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Case StudyAug 23, 2023

DDP designs online platform for Indigenous stories and resources

a photo collage featuring two mobile phones positioned on opposite sides, with captivating images of polar bears and a group of people enjoying a boat ride.

By Jennifer Taback RGD, Partner & President, Design de Plume Inc.

Context

The Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP) works to advance Indigenous-led conservation and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) across Canada. They approached Design de Plume with an idea for a platform where they could collect knowledge about these efforts and share it in a respectful way.

Methodology

In a series of listening sessions, we heard from Elders, Knowledge Keepers and conservation leaders about their creative vision for the experience which served as a jumping-off point to develop a story-based brand and digital space that celebrates the diversity of the lands, peoples, animals and cultures that IPCAs sustain.

Our solution is a rich online collection of stories and resources that anyone may browse, saving items of interest to personal “Knowledge Baskets”. Indigenous values inform every detail of the design: users are prompted to uphold the principles of Reciprocity, Respect and Responsibility when creating an account, while the oral tradition is given pride of place with nature sounds, animated imagery and audio recordings throughout. A narrated video delves into the Knowledge Basket’s meaning, origins and creation.

The logo comprises the keystone species of buffalo, polar bear, salmon and beaver nestled together with a human being on the Turtle’s back. Together they form a landscape symbolizing Mother Earth, the sky world, the plant world and the element of water. The human being in the middle serves as a reminder that we are all interconnected.

We took care throughout the process to maintain compliance with accessibility standards and we remain committed to continuously improving the site’s accessibility and functionality. Based on client and user feedback, we are in the process of adding a search field and redesigning the resources section to allow users to view it without logging in, furthering our goal of an inclusive experience for all users regardless of their digital literacy or familiarity with technology.

Results

IPCA Knowledge Basket is more than a repository of information. It is a platform for collaborative learning and a case study in meaningful Indigenous representation. Since it launched, it has grown into an active community, with thousands of people from across Canada accessing its knowledge, and contributing their own, and new users joining every week. The design has even been recognized with a DNA Paris Design Award.

Credits:

Design de Plume Team (design, strategy and development): Jennica Robinson Provisional RGD, Lindsay Levesque Provisional RGD, Erik McManus, Davide Dorigo Provisional RGD, Meggan Van Harten RGD, Mélissa Deschênes RGD, Jennifer Taback RGD, Xiangxu Teng, Mary Medaglian and Lauren Polchies (design, strategy and development)
Video editing: James Mat Chambers Provisional RGD


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