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We have worked with Indigenous community researchers from six different territories on a multi-year project that built local research capacity to use video and filmmaking to gather the stories and knowledge that exist in different places within the territories. These stories communicate important elements of Indigenous identity and suggest how humans can coexist sustainably with the environment around them.


The Power of the Lens project mentored and employed twelve community researcher-videographers from Atikamekw and Anishinaabe territories in Quebec and three Indigenous territories in Norway, Panama and Chile. Each group of local researchers undertook video-mediated research in their own territory, exploring topics of priority for their communities, with themes ranging from traditional territorial governance to women’s knowledge to Indigenous-settler relations. The research resulted in a series of short films and a documentary. At the same time, we worked with the community researchers to explore how video can best be used as a culturally-appropriate tool for story-based Indigenous research. With the researchers, we are producing a multimedia toolkit in which they share the research methodologies and protocols specific to their territories.


Explore the short films created during this project


In all our projects, experience has proven that success comes from assembling the right team. This major research project was a collaborative effort between Indigenous leadership, specialized organizations, university professors, and creative, motivated young people in each territory.

Wild animals can read the messages we write to them. Two Atikamekw elders remind us of this tradition.