Annual Strategic Plan 2018

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Wikimedia Canada's 2018 Annual Strategic Plan
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  Background
Founded in 2011, Wikimedia Canada is an independent nonprofit organization based in Montreal, Quebec and an official chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation and part of the global Wikimedia Movement. We support and promote the distribution of free educational material within Canada, mainly through the Wikimedia projects. Wikimedia Canada engages in a range of activities in support of the vision of the Wikimedia movement such as outreach activities, community-building events, content-creation projects, partnerships with cultural and knowledge institutions, collaborations with Aboriginal communities, training sessions, etc. In 2016-2017, Wikimedia Canada began a process to bring the chapter to a more mature level by developing and putting into place necessary policies and generally improving its corporate standards, including the election of a new board of directors with fresher energy and motivations in August 2017 and the donation of an office space by Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in Montreal, Quebec in December 2016.

Wikimedia Canada shares the vision statement of the Wikimedia Foundation: “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.”[1]

  Priorities
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The goal of Wikimedia Canada is to augment and improve the content about Canada on Wikimedia projects and to increase the contribution of Canadians in Wikimedia projects.

To achieve this goal, Wikimedia Canada has identified four priorities for its five years strategic plan 2017-2021:

  • Develop and disseminate free knowledge.
  • Promote the use of free knowledge resources
  • Encourage the development of open knowledge communities across Canada
  • Achieve and sustain a high level of corporate maturity

The Annual Plan for 2018 includes activities in all four priorities, but there is a higher focus for the first and third priority. This Annual Plan is aligned with the the Wikimedia Strategic Plan (2011-2015)[2] and the on-wiki 2017 Strategy of the Wikimedia movement.[3]

Programs[edit]

  Content, outreach and communities
Develop free knowledge about Canadian cultures, languages, history, geography, sports and other fields of knowledge, and increase the diversity of contributors from Canada.

Context

This program is the continuity of the successful 2017 program "Organize and facilitate workshops" with an increased focus on expanding and strengthening institutional partnerships with Canadian Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Universities (GLAMUs) as well as developing the contributor communities in Canada. The goal of this program is to develop free knowledge about Canadian cultures, languages, history, geography, sports and other fields of knowledge, mainly on Wikimedia projects, and to increase the diversity of contributors from Canada. To achieve this goal, Wikimedia Canada has identified two axes: "institutional partnerships, education and outreach" and "community building".

Institutional partnerships, education and outreach

Through this program, Wikimedia Canada will strengthen its existing institutional partnerships and seek to establish new ones, mainly with GLAMUs, and will conduct outreach to the public and those institutions to increase the awareness about free knowledge and the Wikimedia projects in Canada. This will mainly be achieved by supporting its members and other volunteers to host contribution workshops, meetings and projects in partnerships with those GLAMUs in order to develop a closer relationship.

Specifically, Wikimedia Canada will continue to partnership with its main partner, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). It will also continue to partner with other institutions, including Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Wikimedia Canada will seek to enable partnerships with more local institutions, building on the model of existing partnerships with OpenStreetMaps Montréal and Ottawa, the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas), the Lionel-Groulx Foundation and the Cinémathèque québécoise for example. The potential and the impact of such partnerships have been clearly identified with the activities of the past year where they resulted in an increase in content and in contributors to the Wikimedia projects, especially in terms of quality, archival content and diversity of contributors.

Those collaborations have a high potential for innovative initiatives such as the scan-a-thon that was organized with BAnQ to scan negatives that were being lost by oxidation and upload the pictures on Wikimedia Commons, not only did we save this important heritage that would be otherwise lost, but the pictures uploaded were useful resources for Wikipedia and the project was a great way to engage new contributors.

The chapter will also increase its collaboration with the other organizations of the Wikimedia movement in North America and across the Francophonie through WikiFranca in order to share resources and best practices to be more efficient and have a greater impact.

Community building

Wikimedia Canada will support the development and the growth of diverse communities contributing to open knowledge in Canada, by promoting the creation of WikiClubs and supporting Canadians to develop free content, mainly on Wikimedia projects. The development of strong and diverse communities of volunteers across the country will allow the chapter to have a greater impact with its activities. A secondary goal for this program is to increase the awareness and the understanding of the Canadian public about open knowledge, free licenses and Wikimedia projects.

Right now, the volunteers of Wikimedia Canada are mainly centered in Montreal, Quebec. Through this program, the chapter aims at expanding and developing free knowledge communities across the country. It will achieve that by putting in place a framework for the creation of local groups, called "WikiClubs", around specific cities, regions or universities. A group like that already exist in an informal way in Montreal that will be used as a model for the creation of similar groups in other cities, with a few already in the process of being created.

These are groups of multi-project contributors working together for creating new activities in their region, including awareness building, outreach events, training sessions and contribution workshops. A high level of flexibility is offered to these local groups in order to allow them to adapt to their local realities and to the interests of their volunteers and their local partners, which in turn will ensure a diversity of the themes covered across the country and augment the potential of attraction of new contributors.

The chapter will work to establish a network for those local groups to share their experiences and organize regional peer-to-peer support by supporting the establishment of activities and the recruitment of new contributors in different regions of the country. For instance, the chapter will continue to organize the yearly National Contribution Month in Canada which is a great opportunity for volunteers across the country to organize workshops that will allow them to meet with other contributors in their local region and recruit new volunteers. This initiative has demonstrated its success in the past two editions.

A big obstacle to contribution that has been identified is the price of the equipment needed to produce multimedia content. Considering the size of Canada, it is simply impossible for the chapter to maintain equipment and make it available to all volunteers across the country since the price of shipping would be exorbitant. To solve this issue, the WikiClubs will be used as hubs to make equipment available to the volunteers in their region, according to their specific needs. The chapter will only focus those investments to communities of volunteers who are really established in order to ensure that there is a real impact derived from those investments. This will empower the local groups to become independent in their activities, encouraging the growth of those WikiClubs and increasing the numbers of volunteers and contributors in Canada.

The chapter will facilitate and enable the emergence of new local groups by linking volunteers with local cultural and knowledge actors and facilitating the volunteer environment for example by supporting meetings and exchanges between contributors and by creating a map of the WikiClubs and interested volunteers. For instance, Wikimedia Canada will use its strong partnership with BAnQ to develop new WikiClubs around their centres in different locations in Quebec. Wikimedia Canada will also support individual contributors across the country to have access to the resources they need to develop meaningful content on Wikimedia projects, such as the access to references.

Objectives

  • Augment, improve and diversify free knowledge about Canada, especially on Wikimedia projects.
  • Diversify the contributors from Canada on Wikimedia projects and expand the contribution activities across Canada.
  • Increase the awareness of the Canadian public and institutions about Wikimedia projects, free licenses and open knowledge.

Activities

  • Activity 1.1: Content
  • Activity 1.2: Outreach, partnerships and education
  • Activity 1.3: Community building
  Indigenous peoples on Wikimedia projects
Develop Wikimedia projects in the indigenous languages of Canada and increase quality free knowledge about Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Context

This program is the continuity of the 2017 program "Develop the Wikipetia Atikamekw Nehiromowin" that was renamed to "Develop the Wikimedia Projects in Indigenous Languages" at the mid-point report in order to have a scope that is not limited to only the Atikamekw First Nation, but to all indigenous communities in Canada. For instance, outreach was started in 2017 with the Innu First Nation. The goal of this program is to develop Wikimedia projects in the indigenous languages of Canada as well as increasing and improving the content about Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Métis on Wikimedia projects. Currently, there is a real knowledge gap on Wikimedia projects about the indigenous peoples of Canada, especially about contemporary communities. Most of the content is outdated or only historical, while those communities are still alive and dynamic today. Wikimedia Canada aims at closing this gap by empowering the indigenous communities themselves in producing the free content about them. To achieve this goal, the chapter has identified two main axes: "Wikimedia projects in indigenous languages" and "free knowledge about indigenous peoples".

Wikimedia projects in indigenous languages

Right now, only three Wikipedias in indigenous languages of Canada exist outside the Wikimedia Incubator, and only one of them is active, the Wikipetcia Atikamekw Nehiromowin. Furthermore, the most-used messages of the core Mediawiki interface are only translated in one Canadian indigenous language, the Atikamekw language. Wikimedia Canada will build upon the very successful project with the Atikamekw First Nation to emulate it with other indigenous linguistic communities across the country. In partnership with the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) and the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), the chapter will complete a toolkit recording all the lessons learned and the best practices identified from the Atikamekw project that will be used to do similar projects with other communities in Canada and will also be shared with the Wikimedia movement to be used in other countries. The intent of those projects is to outreach to indigenous communities and teach them how to create a Wikipedia in their languages in the Wikimedia Incubator, how to develop it so it can be created outside the Incubator and how to translate the interface of MediaWiki, with the final intent to develop the skills of those communities so they can become autonomous in developing the Wikipedias in their languages.

Wikimedia Canada will continue to partner with other like-minded organizations such as Global Voices in Latin America to develop a network to share best practices and lessons learned to develop Wikimedia projects in indigenous languages and smaller languages that are under-represented on Wikimedia projects and face different challenges than the more established communities. The success of the project to create the Wikipetcia Atikamekw Nehiromowin has become a model at the international level, as was seen during presentations at Wikimania, where there is a real interest from all around the world to develop similar projects. The chapter will continue and increase its collaborations to share its expertise in this area with other organizations. The chapter also plans to partner with academics from Canadian universities and the First Nations involved in the project themselves to present this project to a wide audience involved with indigenous languages with the goal of showing the potential of the Wikimedia projects in revitalizing those languages that are at risk of being extinct in a very near future and involving the young people of those communities who are often in difficult situations for many different reasons.

The results observed with the Atikamekw Project far exceeded our expectations as we have seen the community really taking ownership of the project, of their Wikipedia, and the students involved all shared their great pride in seeing their language online and that they can contribute to it. It has now become a truly intergenerational project where elders are helping the young people with the language to write on Wikipedia. The momentum of this project is now guaranteed by members of the community itself. The model of WikiClubs will also be applied to indigenous communities for the development of local indigenous communities of contributors, which is already started in Manawan, Quebec for example. To ensure the success of similar projects with other communities, Wikimedia Canada will first seek partnerships with cultural and educational organizations from those communities that will take ownership of the projects from the get go as well as partnering with other Canadian organizations involved with indigenous communities such as the First Peoples' Cultural Council in British Columbia.

Free knowledge about indigenous peoples

In parallel to the projects to develop Wikimedia projects in Canadian indigenous languages, the outreach events, training sessions and contribution workshops hosted with indigenous communities will also aim at empowering the indigenous communities in developing content on Wikimedia projects about themselves in English and/or French that can then be translated in other languages from contributors from all around the world. For instance, a fact that was highlighted during the Atikamekw project from the Atikamekw cultural actors was that the articles on the French and English Wikipedias about the rivers, the mountains and other geographical features in their region only use the names given by the French colonizers while those places already had names in the Native language for centuries before that. Now, the names of those places are added to Wikipedia and Wikidata in the Atikamekw language.

Wikimedia Canada will also organize and promote workshops and activities to teach indigenous communities how to contribute photographic content to Wikimedia Commons that can be used on the Wikipedias in their languages and to illustrate articles about them on the Wikipedias in all languages. In particular, the chapter will continue to support the "Nitaskinan in pictures" photographic contest organized on the Atikamekw ancestral territory to document traditional activities of the Atikamekw people.

Lingua Libre

Besides developing written and photographic content about the indigenous peoples of Canada on Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Canada will continue to use the Lingua Libre initiative to record the Canadian indigenous languages and upload the files to Wikimedia Commons. Those files will then be used to develop content on Wiktionaries. It can also be used on all other Wikimedia projects as was seen by the creation of an “Introduction to the Atikamekw language” on the French Wikiversity using those files to teach pronunciation. This is a crucial project since most Canadian indigenous languages are at risk of disappearing in a very near future and recording this important knowledge for use by future generations is essential to preserve that heritage. For instance, when volunteers from Wikimedia Canada conducted outreach with the Institut Tshakapesh, an organization representing eight Innu First Nations in Northeastern Quebec with the role of preserving the Innu language, culture and education, the Lingua Libre initiative was the aspect of Wikimedia projects that they were the most interested in, so they can develop an online dictionary of the Innu language with recordings for pronunciation of the words.

Objectives

  • Augment and improve free knowledge written in Canadian Aboriginal languages, especially on Wikimedia projects.
  • Augment, improve and modernize free knowledge about Canadian indigenous peoples, especially on Wikimedia projects.
  • Increase the awareness about open knowledge, free licenses and Wikimedia projects of the indigenous communities.

Activities

  • Activity 2.1: Outreach to indigenous communities and development of Wikimedia projects in Aboriginal languages
  • Activity 2.2: Free knowledge about Canadian indigenous peoples
  • Activity 2.3: Collaboration and sharing about indigenous projects
  Photographic content
Increase free photographic content about Canada and educate Canadian photographers communities about free licenses.

Context

This program is the direct continuity of the 2017 program "Conduct photography events". The goal of this program is to increase the free photographic content about Canada, both in terms of quantity and quality, especially where there are gaps on Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia. It also aims at outreaching to the Canadian photographers communities to educate them about free licenses and the Wikimedia projects. The intent is to create volunteer photographers communities across the country that are sensible to the cause of free knowledge and upload some of their work on Wikimedia Commons. To have more impact, this will be developed hand in hand with the WikiClubs. To achieve this goal, Wikimedia Canada will support its members and other volunteers in two ways: to host local photographic events and to attend events in Canada. The chapter will also organize photographic contests at the national level. A focus is placed on content that is a gap on Wikimedia Commons.

Hosting photographic events

Wikimedia Canada will support its members and other volunteers in hosting local photographic events like Wiki Takes Your City, building on the very successful Wiki Takes Montréal conducted in 2011. The intent of those events are two folds. The first is the obvious direct impact to increase the quantity and the quality of the photographic content about Canada on Wikimedia Commons. The second is the indirect impact of community building through those photographic events. By bringing people together for local photographic events, the volunteers and the contributors will develop relationships that will be fostered for the creation of WikiClubs and local photographers communities that upload some of their work on Wikimedia Commons.

Support volunteers to document events in Canada

Wikimedia Canada will support its members and other volunteers to attend events in Canada in order to document them for Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia as well as documenting specific subject matters in Canada where there is currently a gap on Wikimedia Commons. To achieve more impact, this will be implemented in parallel with contribution workshops with GLAMUs and WikiClubs that will work in developing content on Wikipedia about those events or subject matters that now have photographic material.

National photographic contests

Wikimedia Canada will continue to organize national photographic contests, including Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Earth that were held in 2017. The chapter will also introduce a new national contest about the towns and villages of Canada since most of the Wikipedia articles about those are not illustrated at all. The intent of those national contests is to augment the quantity and the quality of photographic content on Wikimedia Commons about important locations and subjects in Canada as well as promoting the Wikimedia projects and free knowledge to the Canadian public.

Objectives

  • Increase the quantity, the quality and the diversity of free photographic content about Canada.
  • Increase the number and the diversity of photographers in Canada sharing some of their work under a free license or in the public domain.

Activities

  • Activity 3.1: National and local photographic events
  • Activity 3.2: Specific events and thematics

Notes[edit]

  1. Vision of the Wikimedia Foundation
  2. Wikimedia Strategic Plan (2011-2015)
  3. Strategy of the Wikimedia movement (2017)