Every week has had massive developments and changes. There is a whirlwind of ideas, perspectives, and sensitivities that have to be considered. This sprint has been no different! We’ve been put in touch with 4 high school students from Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk) who seem keen on helping with the project. At the same time as meeting with them, our project idea owner expressed concerns about the project not being about all of BC and just being about the lands that UVIC stands on. With the project being about breaking up the over-inclusivity of the term First Nations, we desperately need individuals to give their time to help design the content to showcase the uniqueness of each community and what is important to them. This leads to our main issue for this project – creating partnerships. We are in the process of growing our first true connection with, the students from Tuk, and trying to find out how we can let them help us and most importantly how we can help them in return.

The dark realities of colonialism make our team incredibly stressed over unintentionally doing something inappropriate. We acknowledge that the responsibility of learning is on us as settlers and visitors, and it is not any community’s responsibility to teach us nor is it their duty to share any material for teaching/learning. Building personal connections is vital for this project to succeed. However, it is slow to form a personal connection, and the fact that this project is very short-term with big goals makes for a balancing act. If we stay local, we will not have local connections at this moment to guide us and if we choose to work with the Tuktoyatuk students, it makes more sense for the project MVP to cover their community. Both ways are okay if we can figure out an effective way to make this an expandable software for the communities that live all across Canada. Tuktoyatuk could be just a starting place.

There was a networking event hosted by INSPIRE this week to help create connections between women in engineering and computer science. Our team member Val did a project pitch at the event. At the end, Val was approached by someone working at UVIC with a potential partnership offer for the application in regard to content creation! This was exactly what we were looking for!

For the next little bit, our team will have to continuously discuss ideas together to decide how we want to proceed. At the moment the consensus is on staying with starting local and asking the Tuk students to help us in co-design. However, we must get a consensus on the app functionality and how we will display content. We are searching for an authority to give us guidance on what that could look like. Balancing the real-life effects of colonialism and the objectives of this project is a major challenge we are working through.