Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oral History & Sustainable Development

I’m on my second read of “The Wayfinders”. Every so often an authors work hits a chord so engaging that a second read provides the deep dive into the subject matter that satisfies my need to know and understanding.

The Wayfinders is a recent book that is part of the Massey Series of lectures. The author Wade Davis profiles a number of First Nations circumstances worldwide. The chapters describe the tension between these remarkable people and modern societies values today. The book describes fascinating details about the relationships modern society has with their First Peoples neighbours. He points to a number of Canadian situations that raise profound questions about our countries values and investment in preservation and support of First Peoples languages, culture, heritage and traditions.

My interest in this subject area is largely due to the project we’ve been involved with specifically documenting the oral history of
Cree leaders within the Northern Quebec Region. This first hand experience has shed light on exactly the subject area defined in Wayfinders. To the extent we’re loosing First Nations heritage is it reasonable that new and innovative ideas can be brought forward to reverse the trend? I’m of the view that Design Thinking applied to preservation of First People’s languages perhaps may be an approach. IDEO a worldwide innovation consultancy offers some practical reference and case studies of sustainable projects where they’ve played a role in making a difference to successful outcomes. 

Design thinking applied to preservation of knowledge, oral history and languages through constructs such as Desirability, Feasibility and Viability described in IDEO’s Human Centered Design toolkit begins to set the roadmap for tackling issues and bringing support to the preservation of Canada’s First People’s oral History .

with permission IDEO March 31, 2010 1:30:46 PM

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