In February 1992 I traveled to the remote community of Kyuquot, BC on Vancouver Island. I had been dispatched by The Emily Carr Outreach Program to teach photography for a weekend to eager students who were members of the Kyuquot Native Tribe. That weekend became a blur in my memory and when I looked at the pictures of them this morning (I am writing yesterday’s blog today, Thursday, morning) all I saw were their smiles. There were lots of smiles. They were eager to learn.
I wrote the above paragraph in this blog.
When I returned from that weekend, I sent a letter to the authorities in Victoria enquiring if there was some sort of program for Indigenous reserves and communities to teach ways of recording changing traditions before they disappeared. Was anybody taking photographs of elders? I suggested, since this was before the photographic digital revolution, that there were ways of using film that made it archival.
I received no reply.
A month ago I emailed Susan Rowley who is the head of the UBC Museum of Anthropology enquiring if there was indeed a program to teach Indigenous communities to record their life for a legacy.
She did not respond.