The Cabot Square PhotoVoice Collective was formed in the first year of the Ethnography Lab’s existence, as one of the student-led research group. It was born out of the collaboration of Graduate students associated with the Concordia Ethnography Lab and McGill’s Participatory Cultures Lab, and in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Students and community members, who were invited to a 2-day Photovoice workshop, at the end of May 2017, as part of our first project. As the creation of the group happened in relation to the “375th anniversary” of Montreal, our group originally seeked to highlight the long-standing presence of Indigenous Peoples in the city, and specifically in Cabot Square, as a local gathering site. While we recognize Montreal as existing on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory, we seek to highlight how diverse Indigenous peoples have long been a part of Montreal’s urban spaces, and that Cabot Square is one of these rich sites.
To do so, we invite people to present Indigenous stories of the city using Photovoice. Photovoice is a participatory media-making practice, which will serve as a means to reassert Indigenous presence, experiences, and history within the city. This is our main objective.
The Photovoice in Cabot Square project is the first project of our group, a first step in establishing collaboration with networks of Indigenous urban communities, and Indigenous organizations at Concordia, in the framework of a long-term commitment to understanding Montreal as an Indigenous place, historically and contemporarily. Our group plans on undertaking other projects, depending on the community members’ visions, interests and needs.