GriotInMe – Historical Material of Black Canadians
GriotInMe is an ongoing initiative created to support and strengthen the archive of black Canadian stories, primarily within the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Our concern is to expand an initiative further to (a) preserve our history and (b) have it readily available, and thus, transmittable to future and current generations of Canadian of African and Caribbean ancestry. In addition, we endeavor to help foster better interactions between griots (elders), pre-adolescents, teenagers, and adults of various ages.
GriotInMe, is designed as a space for young black Canadians relating to cultural heritage, diversity in traditional archival collections in order to create a centralized hub of information, networking, education, and culture, to name but a few. With GriotInMe, we strongly believe in the ancient customs passed down from generation to generation by our elders, who have chosen to preserve the history of Black Canadians through oral teachings and messages drawn from their lived experiences.
By setting up this platform for collecting, exchanging, and sharing information on black Canadians, we wanted to insist on telling our stories and for us to take into account our viewpoints on a multitude of subjects. Thus, by giving black leaders a platform to present themselves so that they can be seen and heard naturally, we can regain the trust of the black communities of Canada and break down barriers considered stereotypes in our communities.
For the continued development and realization of this initiative, great importance is given to the following objectives:
- Create and preserve a robust archival infrastructure to collect relevant information highlighting the black community;
- Inform youth in archival studies in order to acquire recorded material and build and curate archives;
- Attract private (and public) individuals and any other interested organizations to share valuable knowledge; and,
- Inform youth on the various ways they can actively participate in and unify our community;
The creation of the “GriotInMe” platform has enabled us to help Black Canadians in the Ottawa-Gatineau region to share their stories, build unity, celebrate each other’s heritage, and educate the next generation of archivists.