Technology Innovation Merges with First Nations History in a Historic Launch Event

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Interactive First Nations storytelling in the real world, using mobile augmented reality, virtual reality, and more.

Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group of the Kwantlen First Nation, and award-winning augmented reality tech company, QuestUpon, held an event on April 15th, 2016, to launch the very first interactive First Nations storytelling quest, titled “The Tireless Runner”.

The event was held at the Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster, part of the Traditional Territory of the Kwantlen First Nation. Attendees and witnesses included Chief Marilyn Gabriel, Kwantlen Elders, and others from the Kwantlen community. Also in attendance were dignitaries from the City of New Westminster, representatives from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Tourism New Westminster, and New West Chamber of Commerce.

“This is an important event for us, as our history is given a new voice. Our storytelling has always been shared orally, which we see is being lost in these modern times. We saw a need to adapt how we can share these stories and history," said Brenda Fernie, Chief Operating Officer and V.P. of Seyem' Qwantlen Business Group. "The majority of people use smartphones, so using mobile technology made sense to us. Working with QuestUpon's innovative technology brings our stories to life and gets people engaged, while they learn and are entertained. This is especially important for our youth, but also helps to raise a greater awareness of our culture and history in the modern world.”

The event began with a Traditional Welcome Ceremony, followed by a presentation from QuestUpon. After a question and discussion period, Kwantlen First Nation blanketed the founders of QuestUpon, Miles Marziani and Tammy Meyers. This is a ceremony of highest honour and signifies respect for those who have made an important contribution to the Kwantlen First Nation.

“We were beyond words in receiving this honourable ceremony. It’s truly rewarding and inspiring to have our work appreciated in this way,” said Tammy Meyers, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of QuestUpon. “This ceremony showed us once again how unique and important First Nations culture really is.”

The quest launched at this event, "The Tireless Runner", (translated from the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ word q̓ʷa:n̓ƛ̓ən̓, or 'Kwantlen’), starts out in the 1800’s by meeting the narrator and historic figure Chief Whittlekainum of the Kwantlen First Nation. It’s a historical tour that takes the user on a self-guided path along the New Westminster Quay. On this quest they will learn about the Kwantlen Traditional Territory, interact with characters of the past, see animals of importance, learn about pivotal stories with Simon Fraser, “time travel”, embark on a scavenger hunt, and more.

The Tireless Runner quest is ready to take you on this historical walk. Get started by downloading the free app, ‘QuestUpon’, on iPhone or Android.

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Tammy Meyers
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Leanne Richardson
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