The Metamorphosis of an Oral Tradition: Dissonance in the Digital Stories of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Abstract

Digital storytelling, a form of short narrative told in the first person and enhanced by visual text and symbolic imagery, is considered as an extension of the oral tradition of storytelling and represents a continuation of what Aboriginal peoples have been doing from time immemorial. By applying a reflexive ethnographic framework to selected digital stories from the Omushkegowuk area in Ontario, Canada, a critical interpretation emerged—namely, the sense of profound dissonance inherent in Aboriginal peoples’ cultural, civil, symbolic, and spiritual paradigms resulting from the exploitation of Western colonial influence. I also discuss how the elders’ references throughout the stories shape altruistic truths and intrinsic value statements, requiring an imaginative interpretation from those on the cultural periphery of these oral traditions.

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