Encourage MEETINGS and participation; How to interact?
The consultation and collection of testimonies related to history and culture always remain a sensitive issue, especially when a people has been subjected to colonizing and racists actions for decades, even centuries. Every individual has experienced his or her own set of negative situations and is not equally open to sharing knowledge and insights. This makes it all the more important to be clear about the purpose of our research, even if we are working towards a community goal to be conducted in-house, by people sharing the same culture, the same community. The Founding principles section includes methods and tools from an ethical and moral standpoint.
Who to interact with? Who are the living memories?
Elders are certainly essential resources for the documentation of history. Through their experiences and memories, collective history is experienced. Other people may also hold a page of history. From one meeting to another, the list of people to meet frequently grows. This is a good sign! This is the basis of history emerging. There is no particular profile for a living memory. Age, gender as well as personal and professional experience may vary. This variety brings strength to the results of the consultation and collection, as it allows for various points of view of the same situation. It should be noted that people who are less often solicited, such as those who do not often speak on television, in the media, or in public, may present lesser-known aspects of a subject. Therefore, it is important to have a diversity of sources to allow for as many people as possible to be heard.
How to create a favourable context for meetings?
The location, tone and atmosphere of the meeting are important aspects that should not be overlooked, since they can influence both the foundation of trust and the comfort level of the participants. Planning informal occasions for gathering and sharing in a friendly manner, such as sharing a meal, is a great opportunity to get to know one another better. You can also bring your host a gift. For instance, if your host is an Elder, or engages in the practice of spirituality, a tobacco ring is a great way of showing your appreciation and offering thanks for their support.