Mino-Bimaadiziiwin Digital Culture Camp
One-line solution summary:
Making medicine through the virtual adaptation of Indigenous knowledge transmission.
Pitch your solution.
As a result of the global pandemic, the ceremonies and gatherings our ancestors fought for us to have access to have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed until COVID-19 no longer poses a threat to our most vulnerable community members. Mino-Bimaadiziiwin Digital Culture Camp aims to use interconnected, cloud-based learning environments in ways that mirror and adapt traditional systems of knowledge-sharing. Our language and lifeways encapsulate liberating notions of possibility that simply don’t exist within the English language or western dominant culture, doorways to freedom from poverty, mental dishealth, domestic violence, suicide, and substance abuse. Not only will our culture camp serve our people during the pandemic, but the legacy will benefit all Anishinaabeg impacted by distance – physical, social, cultural or historical.
What specific problem are you solving?
It is essential to recognize the unique impact of colonization on our peoples and the echoes of our past we are living today. Anishinaabe were among the earliest impacted by European contact, the French fur traders leaving a last legacy on our family and our Eastern Woodlands. We have survived centuries of disease while both the United States and Canada’s attempted to erase our tribal identities through federal Indian policy and force. We must recognize that many of us who live outside our traditional homelands, do so as a result of the policies, including relocation, adoption, and boarding schools. And today, we are further separated from the teachings of physical place by the current global pandemic. Our strength and resiliency as Anishinaabeg is so deeply rooted in our connection to one another and often our ability to physically gather in the same place, both of which our fractured in our current state of public dishealth.
What is your solution?
With our project, we aim to find the medicine in the space between each other and our land. In collaboration with our local community as well as culture keepers residing in our traditional homelands, we will utilize integrated, cloud-based learning environments in the development of digital protocol for sharing traditional teachings. We will virtually host regular, intergenerational gatherings to transmit cultural teachings such as ceremony, song, regalia-making, traditional craft, etc. The culture camp will uplift our Indigenous, land-based knowledge systems while utilizing complex adaptive systems to indigenize virtual learning and digital space (the space between us). These learning environments will serve, not only as a stop gap during the global pandemic, but as a prototype for increased cultural connection across the globe. Our relatives, removed from us through colonization, will be returned through our adaption of traditional teaching. This process and the steps involved in the research, planning, and execution of the project will be documented to share with other cultural and tribal groups.
Strong preference will be given to Native-led solutions that directly benefit and are located within the Indigenous communities. Which community(s) does your solution benefit?
Our provides an opportunity for Anishinaabe intergenerational learning across distances, within which cultural experts meet the burgeoning leaders among our younger members. The teachings received in our gatherings strengthen the confidence of these new leaders to return to their respective tribal and urban communities and share what it is they learn. They will bring the skills to replicate our group and this dynamic in other spaces, perpetuating a decentralized network of leadership.
Through the teachings we will learn and share at the Mino-Bimaadiziiwin Digital Culture Camp and the extended networks our members weave, we not only strengthen our own community as Anishinaabeg but the larger intertribal community as well. We intentionally plan to partner with other formal and informal community groups including the United Indians of All Tribes and Unkitawa, two Seattle-based intertribal non-profits, as well as s'gʷi gʷi ʔ altxʷ (House of Welcome) longhouse in Olympia, Washington. We aim to connect the cultural experts and the protocols we develop with these other groups to provide additional workshops for community members, Anishinaabe and non-Anishinaabe alike.
The target audience is Anishinaabeg (Potawatomi, Algonquin, Ojibway, Mississauga, Nipissing, Saulteaux, Ottawa, and Oji-Cree) tribal people living away from their traditional homelands or in other ways distanced or from traditional land-based cultural teachings. I am an active member of Anishinaabe Pacific Northwest collective, which is one of, if not the only organized group of Anishinaabeg in my region. The Mino-Bimaadiziiwin Digital Culture Camp project builds on the legacy of organizers before me who have sought to address the needs of Anishinaabe in our region and awareness of those needs come through our direct relationships with our communities. Our group has identified gaps in access to traditional teachings long before the COVID-19 global pandemic. As an urban indigenous person myself, my own family has been directly impacted by the colonial separation of adoption, poverty, homeless, and substance abuse as well as the healing impacts of culture and tradition. Our families know these issues intimately and I will bolster these understandings with my past academic research on urban indigenous cultural revitalization in Seattle and Aotearoa New Zealand as well as my professional work in the field of non-profit administration. The Anishinaabe Pacific Northwest group is both the foundation of the culture camp and will be active participants in the growth of this project.
Which dimension of the Fellowship does your solution most closely address?Support language and cultural revitalization, quality K-12 education, and support for first-generation college students
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Fellowship and your selected dimension.
Using complex adaptive system theory, the project will indigenize virtual learning environments through the development of infrastructure and cultural protocol. The tools developed will increase cultural access and community participation, therefore reducing disparities among our peoples and strengthening our broader indigenous nations. This work on the Mino-Bimaadiziiwin Digital Culture camp creates even more space for the cultural revitalization among our geographically diverse Anishinaabeg communities, even amidst a global pandemic.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Seattle, WA, USA
What is your solution’s stage of development?Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model
Who is the primary delegate for your solution?
Please indicate the tribal affiliation of your primary delegate.
Is your primary delegate a member of the community in which your project is based?
Yes - Algonquin Anishinaabeg & living off-reserve and traditional homelands
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which state(s) do you currently operate?
In which state(s) will you be operating within the next year?
What type of organization is your solution team?Not registered as any organization
How many years have you worked on your solution?
Madeline Rider Anishinaabe Pacific Northwest