Storytelling on the Farm and in an Online World
On the Farm
Storytelling is what we do at the Settlement. Every aspect from the name of our business, to the food on your plate and the personal touch of crazy quilts in all of our rooms are a part of the many stories we tell at the FarmStay B&B.
To take in an authentic Storytelling experience you can check out our intimate experiences or 3 day packages to immerse yourself in the cultural stories that we offer on our farm. We often engage in traditional storytelling around the fire at our Medicine Wheel Fire Circle or around the table at our Farm to Table Storytelling Experience but as we grow our business and reach out to travelers and potential visitors from all over the world we have started to expand and diversify the way we tell our stories. Although we are not your typical digital storytellers we were fortunate enough to participate in online workshops provided through GMIST and Story Center to expand our skills to bring our stories to a new media, a new age in storytelling.
Digital Storytelling is a way to connect and share experiences in a generation where youtube and mini videos clips have taken over. Every day we come into contact with video media, and although typically this has been through television, more and more often it is through that powerful device in our pockets, our cell phones. People are engaging and communicating through video everyday on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and we want to be a part of that conversation and share our stories with those looking to connect.
Although it can be alarming when you think about how it can really suck you in and become a distraction and cause disengagement and disconnect from the world around us, it is also an opportunity should we choose to discover and explore it. These mini videos provide an opportunity for engagements which are powerful and have the potential to connect and share information in a meaningful way that triggers our minds and our hearts.
We all have a story to tell. Social media and digital storytelling can be a tool which we can use to share our story with listeners on various platforms and on all corners of the earth. The digital community and the outreach capacity of video has given us the power to engage in digital storytelling and know that people are listening, people are engaged and tuning in to a part of our stories.
At the Upper Humber Settlement we have a number of stories to tell and sharing them in a digital way has not always been our strong point, but thanks to training initiatives by Gros Morne Institute of Sustainable Tourism we were able to participate in a workshop provided by the Story Center (storycenter.org).
Organizations Behind the Scenes
Gros Morne Institute of Sustainable Tourism, more often referred to as GMIST, is focused on advancing the quality and success, as well as the sustainability of tourism operations. GMIST has also been committed to developing services and community building through their training programs. They are able to promote and facilitate advancements through their various programming and virtual workshops. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in a recent program that they offered this Fall in partnership with the Story Center.
Visiting GMIST’s website is a great starting point to learning more about the opportunities they offer. On their website they feature a Sandbox series, which is essentially mini lessons that you can watch and engage in on your own time. Some of these sessions focus on topics which include but are not limited to Indigenous Tourism, Culinary Tourism, Sustainability, Community Engagement, Experiential Tourism and of course, Storytelling.
The Story Center is an organization that is dedicated and committed to everything storytelling and more. Their mission is to “create spaces for listening to and sharing stories, to help build a just and healthy world. [Their] public and custom workshops provide individuals and organizations with skills and tools that support self-expression, creative practice, and community building.” They offer numerous sessions and workshops to many different industries and stakeholders, as well as for individuals looking to use digital storytelling as a way to share their journeys with listeners from all over the world. Visit their website to learn more about what they do and what opportunities they have to offer you.
Some of the stories we want to share include our personal journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, the significance of our community’s settlement by the Pioneer War Veterans and the story of the culturally rich food that grows in Newfoundland, both in the wild and on the farms. We would love the opportunity to enrich our audiences with diversified Indigenous stories as we grow our knowledge and understanding throughout our indigenous journey in the future.
Through the engaging workshop we did this fall we worked on our first official digital story of our journey towards sustainability. Purchasing our land just over 10 years ago was just the first stepping stone, in fact, we started growing food even before we had land to grow on. Each year we learned a little more and we still have so much left to learn. In this journey we are lifelong learners, building our knowledge from experiences, educational opportunities, listening to visitors and traveling to new places and learning the things people have learned from all over the globe.
To learn more about our journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle click play on the video below.
The story of our journey on the farm is important for us since it identifies us in our early years before we became the Upper Humber Settlement. This story shares a piece of us that never made it to our Instagram account. Sure some Throwback Thursdays posts may share a piece of the story, but the challenges, the difficulties and the learning that we undertook so far cannot be told with a photo alone. To say we are passionate and dedicated is one thing, but to be able to share and express our journey through this digital storytelling with our global friends, family and farming community is a privilege and opportunity.
We hope that the story of our journey to a more sustainable lifestyle connects with you. Sometimes visitors and locals do not realize that we have been on this journey for over 10 years and that through our hard work, our passions and our love of working with the land we have become lifelong learners continuing to learn to be more sustainable, open-minded and connected as we grow. We know we are not the only people on this journey and that there are many others learning and growing together.
Connect with us. Learn our story. Share your story.