Streaming Media


Carmella M. Rodriguez, PH.D. is a 2015 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. [Author Introduction - above]

Foreground L-R (Faculty): Mr. Dan Hart, M.F.A., Committee Member (U. Washington); Dr. Luana Ross, Committee Member (U. Washington); Dr. Brenda Manuelito; Dr. Carmella Rodriguez; Dr. Carolyn Kenny, Chair (University of British Columbia); Dr. Elizabeth Holloway (Antioch University). Not Shown: Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald, External Reader (University of British Columbia).

Background L-R (Tribal Community Co-Researchers): Eva Petoskey, M.S., Director, ATR, Anishnaabek Healing Circle, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc.; Terri Tavenner, Associate Director, ATR, Anishnaabek Healing Circle, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc.; Linda Woods, M.S.W., Consultant; and Arlene Kashata, M.A., Consultant.

Dissertation Committee

  • Carolyn Kenny, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Luana Ross, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Daniel Hart, M.F.A., Committee Member
  • Jo-Ann Archibald, Ph.D., External Reader

NOTE: This dissertation is accompanied by a PDF file that contains links to 45 media files on the nDigiStoryMaking YouTube Channel that are referenced in this document. This Supplemental File is accessible at the bottom of this page.


Digital Storytelling, Native Americans, American Indians, Community-Based Participatory Research, Phenomenology, Performance Ethnography, Relational Autoethnography, Indigenous Methodology, Indigenous Resilience, Historical Trauma, Indigenous Film, Subs

Document Type


Publication Date



Indigenous peoples have always shared collective truths and knowledge through oral storytelling. Just as we were born, stories are born too, through our sacred “living breath.” We live in a time where stories travel far, beyond our imaginable dreams, and can have an influence on anyone who hears them. In the present-day, we have an opportunity to combine personal stories with digital technology in order to share one of our greatest gifts with each other--our experience and wisdom. For eight years, Brenda K. Manuelito and I have been traveling across Indian Country helping our Indigenous relatives create nDigiStories for Native survivance, healing, hope, and liberation. Together with our nDigiStorytellers, we are Healing Our Communities One Story at a Time®. This dissertation is a phenomenological study about the “story-sharing” of nDigiStories. It tells the story about the journey of digital stories created from an Indigenized digital storytelling process called nDigiStorytelling with an Ojibwa (Anishinaabe) community in Michigan. I explored a bricolage of methodologies from an “Indigenist” perspective, community-based participatory research, performance ethnography, and relational autoethnography. This study shows how combining an Indigenous approach to technology and media-making with deeply-held beliefs and ceremony can revitalize Indigenous people and strengthen community relationships. The electronic version of this Dissertation is available in open access at AURA, and OhioLink ETD Center, This dissertation is accompanied by a PDF document that contains links to 45 media files on the nDigiStorySharing YouTube Channel that are referenced in this document


Dr. Carmella M. Rodriguez

Carmella Rodriguez grew up in Nambe, as a ward of the State of New Mexico. Early in life she realized the need to improve health literacy education among rural and underserved communities. Through her passion for education, technology, media and a deep desire to help other foster children, she made it her mission to teach digital storytelling across Indian Country.

Since 2008, Dr. Rodriguez has been an Instructional Designer and Co-Founder of nDigiDreams, LLC (, a woman-owned indigenous focused consulting and training company that focuses on instructional technology and digital storytelling.

For over 23 years, Carmella has been working with visual media to help bring education, information, and awareness to the public and focuses her efforts on health and social justice issues with video and digital stories that matter.

Between 1992-1995, she helped co-found On-Demand Technologies, Inc. in Austin, TX, one of the first companies to successfully send digital video across telephone lines. Additionally, she created CineTek Productions, a video production company in Denver, CO having the privilege to assist COFAS, the statewide fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and prenatal substance abuse prevention outreach program social media campaign housed at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Rodriguez has been teaching community-based digital storytelling workshops across Indian Country with nDigiDreams Co-Founder Brenda Manuelito since 2008. Together, they have co-created over 1200 digital stories across 15 states and are beginning to organize local, regional and national digital storytelling festivals callednDigiFests focused on Native critical issues and everyday stories of survivance and resilience. In addition, since 2008, they have co-presented at numerous local, regional, national and international conferences on digital storytelling, Indigenous research, Native health, health literacy and communication and public health.

Ms. Rodriguez has a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University; a M.A. in Information and Learning Technologies from the University of Colorado; a B.S. in Computer Science from the College of Santa Fe, and an A.A. in Film Studies from the Colorado Film School.


Video: nDigiStorytelling Visual Logic Model Explains both Drs. Rodriguez and Manuelito’s complementary dissertations in 12 minutes. Begins with the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) migration story, introduces ATR's Sowing Seeds of Recovery project we collaborated with, and shows the impact and beauty nDigiStorytelling had on one group of Michigan tribal members.