, from beginning to end. It encapsulates all of the steps that we went through as we progressed over the past three months. It also provides the user with each of the three books.
The Future of this Project
We hope that future IMA Capstone students take on this project the same way we did - with professionality and motivation to deliver something great to the clients. We only touched on one of the the many stereotypes that Indigenous people deal with, and used two mediums to educate others (children’s books and the website) so there are definitely many more possibilities of where this project could go in the future.