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ORIGIN Includes Virtual Reality Experience of Indigenous Cultures to Expand Its ImmersiveLink Cultural Library

Immersive school
ORIGIN, the leading 360-degree virtual reality cultural library of Canada is adding a host of VR cultural experiences of Indigenous communities to its ImmersiveLink library intending to bring cultures, communities, workplaces, and careers to life.

Cultural experiences

Melissa Hardy-Giles, the owner of Origin and a Red Rock Indian Band citizen reported that the team decided to produce a variety of cultural experiences including the maximum number of knowledge keepers across the country. She stated that their goal was to share the stories as much as possible and support reconciliation. Anyone with a subscription to ORIGIN career library will have access to the cultural library.

Immersive Link Headset
Immersive Link Headset

The VR cultural experience is launched primarily to provide more open and free access to information on the numerous Indigenous communities across Canada to educate the citizens about Indigenous culture through the ImmersiveLink cultural library service. Currently, over 1000 schools all across Canada are using the service. Hardy-Giles reports that industries and employers are also using VR experiences to provide their staff with additional cultural information along with their necessary cultural awareness training.

The perfect opportunity

Hardy-Giles stated that ORIGIN’s outreach with the career experience was so enormous that it seemed to be the perfect opportunity to educate the citizens about the diverse Indigenous cultures. She remarked that as a Red Rock Indian Band citizen herself, she has also learned a great deal about the culture from the knowledge keepers. The ImmersiveLink experience, she explains, is not the usual check-the-box ordeal; rather it provides an authentic experience of Indigenous cultures, as it takes the users right into the actual situation. She also adds that the cultural experience through the headsets is rather surprising. It is something way beyond what one may expect. The whole thing is so immersive that the users would feel really connected to the story and the situation, feeling like they are a part of it.

Knowledge keepers

ORIGIN is currently curating VR culimmersiveural experience collaborating with knowledge keepers from the North-Western part of Ontario. Soon, they plan to expand the network and include more knowledge keepers from all over Canada.

Hardy-Giles explained that the team first discusses with the knowledge keepers and tries to understand what they want to share as well as the protocols surrounding the specific teaching because they want to be respectful to Indigenous cultures and practices. Following the protocols, they proceed to the storyboarding sessions while ensuring everyone involved in the process is comfortable with it. Finally, they shoot the VR video of the experience with a 360-degree camera, employing a crew of four to five people. The knowledge keepers are given the opportunity to review the VR video before they posted online to make sure that they are happy with the result.

Hardy-Giles informs that all the ImmersiveLink subscribers will be notified every time a new VR cultural video is posted on the library.

ORIGIN reportedly started using virtual reality technology for their workforce readiness tools back in 2018.

More information on ORIGIN’s ImmersiveLink library is regularly posted online.

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