Monday (May 27) was Memorial Day across the United States. Here on the Navajo Nation it was another work day for the members of the 2013 Navajo Oral History project.
The students and faculty got up early and drove long distances across the reservation to interview a Navajo elder for documentary journalism projects in progress.
The first group left by 7 a.m. and drove to Sanders, Arizona, on the southern edge of the Navajo Nation for their first interview with Jake Livingston, an accomplished and well-known silversmith and Vietnam War veteran. They also did a service project for Jake and his family, helping place and bury hundreds of feet of irrigation tubing.
Skylar Ogren poses for a photo with Navajo-Zuni Silversmith Jake Livingston.
(above 10 photos by Whitney Harlos)
(panorama shot of Jake Livingston being interviewed in his workshop by Skylar Ogren)
The Jake Livingston documentary journalism group (left to right) Adam Maciejczak, Skylar Ogren, Whitney Harlos, Lorencita Willie, Darin Strohmenger and Laura Humes. Jake Livingston is in front in the the cowboy hat. Skylar and Whitney are not part of the team assigned to interview Jake, but since their group did not have an interview this day, they went along to help.
The Livingston Trenching Team:
(above two photos by Miranda Haskie)
Another group drove more than three hours to Tuba City, Arizona, on the western edge of the Navajo Nation for a second interview with World War II Navajo Code Talker Peter MacDonald.
(above four photos by Elise Nelson)
As the interview with Peter MacDonald finished, he autographed photo portraits of himself to each member of the journalism team.
This group also did a secondary interview with Peter MacDonald's daughter, Hope, who talked about how her father inspired her to get a good education and to serve her community in leadership roles in tribal government.
A third group drove about three hours west to Shonto, Arizona, the boyhood home of Navajo artist Baje Whithethorne Sr., where they interviewed him for a third time and talked with several of his relatives. While there, they helped on a second service project for the Whitethorne family, this time trenching around fruit trees to help them retain moisture.
(above seven photos by Trina Thomas)
Members of the groups that had no interview scheduled Monday went along with the other groups for moral support and help with videography and photography.
Adam Maciejczak and Darin Strohmenger relax in Pine Dorm at Diné College, discussing the next day's plans.
Brett Gustafson and Elise Nelson
Jolene Kuisle (left) listens to interview audio while Robbie Christiano and Tom Hays review video.
Robbie Christiano and Whitney Harlos discuss a photo and editing-cropping choices.
Skylar Ogren relaxes by the fire while working on the amazing short videos he posts each day of the trip to YouTube, chronicling the NOH 2013 project.
Cara Mannino works on a 'smore in the dorm fireplace.