The overall goal of this SSHRC Partnership project is to move forward the ongoing work of reclaiming Indigenous languages, histories, and knowledges among the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak (Rocky Cree), work that is taking place now in the context of the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015) for, among many other things, the revitalization of Indigenous cultures, the “relearning of Canada’s national history,” and the reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
At the heart of the Six Seasons of the Asiniskow Ithiniwak project is the development of a cycle of historical picture books set during the proto-contact period of the mid-1600s, a series of digital picture book apps that invite players to actively engage the Rocky Cree world, curriculum guides to support the use of both books and apps in classrooms, and museum and travelling exhibits to extend the audience for the stories. The creation of the stories is rooted in archaeological field and collections research, as well as in historical research in archives and the documentation of oral histories held by Rocky Cree knowledge keepers. As this description suggests, a core value of the project is respect for historical and cultural accuracy. A key objective is the communication of historically and culturally accurate material to young people both within and beyond school classrooms.
The project also seeks to document, analyze, and assess the methods of collaborative, participatory, and community-based research used by project researchers and to mobilize the results of this meta-analysis for the purpose of advancing public policy and programming for reconciliation.