Insights from our Indigenous Associates: Skills and knowledge-sharing
At InsightShare, we place Indigenous People’s wisdom and knowledge at the heart of our work. Through our extensive long-term work to seed community video hubs in the last two decades, we constantly seek opportunities to involve Indigenous participatory video facilitators we train in facilitating projects for civil society actors.
Establishing locally-led video hubs
In our constant pursuit to move away from top-down systems in our sector that perpetuate dependency, we support Indigenous communities with training so they gain skills to facilitate participatory video processes independently. Our involvement in the initial stages of establishing community video hubs is mainly focused on skills and knowledge-sharing. Indigenous communities hold power to lead their own movements and advocate for collective action, so once the hub is established, we step aside and support them:
- Advocating for their Indigenous-led projects
- Amplifying their voices and perspectives
- Building recognition of Indigenous Peoples at regional, national and international levels.
For example, ‘La Marabunta Filmadora’ video hub from Mexico was established in 2015 with a firm commitment to sharing the knowledge they gained in participatory video filmmaking and facilitation to create a network of Indigenous communities to defend their territory, culture, rights and nature. During the pandemic, the Museum of World Culture in Sweden commissioned La Marabunta Filmadora to make some films about sacred objects of the Yaqui people. Through similar commissions and training delivery, they can replace broken equipment or pay themselves a stipend so they can still facilitate their services to their communities for free.
First-hand experiences from young Indigenous PV facilitators
As the network of local hubs grows, we continue to provide mentoring when requested and share their films within our networks. Moreover, we stay in touch to inspire new groups interested in establishing video hubs or when a facilitation opportunity comes up through our consultancy work. This allows us to:
- Give Indigenous facilitators previously trained by us an opportunity to learn new facilitation techniques accompanied by experienced facilitators from our global associates’ network
- Localise project delivery with regional facilitators, instead of flying associates based in Europe.
“The facilitators we trained in the first days did a great job facilitating the story circles with the participants. It was fun, and everyone got really involved in the process! I had experience with participatory video facilitation because I participated in the Living Cultures Indigenous Fellowship last year”.
– Scola Kukutiya, Indigenous Associate at InsightShare.
This playlist features 6 stories of change from three locations in the Iganga District in the Eastern Region of Uganda, the PV MSC project that Scola co-facilitated last year.
Between 2021 and 2023, the Living Cultures Indigenous Fellowship (LCIF) programme trained over 40 Indigenous youth and women from Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania to be participatory video facilitators. More recently, we had the opportunity to involve three Indigenous facilitators from Kenya who were part of the LCIF in two consultancy projects using Participatory Video and Most Significant Change (PV MSC) in Kenya and Uganda.
Scolastica Kukutiya and Magella Lentiyama, from Kenya, supported midline and endline evaluation processes, co-training a local evaluation team who would lead the evaluation activities as part of a project aiming to provide access to financial services for people with disabilities in Uganda. A couple of weeks ago, Peter Munyani co-delivered practical and experiential training in PV MSC to young people in Kenya. One lesson we learned about involving our Indigenous fellows in project delivery is that they come back home re-energised, inspired and excited to share the skills and knowledge they gained with their communities:
“I’ve learned that when you interact with people, you realise that every community has its own way of approaching life. I’ve already talked with my colleagues from the Oltoilo Le Maa hub, and we will arrange a meeting where I’ll share the learning, lessons and skills I gained through this PV MSC facilitation experience.”
– Peter Munyani, Indigenous Associate at InsightShare.
“We are able to share participatory video skills with the local team so that they can collect more inspiring and powerful stories. Moreover, this opportunity allowed me to create new friendships in the process and educate myself. I’m bringing back all the knowledge I gained about financial inclusion and people with disabilities to my community”.
– Magella Lentiyama, Indigenous Associate at InsightShare.
A few days after this blog was published, Magella contacted us to share some fantastic news. In May 2023, he led a community training to pass on skills not only on PV and PV MSC but also on financial literacy and inclusion for community-saving groups. Here are a couple of snapshots showcasing the process:
“Last week l got a chance to train my community in business and entrepreneurship skills, to pass on the skills l learnt in Uganda! I’ve shared with them the films we facilitated”.
– Magella Lentiyama, Indigenous Associate at InsightShare.
This playlist features 6 stories of change from the process that Magella co-facilitated in the Lira district, Northern Uganda.
Scola, Magella and Peter got an opportunity to facilitate story circles, and shared with us that they felt great passing on the knowledge and skills they have to people outside of their community. They hope their trainees continue using participatory video to collect more stories of change and that these processes strengthen the links with organisations and partners working with them.
Our hopes for the future
Internally, we are committed to continuing this process and finding training opportunities for our network of Indigenous PV facilitators. We are aware the sector is beginning to take action towards decolonising their work, and we hope our initiatives can keep inspiring organisations who are willing to shift the power to local changemakers and recognise the potential Indigenous peoples have to share with the world. We also hope to create new ecosystems of collaboration with like-minded organisations to make our Living Cultures Indigenous Fellowship available to communities around the world.
About the author
Tania Ocampo-Garcia, Learning and Trainings Officer at InsightShare.
Feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.