Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies
||Prof. Hugh Brody
UFV's commitment to fostering research related to Aboriginal topics received a huge boost in 2004 when the university college was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). This allows UFV to build on existing interdisciplinary collaboration in various aspects of Aboriginal studies involving the departments of history, geography, anthropology, sociology, criminal justice, visual arts, and social work.
Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies, Prof. Hugh Brody is leading an ambitious program of research on the role played by Aboriginal youth in the development of their communities. Brody's work in Aboriginal communities is helping to teach a new generation to do research for themselves and their communities -- teaching them to tell their own stories and to discover for themselves what is important and necessary to create sustainable communities.
Brody’s approach is to tap into the youths' own conception of their lives and how they are constructed and constrained. He wants to help them to tell their own stories. Venues such as inquiries and commissions attempt to ask youth for their perspective, but it can be intimidating to be put on the spot and asked to speak. By giving them the tools and training to tell their own stories through media such as video, we'll help open new avenues of communication.
Brody's research includes a number of multidisciplinary and multimedia projects, including one with young Aboriginal people in the Fraser Valley. The work seeks to better understand how young men and women in Sto:lo communities define the value of their lives. As a comparative anthropologist, Hugh Brody's work has taken him around the globe. He has studied land use issues related to the Hai-kom Bushmen in Namibia, Africa, researched the economic impact of hydro projects on the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, and examined the social, economic and cultural losses due to resettlement of tribal communities in India.
Brody's work also includes a long list of research projects with Aboriginal people in Canada, including work with the Inuit people in Labrador, the Mowachaht/Muchalaht Band on Vancouver Island, the Nisga'a of the Nass Valley, the Dunne-za and Cree of the Rocky Mountains, and the Ojibway in northwest Ontario.
Brody uses video production as a tool in his work at UFV. He often uses film and video production in his research projects and has produced a number of award winning documentary films based on his work.
Here are just a few updates from Prof. Hugh Brody's work:
MEANING OF LIFE
The film, made in and with the Kwikwexwelhp Prison and the Chehalis First Nation, was shot in 2006-8 and the edited film completed in 2008. The opening screening took place in Chilliwack in October 2008. Since then screenings have been taking place in UFV, prisons and communities in British Columbia, and other parts of Canada (Ottawa, Edmonton), in the UK ( London, Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds), including twice at UN events in Vienna. Futher screenings are scheduled through 2010 in both Canada and Europe. One expression of interest in the film has come from New Caldeonia in the South Pacific!
Check out the information on the web about the Meaning of Life film:
Face to Face Media
The London International Documentary Festival
In 2007, the work in South Africa was extended to Botswana, thanks to a grant from the UK Charity Comic Relief. This is ongoing, and involves helping the Letloa Organization in northern Botswana to set up a cultural resources, communications and mapping facility. Since 2008, I have been working on all the research and film materials developed in the previous years as part of the South African Khomani San land claim and its implementation. This has meant analysis of all the information, preparation of it as an archive and editing a DVD. Another year of work on this at least.
In 2009 n collaboration with Ken Brearley, Dave Schaepe and Sonny McHalsie, we designed and taught the new Cerificate: Maps, Films and Land Claims. This 12 credit, intensive course ran in May last year. It is being offered again, in May 2010.