UWindsor PhD student Naomi G. Williams (l.) and research partner Anika Altiman (r.) pose with their poster tailored to incorporate Indigenous languages and art in a campaign to reduce the risk of vehicular injury among Indigenous people in Walpole Island UWindsor PhD student Naomi G. Williams (l.) and research partner Anika Altiman (r.) pose with their poster tailored to incorporate Indigenous languages and art in a campaign to reduce the risk of vehicular injury among Indigenous people in Walpole Island First Nation, as part of their entry in 2015 Auto21 Highly Qualified People competition.

Walpole Island safety project wins kudos for PhD candidate

A UWindsor PhD student from the School of Social Work was recently recognized for her work as part of a partnership to incorporate Indigenous languages and art in a campaign to reduce the risk of vehicular injury among Indigenous people in Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN).

Naomi G. Williams, who hails from Walpole Island, and research partner Anika Altiman, an Education PhD candidate at Western created a video and a poster tailored to the needs of WIFN residents as part of their entry in 2015 Auto21 Highly Qualified People competition during AUTO21's final annual conference on May 27.

Williams says the juried presentations were a wonderful way to highlight their work on Walpole island First Nation as part of their Auto 21 Vehicular injury in Aboriginal communities project, led by Principal Investigator Brent Angell.

The pair’s poster, Intersection of Collaboration: Changing Injury Rates through Art and Voice, and their video, The Walpole Way: Using Indigenous Language & Art to Reduce Injury, both took honours.

Williams says the project was based on Health Canada along with First Nation and Inuit Children Youth Injury Working Group reports that motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among First Nations peoples. The team worked with the Walpole Island community to come up with solutions, translating Anishinaabe culture perspectives into traffic awareness signs. Each sign has strong imagery connecting with the people of WIFN.

 “As the group identified the types of signs needed we ran an all-age arts contest, then we selected three winners,” Williams says. “All the ideas came from the community.”

Peter Frise, AUTO21 Scientific Director, and his staff were also recognized for outstanding work and were honoured by colleagues through a $500 donation to UWindsor’s First Nation Children’s Safety Project Trust Fund.

For more information on supporting the First Nation Children’s Safety Project Trust Fund, visit https://my.uwindsor.ca/web/uw/donations#