Youth look to preserve history of northern Manitoba First Nations with app

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais
APTN National News
A group of northern Manitoba youth are learning about new technology in Winnipeg this week hoping to bring new communications ideas back to their home communities.

“There’s just a lot of programming missing,” said Maggie Moose, from Nelson House about 900 km north of Winnipeg. “There’s so much that needs to be implemented into our communities.”

She is one of 13 northern Manitoba youth taking part in two weeks of in-depth information communications technology training.

“I think this kind of work is important because it opens up our mind, it opens a whole new world. Especially if you’re growing up on an isolated community, you only see so much, you only learn so much,” said Moose.

Youth adviser Carson Robinson said the possibilities are endless because the course incorporates e-learning and e-health.

The idea for the project was in response to a suicide epidemic in northern Manitoba last year. A committee of youth raised the funds to train young people in new media, bringing them in from remote communities.

“We’re hoping that we can inspire these youth and that they can go out and take this to their communities,” said Robinson. “Inspire those youth so that way it’s kind of like that chain reaction.”

The youth have been training at Indigenous- owned Ogoki Learning and have had the chance to work with professional app designers who have designed Ojibwe and Cree apps for iPhone and androids.

Moose came up with an idea for an Indigenous-themed history app that she hopes to develop.

“Not just for your own community, you can go visit other communities and stuff and be like, ‘ok, what’s the history in this place?’” said Moose.

Those involved in the program have also been learning about virtual reality.

When finished they will return home and with them encourage technology like wireless internet, online schooling and app creation.

“We’re really glad to have an opportunity like this and it’s been really awesome,” said Moose.

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