Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
BC Ideas: Solutions for Stronger Communities competition.


This innovation also has a Project Page where you can read more about its latest progress.
Go to Project: Landsongs.

a web application to help communities capture their stories

About You

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About You

First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization

Organization Name

Organization Website

Organization Country

Canada, BC, Prince George

Country where this solution is creating social impact

Canada, BC

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact

Northern British Columbia.

Is your organization a


How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Cost, Equity.

The Need: Describe the need for your solution and the size and characteristics of the community(ies) your solution is engaging

The elders of BCs First Nations are dying. With them will go a wealth of knowledge about the land and people. the stories that define us a a diversity of humanity need to be recorded. landsongs is a web application to help communities record the ir stories. This need is heightened in the fa e of industrial development and pressure. Knowing the places which are sacred and special can help communities make better decisions about their own futures.

The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific! is a web application which a community can use to record their stories. These stories are geolocated on a map and can have media attached to them. A community can develop a project using this application as a convenient datastore, getting their youth to interview the community's elders and recording them in the system. Those records can have keywords attached and subsequently be searched by the rest of the community. thus providing a living library of their culture.

Landsongs is built using geoweb technologies meaning that it has geographic capabilities built in. presently the application has been used by one community and is about to be supplied to a further two. The application is currently being built out to support numerous communities. Allowing easy, affordable access to technology which would previously have been unattainable.

The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include the primary activities involved in your solution.

The Tsay Keh Dene first asked for an application like landsongs to be built. They asked this so they could fully understand the history of a specific place in response to industrial interest. This application has allowed them to compare modern environmental monitoring data with their own histories to better understand how the land is reacting to various activities.

This application is now housing many of the Tsay Keh's stories and their database grows as the elders remember more. One story will lead to another and soon the map fills up with tales of history, facts about hunting areas and journeys people have taken across the landscape. The act of recording the stories means that community members can return to the application and learn more about their own culture.

This application is actively used in land management decisions as well as supporting the treaty process. It is hoped that it might be used in the community school in the future.

These experiences teach the individuals involved to remember, but they also remind the rest of us that there is more to our culture than Hollywood, and more to our histories than is presently written down.

The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others working to address the same needs as you and indicate what sets you apart from them.

This market is hugely fragmented. There are few direct competitors, but a number of big technology providers on the periphery of the central feature of landsongs, which is the capture of a community's stories.

The direct competitors come in the form of bespoke software developers that have written applications for individual communities. The large technology providers (ESRI etc) generally provide a generalized desktop GIS solution, which could be morphed into a suitable solution. But this path is beset with capacity issues.

Landsongs seeks to be a solution which does not need a technician to run it. Leveraging the 'facebook generation" landsongs can hopefully help bind the young and old through storytelling.

Social Impact

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Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.

I have built a version of this system for a local first nation. Other Nations have looked at the technology and realized that this might also fill a hugely important hole in their data collection. The aha, was realizing that i could provide a system via the web which is socially important, useful and affordable to First Nations.

Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

I want to ensure that we as a species hold on to our cultural diversity. Presently we are all becoming "North Americanized" , there is more to our cultural history than Hollywood.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

We have provided this solution to three first nations and have been collecting their stories for them. thus far these have been one-offs. we ned to systematize this solution so it can be generally available

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

We think we can be useful to indigenous cultures and community groups across the world. Regarding First Nations we believe we can provide this solution to 10 new nations per year, with present capacity. increasing capacity we can help more communities.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

> Confidence in the internet. This is more an issue of education and weighing the risks of losing culture vs. being 'hacked'.
> there is always competition :)

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

We need to be in 5 more First Nations, learning with them about how best to capture stories.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone

Task 1

Generalize platform

Task 2

build marketing plan

Task 3

get the word out

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

We need to be international, south america, south pacific...

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone

Task 1

scale the application

Task 2

better understand the optimal pricing model

Task 3

build a non-profit society around the capture and managment stories


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Tell us about your partnerships

we have been working with various First nations to ensure this idea has some credibility

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

We help communities who need us, if a community does not need us we will not sell to them (this is NOT snake oil)

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?


Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

landsongs.png134.19 KB
126 weeks ago said: Best of luck, Will - great project and community tool. about this Competition Entry. - read more >
126 weeks ago Will Cadell said: Thanks! We have seen that this tool is genuinely useful within the communities we have worked. We hope to build out the platform and ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
126 weeks ago said: This is a fantastic idea! Stories connect communities and generations together. When we know our past we can have strength moving into ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
126 weeks ago landsongs has been chosen as a finalist in BC Ideas: Solutions for Stronger Communities.
132 weeks ago Will Cadell updated this Competition Entry.
133 weeks ago Will Cadell updated this Competition Entry.
135 weeks ago Will Cadell updated this Competition Entry.
135 weeks ago Will Cadell submitted this idea.