Ondji Ondaje Kìkenindjigewin Ebiyang
Our Community Building
We Create Community Impacts
You might be asking yourself: what has Ursa been up to? Here you will find what we have been doing within our Indigenous Communities, success stories, technology insights and some things we just find really cool. We’re always looking to join impactful initiatives – reach out if you think we can partner in some way.
Elders Tech Time
Starting in 2019, Ursa volunteered time to get Indigenous Elders in our Community to understand modern technology. This started mostly helping them how to take pictures with smartphones, so that they could share pictures of their grandchildren with each other. It quickly developed into Elders using Zoom to connect with one another and share language classes and teachings, while bolstering their knowledge with online security and safety.
When Covid-19 hit, Indigenous Elders were some of the most vulnerable demographics within Community. Many were forced to stay in their homes for their safety. This created isolation in many communities, as Elders could not meet or participate in Community. Luckily through the works of our “Elders Tech Time”, Elders at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC) were able to connect with each other through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other software. This avoided a lot of the Elder isolation that happened in distant Communities, and continued to have Elders included in events and ceremonies remotely.
We understood that older generations were not introduced to technology the same ways as we were being millennials and gen Z. In the last decade, technology has proved to be a vital piece in ones lives, connecting individuals, providing tools to enhance quality of life, and being a source of entertainment.
Our Indigenous Elders fall into a generation that did not have the same technology privilege as us. One of our values at Ursa is to make technology accessible for everyone; from Youth to Elders. A way to increase accessibility in technology is to reduce knowledge barriers and show how it can be a tool. We connected with our local Friendship Centre’s Elder coordinator and asked how we could support our Elders with technology. A lot of our Community Elders were facing challenges of using computers, tablets, and smartphones that were either gifted to them by family or purchased to become more connected. We arrived for the first time during the spring afternoon in 2019, and Elders Tech Time was born.
Our intention was to keep Elders Tech Time casual. Elder’s would come prepared with questions on how to use technology and we would guide them to the solution. Some issues could be as simple as to how to take a photo with a smartphone and send it to a family member. While other’s might have more complex issues as to finding the right hosting provider for a language blog they were starting online.
Even though we were the ones sharing our technical knowledge, we would often learn of teachings they would share with us. From the seven sacred teachings to hearing stories about resiliency against colonialism and surviving residential schools system allowed us to become more culturally connected and aware. into Elders using Zoom to connect with one another and share language classes and teachings, while bolstering their knowledge with online security and safety.