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New app allows users to explore history of the buffalo in Sask. capital through augmented reality

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"Buffalo Futurism" is an app created to share stories about the significance of the buffalo through augmented reality.

The story takes place in Regina’s māmowimītamōwin Park.

“You have these boulders here, but people walk by and they don’t necessarily know what that is or what it means , but when you have something a little flashier, you know it gets peoples attention and gets kids attention” said app developer, Rene Dufour-Contreras.

The app allows users to take a tour through a futuristic version of the park while listening to stories about the importance of Tatanka – which means "bison" in the Nakota and Dakota langauges.

For the team behind the app, it’s a unique way to deliver these stories, which weren’t available to them growing up.

“It makes me feel very excited and happy to see stories being shared now because when I was younger, I didn’t see any of this stuff,” said 3D artist, Taylor McArthur.

Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway narrates the stories as folks explore the park. For her, it is a way to share important history as to why Regina was originally named “oskana kâ-asastêki,”or “the place where the bones are piled.”

“It has this uncomfortable history of representing the truthful part of what happened here when the Buffalo were killed off for settlement,” she explained.

“When we talk about indigenization. How do we bring back the buffalo into a city? And right now it’s about stories, it’s about food, and it’s about sharing these stories through augmented reality,” she added.

Buffalo Futurism is curated specifically for māmowimītamōwin Park, and is free to download.

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