Volume 18 Number 5 February 18, 2017

Digital Storytelling as Arts-Inspired Inquiry for Engaging, Understanding, and Supporting Indigenous Youth

Kristen Ali Eglinton
Footage Foundation, USA

Aline Gubrium
University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Lisa Wexler
University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Citation: Eglinton, K., Gubrium, A., & Wexler, L. (2017). Digital storytelling as arts-inspired for engaging, understanding, and supporting indigenous youth. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(5). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n5/.


In this paper we examine digital storytelling as a mode of arts-inspired inquiry: in particular we consider digital storytelling as a powerful arts-inspired approach that can help researchers, practitioners, and communities understand and support indigenous and marginalized youth. Our two-fold focus is on: (1) a digital storytelling initiative that engaged hundreds of Alaska Native youth in the production of digital stories; and, (2) on findings from a subsequent pilot study which assessed the value of analyzing the young people’s digital stories produced through this initiative, as windows into the worlds, identities, struggles and concerns of these particular youth. Overall, we aim to use the findings from this pilot study, and impressions from the young people’s digital media productions, to demonstrate the potential of digital storytelling as a transformative arts-inspired inquiry which engages young people in processes of identity making, aesthetics, and voice.

Visual Abstract

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