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University of Lethbridge art professor gets funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation

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University of Lethbridge art professor gets funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation
A Lethbridge professor is preparing to develop and launch a new research space at the University of Lethbridge. As Quinn Campbell reports, the project will bring students, researchers and the community together. – Aug 17, 2021

University of Lethbridge professor Jackson Two Bears is excited to bring a new research initiative to Lethbridge called the Onkwehonwe Research Environment (ORE).

“Onkwehonwe is a Mohawk word for people, and research environment, the idea for that title was to shift it a ways away from using the typical titles of institute or research centre. In effect, it still operates like that but the idea was to sort of be more inclusive,” said Two Bears.

He is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous arts research and technology, and associate professor in the department of Art at the U of L.

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A $82,000 boost from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) is helping him create a research space at the university.

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His project asks the timely question: What do reconciliation and decolonization look like in the digital age?

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“All the work focuses on the ways digital technologies can support the transmission, transformation, innovation and expression of Indigenous creative and cultural practices,” added Two Bears.

The lab will allow for everything from screening a movie on a large screen, to video projection, programming, 3D projection and general production, opening the door to collaborate with the community.

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Dr. Dena McMartin, the U of L vice-president of research, said outside funding options like this are critical in furthering research in Canada.

“Our artists need physical space, they need access to new technology and state-of-the-art facilities to really turn a lens on culture and learn more about ourselves.”

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Work on setting up the space is underway and it’s expected to be operational by January.

Two Bears’ project is one of 332 research infrastructure projects to receive support through the JELF. More than $77 million in funding will go to projects at 50 Canadian universities.

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