Animation, Storytelling Chronicle the Yellow Quill First Nation’s Water Struggles

University of Saskatchewan research group interviewed 22 elders from First Nation community

See CBC News original

Animation might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to serious academic research.

But researchers from the University of Saskatchewan have teamed up with the Yellow Quill First Nation to chronicle the community’s struggles with water in a new video that combines storytelling and animated drawing.

It’s a part of a School of Public Health research project called “Spirit, Safety and a Stand-off.”

Research associate Lori Bradford said the group interviewed 22 elders from the community, about 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, to hear and analyze their account of the changes to water in their community.

Bradford told CBC Radio’s The Afternoon Edition that’s when the group decided to take a different approach to their report.

She explained that they wanted to create something that would be inviting to their audience and would help other people understand the history and the challenges that the elders faced with the lake and the waters in their area.

“So the idea of the video was born from that,” she said.

“We reflected that part of their tradition is storytelling and there is a deep respect for fine arts. We thought that we can create this video as a combination of fine arts and research results and storytelling, so it really checked off all the boxes for us.”

The chief and council, along with the research team, selected local artist Cheryl Buckmaster to help create the animated video.

Bradford said they worked closely with the chief and council to make sure that everything that they wanted to include in the video was included in a very respectful way.

“The community was quite moved,” she said. “They felt like it was a way to begin a healing process and to affirm and reaffirm for some of the elders the struggles that they face.”

See CBC News original

More about water and water advisories in Canada’s First Nation communities:

Indigenous Services Provides Update on Water Advisories

Oneida First Nation and other communities left out of Canada’s clean water promise: Grand Chief

Can PM Trudeau keep drinkable water promise to First Nations?

More Than 140 First Nations Still Lack Access To Safe Drinking Water

Research will probe dangerous water quality in First Nations communities

‘We’re tired of it’: Potlotek First Nation once again dealing with dirty water

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