Tony Smith and Kristina Llewellyn represented the Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation (DOHR) project at the Canadian History of Education Association (CHEA) conference in New Brunswick, October 18-21, 2018. Their co-presentation was entitled "Building Just Relations: Oral History and Virtual Reality in History Education".
Tony Smith is a survivor of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, a segregated welfare institution for black children. Kristina Llewellyn, faculty member of the Games Institute and Social Development Studies professor at UWaterloo, founded the DOHR project with support from Smith and other survivors in partnership with the NSHCC Restorative Inquiry and the organization Victims of Infant and Child Exploitation Services (VOICES):
DOHR is a project that creates and assesses virtual reality oral histories for students to address the historical harms of racism. The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children (NSHCC) opened in 1921 as a welfare institution for black children who were segregated from white-only welfare institutions. Residents suffered the effects of institutionalized racism and abuse during the 70 years of its operation.
The first project of DOHR is a Virtual Reality experience that brings students into a digitally rendered representation of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. They explore the home and listen to stories from Smith, and survivors Gerry Morrison and Tracey Dorrington-Skinner.
Smith and Llewellyn co-presented on the importance of oral storytelling for a restorative approach to history learning in schools. They shared a demo of DOHR and explained the goals of the project with teachers who were attending CHEA.
The DOHR project is funded in part by the IMMERSe partnership grant. Follow @projectDOHR on twitter for more updates.