February 5, 2019
We are excited to announce the public launch of the SSHRC-funded Diversity Circles Digital Knowledge Map, built to connect people and their knowledge to each other. This map builds a bridge into the next phase of Diversity Circles!
While the Map was completed last Fall with the conclusion of the SSHRC grant, we needed a little extra time to test it, and we are now so happy to share it with you. This map seeks to honour you, your knowledge, and the value of connections.
The Map design was inspired by our collaborator Aaron “Splash” Nelson-Moody, Squamish Nation artist, knowledge keeper and educator. Seeking this collaboration and guidance from Aaron Nelson-Moody was very important to the project, and was sought both to acknowledge an Indigenous aesthetic as a core part of our Diversity Circles model, and as a deliberate response to help counter the rigid systems thinking of mainstream educational institutions (including our own).
The aesthetic is not a side-bar but rather a centre-piece. Splash’s art not only informs the aesthetic realization of the entire project, but also, through his vision, a Coast Salish aesthetic influences the digital user experience of our map. We are so grateful for the work of the team at Gossamer Threads who worked closely with the Diversity Circles team to bring this aesthetic to life in a digital form. Rather than a dry systems view of our digital diversity map, we hope the digital experience will have a more organic and alive feeling, more reflective of the interconnectedness of life.
This collaboration respects and acknowledges a tradition, history and aesthetic of the Coast Salish peoples, since the Diversity Circles project was first conceived and developed on unceded Indigenous lands belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Recognizing that we are on these lands and the meaningfulness of our being here was our first step with the Diversity Circles project. As champions, allies and advocates for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion we present the design in a collaborative way as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Recognizing the Indigenous lands and traditions where we reside, helps us move towards reconciliation.