AMES is a bi-regional organization. Many of our projects take place on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories, and that’s where lots of our collaborators and participants hail from too. But the birth place of AMES is the unsurrendered territory of the Penelakut people, and 12 other Hul’q’umi’num speaking Nations who hold rights and responsibilities in and around the place that’s come to be known as Galiano Island.
During our initial research interviews, mentors and facilitators shared what they’d learned about Community Digital Storytelling (CDS), based on their years of experience. All of the program designs discussed here share characteristics with the first model we looked at: Working with Communities as a Filmmaker and Mentor. In the original workshop design, an organization (National Film Board of Canada, gallery gachet, Artsbridge, Give Peace a Chance etc.) contracts a filmmaker to work with a specific community to co-create short video projects.
Community Digital Storytelling grows out of our experiences in the world, shared as stories. Our strategy, as mentors developing new approaches to storytelling, is to create and hold open a receptive and welcoming space.