Oral tradition, the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next by speaking, is a valuable way for Aboriginal peoples, and all cultures, to learn about their life, their culture and their history.
Digital storytelling, the art of combining oral tradition with digital technology, is a community-based, learner-centred approach to generating knowledge. It involves using computer software to create a 3-5 minute video to illustrate a personal story.
By blending voice-recorded, first-person narratives with a collection of still images, video clips, music and sound effects to create meaningful stories that are powerful, compelling and emotionally engaging, digital storytelling can be an effective tool to educate people about the history, life experiences and unique perspectives of Aboriginal peoples and communities.
Digital storytelling first emerged as a grassroots movement in the early 1990s, when digital technology started to increase in popularity and decrease in price.
By creating education and awareness around particular issues, digital storytelling has been used to disrupt narratives of Canadian history, recognize injustice, celebrate resistance, and influence social change for the betterment of Aboriginal peoples.
It has been used to demystify stereotyped representations about Aboriginal peoples; to address health, social and environmental concerns; and to restore and reclaim our unique and varied cultures, languages and histories (Dion, 2004; nDigiDreams, 2013).