January 14, 2021
We would like to begin by acknowledging that Thunder Bay, Ontario is in Robinson-Superior Treaty territory and that the land on which we filmed is on the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation. We would also like to sincerely thank Edmond Collins, Manager of Indigenous Relations, for providing important cultural guidance through this process.
This summer, DST a Division of Englobe had the unique opportunity to partner with ORIGIN, a First Nations owned business based in northwestern Ontario, on a project that pioneers the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology to build job capacity for Indigenous communities. VR learning environments transform passive recipients into participants who are actively engaged in their surroundings, and can learn material in a safe exploratory setting.
We worked with the ORIGIN team to bring environmental monitoring training to life in a VR educational experience. Staff out of our Thunder Bay, Ontario, operations worked alongside ORIGIN’s producer and video production crew to create an immersive 360-degree video experience that takes the viewer through the role of an Environmental Monitor.
Filmed on the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation (FWFN) and on the shores of Lake Superior, under the watchful eye of the iconic Sleeping Giant, the team created a VR environment that was both educational and visually appealing. The video featured one of our employees, Ron Morriseau, Environmental Monitor, on camera, with two others, Edmond Collins, Manager of Indigenous Relations, and Jody Heerema, Project Manager and Biologist, playing a key supportive role behind the scenes. Both Ed and Ron are proud members of FWFN.
Ron began by mapping the personal protective equipment to be worn for health and safety reasons (including for protection against COVID-19), before outlining a “day in the life” of an Environmental Monitor.
As an Environmental Monitor, Ron spends his days on project sites, where he carefully reports any potential risks or harm that might impact the local environment. He was proud to share his experiences with the ORIGIN team and to lead the unique camera crew through some of his daily tasks while out in the field.
From script writing to filming, this project’s collaborative approach helped ORIGIN create a seamless learning experience covering every step of the Environmental Monitoring process. This project helped solidify Englobe’s commitment to not only support job readiness in Indigenous communities, but also to back Indigenous owned businesses.
Currently, ORIGIN’s ImmersiveLink technology and content libraries are created for Indigenous job seekers, communities, employers, training organizations and schools in order to improve experiential learning connections. We were honoured to collaborate with them on this project and look forward to future partnerships to bring our expertise to students across Canada.
ORIGIN is a team of innovators, collaborators and connectors who are driven to engage and inspire the future workforce. They innovate the way people connect to career and culture. A major focus of their work is with Indigenous people and communities, in a spirit of reconciliation, as well as to celebrate the rich Indigenous culture of this land.