Researchers and communities are increasingly recognizing the healing properties of storytelling, for both individuals and groups. Sharing stories with others is not only about sharing personal experiences and lessons learned; it is about sharing hope. Storytelling is part of the healing journey, and it can influence self-esteem, self-confidence and personal growth (Acoose et al., 2009; Anderson, 2004; Gray et al., 2010; nDigiDreams, 2013).
When grounded in oral tradition and Indigenous history, digital storytelling has the power to lead to individual and collective healing. It is a culturally appropriate, safe and effective way to collect and share Aboriginal traditional knowledge, and more importantly, to lift the burden of silence surrounding the legacy of residential schools. Through the act of remembering and the re-telling of stories associated with residential schools, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples can embrace their traditions, tell their stories, and re-right Canadian history. They can explore, express and better understand the ways in which the multi and intergenerational effects of residential schools pass through survivors and children of survivors, many of whom are parents and grandparents themselves, and affect not only parenting and coping, but also the ways in which they exercise resiliency (Stout et al., 2012).
Digital storytelling presents an opportunity for Aboriginal peoples and communities to continue sharing their unique learning and understanding about how their inherent means of being and practicing has been disrupted by residential schools, and how Aboriginal peoples are now reclaiming their oral histories and storytelling (Stout et al., 2012).
Oral storytelling is a respected means of knowledge transmission in many Indigenous cultures. As such, digital storytelling resonates with Aboriginal peoples and communities as an effective means of intergenerational healing and reconciliation. It instigates a journey toward reclaiming and remembering our traditional relationships to ensure that the next generations do not forget about the legacy and intergenerational effects of residential schools, but can move forward and discontinue the many forms of silences (Stout et al., 2012).