Ímesh (To Walk): The “App”lication of Indigenous Art and Landscapes at Simon Fraser University

Bryan Myles, Bill Reid Centre at Simon Fraser University, Canada

Published paper: Ímesh (To Walk): The “app”lication of Indigenous art and landscapes at Simon Fraser University

In 2016, The Bill Reid Centre at Simon Fraser University, along with SFU’s New Media Lab, launched the first tour of a mobile app titled Ímesh (To Walk). When finalized, the app will present three walking tours around SFU’s Burnaby Mountain Campus that focus on Indigenous content. Along with presenting various place names in the languages of the local Tsleil Waututh and Squamish Nations, the app locates Indigenous artworks on Burnaby campus and signals their connection to the unique and diverse worlds that shape them. This paper presents a narrative account of the theory, circumstances, and the scholarship that guided the app project to this point, and presents examples of how the app seeks to decolonize art and landscape in the context of SFU Burnaby. However, its primary focus is the theoretical argument that giving authority to Indigenous perspectives regarding land and art can disrupt the dominant paradigm of settler society, and bring about understanding and respect by requiring the inquirer to be open to different realities.

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