The Navajo Oral History project is now in its fourth year. This unique collaboration puts students from Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) together into journalism teams with students from Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona). Diné College, on the Navajo Nation, is the first and largest Tribal College in the country.
In the first year of the project, student teams created documentaries about five Navajo elders. In each of years two and year three, the teams created four more documentaries. Now, in summer 2012, teams are working on five more documentaries about Navajo elders.
In Spring 2012, project organizers were notified that the student-created documentary films were being archived at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.
And now, the project has made the front cover of Winona State University's main home page.
This is great exposure and recognition for all students involved in the project who work hard, and have fun while doing it, to create meaningful, important historical documents, while practicing their journalism skills.
The WSU students are on the Navajo Nation doing their field work until June 21. The students teams will continue their work via the internet and ITV classes until their projects are finished in early July.
In Fall, receptions will be held to premiere the films and congratulate the students. There will be a reception and premier event at both Diné College and Winona State University, and students from both schools will be present at both events. These events will be open to the public and will be a great opportunity to give these hard-working students some much-deserved applause and recognition.
Dates for the receptions will be selected soon and will be publicized here on this blog.
To all friends and family members of the 2012 Navajo Oral History Project participants: Thank you for sharing the time and talent of these students with us. We know it is difficult to have your loved ones away from home for nearly three weeks while they get totally immersed in their projects. It is important work and they are doing well, and enjoying the process. Soon you will be able to see the results of their efforts.