Mapping aboriginal place names for Stz'uminus First Nation

Professional Writing JCURA Scholar, Amy Becker, maps aboriginal place names for Stz'uminus First Nation.

As she looks ahead to graduation this June, Amy Becker feels a renewed confidence in her research skills and her experience in the digital mapping project. She credits her minor in professional writing for giving her practical hands-on skills in editing and web design.

The following is excerpted from the extended feature story in UVic's publication, The Ring , about Amy's work:

A recipient of a 2013-14 Jamie Cassels Undergrad Research Award (JCURA), Becker explains "Indigenous place names are embedded in the culture, landscape, language and identities of the people who use them." A place name may contain information about environmental conditions, cultural knowledge and heritage, as well as historical information.

The Stz'uminus Storied Places Digital Atlas project is a great example of what can be gained through community-based collaboration, bringing elders, youth, and university students and researchers together. For Stz'uminus youth, meetings with elders are a rich experience. "The youth really enjoy recording and listening to elders' stories about place names," says Becker. "I think they view their elders as stars in their community."

"By making the Stz'uminus Storied Places Digital Atlas available for viewing on a smartphone platform, this project acknowledges the need for up-to-date technologies to address community needs," Becker adds, "especially at a time when youth are becoming increasingly engaged with their phones."

Read more in The Ring 's feature story .