William is a short dramatic virtual reality film that will immerse users in the shoes of William, a Canadian Aboriginal child, who was taken away from his home and parachuted into one of the former 139 residential schools in Canada.
WILLIAM is a virtual reality (VR) web series that sheds light on a part of the Canadian history that was long consigned to silence and deliberate ignorance. WILLIAM tells the story of a twelve-year-old torn from his family in 1960 and placed in one of 139 Indian residential schools that existed in Canada over a period of a hundred years, from 1883 to 1996. These residential schools had a single purpose: to educate Indigenous youth in order to assimilate them. Each episode highlights one typical scene in the children’s journey through the system, from their life on reserve to their abduction by government agents, their arrival at the school, their experience in the classroom and dormitory, and their eventual return home.
For one revealing moment, you will be one of these children, WILLIAM. Not only will you witness the events he saw and experienced—you will live through these events. You will feel what he felt, act as he acted. While in William’s skin, you will experience the unthinkable.
Important note: The language used in this production is NOT a real language. It intends to mimic the understanding that Indigenous children, most of who did not speak English nor French, had of their school teachers.