For Quincy and Joaquin, both 13, What Can Eeling Teach Us? gave them a deeper understanding of their heritage. “It’s cool seeing where you come from,” Joaquin says. “Just learning all about the culture and seeing how it works.” Quincy and Joaquin are working with Cantrell to develop their skills in VR storytelling and plan to record their own stories.
But it’s not only tribal youth who are impacted by the project. In 360°, members of all ages are re-immersing themselves in their culture. Cantrell describes how VR transports elders to sacred places they can no longer access, helping them recall earlier memories of the tribe. For Brenda Bowie, a tribal elder, the project also goes beyond preserving culture. “I think this is going to be huge to get a message from our tribe to say, ‘Look at these people, look at the beauty of their land, look at where they are, look at who they are,’” Bowie says.