The Project


Claudette MichellThis project is dedicated to our late sister-storyteller, Claudette Lizette Michell (1966 – 2012), Rattle That Glows in the Dark and Turtle Shooting Star Woman. Claudette was a patient, understanding and utterly beautiful woman who touched our lives with sincere and inspirational messages of hope. We will forever cherish the precious times we shared with Claudette.


Between 2010 and 2014, four digital storytelling processes took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the intergenerational effects of residential schools. Working with thirty-two First Nations and Métis women and men, each of these digital story processes looked at deepening the conversation and understanding of how the legacy of residential schools has affected the descendants of survivors. 24 of these videos are available for viewing on this website. You can read more about each process below.

2010 – The first project, kiskinohamâtôtâpânâsk:  Intergenerational Effects on Professional First Nations Women Whose Mothers are Residential School Survivors, brought together six First Nations women whose mothers had attended a residential school. A project of Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence, the women spoke for the first time of what it was like to be mothered by a residential school survivor. They each produced a digital story showcasing their emotional detachment from mothers or the reconnection with them; their complicated journeys into motherhood; the reconciliation of childhood and adulthood trauma as inter-generational survivors; the strength, determination and resilience transmitted through mothers to daughters; or the move towards spiritual healing for mothers, families and all community people who have been affected by the residential school legacy.
2011 – The second project, nitâpwewininân: Ongoing Effects of Residential Schools on Aboriginal Women – Toward Intergenerational Reconciliation, was funded through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. In partnership with Ka Ni Kanichihk, Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence led eight First Nations and Métis women over the course of four months, through the digital storytelling process. All of the women produced a digital story, looking at the complex themes arising from their childhoods, as daughters who had been affected by a mother or a father’s attendance at residential school.
2013 – The third project, ininiwag dibaajimowag: First Nations Men’s Digital Stories on the Inter-generational Experiences of Residential Schools was completed in March 2013. After viewing the women’s digital videos, men began to request the opportunity to share their stories about what it was like to be parented by a survivor of a residential school and what intergenerational reconciliation meant to them. Through a research grant provided by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, the Oral History Centre, in collaboration with Indigenous Studies, at the University of Winnipeg, brought together seven First Nations men over the course of four weekends to develop digital stories on the legacy of residential schools.
2013 – The fourth project, nindibaajimomin: The Intergenerational Digital Storytelling on the Legacy of Residential Schools, was a week-long summer institute hosted in august 2013 by the Oral History Centre in collaboration with Indigenous Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Funded through the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, ten First Nations women from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, gathered to discuss the legacy of residential schools and to develop a personal digital story to this regard. At the same time, they also were trained in the digital storytelling process so that they could use this research method upon returning to their respective communities.

Two reports are available for download as pdf:

This website has been made possible through funding provided by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

If you would like to learn more about these projects or would like information on facilitating a Digital Story Telling Project, please contact us through the form below.

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