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University of North Dakota returns for Digital Development Workshops

The cast and crew of Arviat TV hosted a night of digital development with the University of North Dakota Department of Communications.

Many of Arviat’s digital media and research projects came together for a week-long workshop this month on convergent digital development with Dr. Timothy Pasch from the University of North Dakota.

The workshop, held from May 13-16, was held to help many of the community’s projects learn to understand some of the new and emerging technologies that will be used in their projects over the next few years.

The idea of hosting a digital development workshop came following Tim’s last visit in 2013, when he came up to learn about its many different research projects taking place in the community. This year’s visit was filled with opportunities to build on the existing relationships and to connect with many of the community’s new funded projects.

This year’s workshop was also an opportunity for team members from the community’s numerous research projects to share ideas on how they can work together. Participants were able to discuss their experiences with past and present projects, the many lessons they learned, along with best practices and ideas for future development.

Some of this year’s participants included Marie-Hélène Truchon from the ArctiConnexion Program, doctoral student Patricia Johnston from the School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Evano Aggark, Jr. from the Arviat Film Society, Dr. Frank Tester from the UBC School of Social Work, Curtis Konek from the Nanisiniq Arviat History Project and the Arviat Wellness Centre, Dr. Timothy Pasch from the University of North Dakota Communications Program, Vincent L’Herault doctoral student from the Université du Québec à Rimouski, Shirley Tagalik from the Arviat Wellness Committee and the Arctic Inspiration Prize Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Project, Lilly Amagoalik from the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre and Charlotte Karetak from the Arviat Healthy Bodies Storybook Project.

All work with projects actively engaging the community and its youth in research and media training.

Manasie tests out one of the new Google Glass units.

Arviat Film Society member and youth mentor Manasie Thompson, a graduate of Nunavut Arctic College’s Trades Access and Pre-Apprenticeship Plumber programs at the Nunavut Trades Training Centre, found the workshop exciting. “It was really interesting to see these new technologies, some of them, like Google Glass, are still being tested and developed,” he said. “I’m glad to see that more things like this are happening here in town with these kinds of programs.”

“With the research that’s happening here, there are a lot of positive impacts, like the creation of apps, those kinds of training projects would be good for this community,” he said. “We’re starting to build skills that we can apply onto other projects with the same goals. It’s also a great way to teach young people about traditional Inuit language and culture.”

A Visit to Arviat TV

One of the highlights of the workshop was a visit to Arviat TV and the Arviat Film Society on Thursday night.

More than 25 youth, researchers and educators turned out for the special event hosted at John Arnalukjuak High School. Special guests included Hamlet of Arviat Mayor Robert Leonard, Northern College Diamond Drilling instructor Robin Hood, Dr. Frank Tester from the School of Social Work, University of British Columbia and Dr. Timothy Pasch from the Communications Program at the University of North Dakota.

Welcome back! Returning to Arviat for this week’s Digital Development workshops was Dr. Timothy Pasch from the University of North Dakota! Pasch first suggested the idea of a digital development workshop after visiting Arviat in June, 2013 where he worked with community projects and presented on convergent new media development and the digital humanities.
Last Minute Questions: AFS Member and JAHS Teacher Gord Billard preps for the evening’s interviews with Arctic College grad Manasie Thompson, Dr. Frank Tester from the UBC School of Social Work and AFS Member and JAHS student Elena Akammak.
Youth interviewers: Arviat Film Society members Ruth Kaviok, Manasie Thompson, Ethan Tassiuk and Elena Akammak interviewed Robin Hood (centre) about his experiences surviving for days while lost on the tundra near Arviat. Youth posted the interviews on Isuma TV streaming media servers and are broadcasting them on Arviat TV.

This year’s Arviat Digital Development Workshop would not have been possible without the support of a number of organizations and people. We graciously thank and acknowledge the support of First Air, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Arctic Inspiration Prize, Health Canada, Qaujigiartiit Health Research Network, Arviat Wellness Centre and the Hamlet of Arviat, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Nunavut Arctic College and the Nunavut Research Institute, John Arnalukjuak High School, the University of British Columbia and the University of North Dakota.

A huge thanks to all of them for supporting the meaningful engagement of our youth in education, research and technology innovation in our community.