Bearing Responsibility: The Digital Witness Blanket Project

Tuesday, April 4th: 1:30pm - 3:00pm


Director, Design and Digital Experience @ Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Indigenous Inclusion Consultant @ Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning
Digital Content Specialist @ Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Paper Abstract

Paper Abstract:

This paper offers a case study on a decolonizing approach to inclusive UI/UX, education, and content design. The Digital Witness Blanket is the result of a collaborative effort between Carey Newman, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), Media One, Camosun College, and Animikii. It is a virtual extension of the Witness Blanket, not a replication, and works to expand public access to the Stories of Survivors. It is a healing tool for Survivors, their families, and their communities. It offers a pathway to further pursue Reconciliation in a manner that ensures truth, justice, and hope for Survivors, their kin, and all Canadians in turn.

Compelling people and communities worldwide to consider what action to take. This case study reviews how our team developed a relationship with the community – the content choices and the technical challenges, and details some of our solutions and considerations for measuring impact. The project compassionately includes the voices of the Survivors of Indian Residential Schools, a significant component of the genocide against Indigenous peoples by the Canadian Government. One of the challenges for this exhibition was to immerse visitors in its content in a way that emphasized its relevance, encouraged empathy, and directly connected them to the subject matter. Leveraging first-person testimony, an inclusive content development process, trauma-informed design features, and additional visual, auditory, and supportive components enable rich interaction between museum visitors exploring how to bear witness.

keywords: transmedia, empathy, reconciliation, survivor, indigenous, design
Proposal Url:
ID: 11061