Thursday, June 4, 2015

Big Day of Interviews

Eleven Winona State University students, along with six Diné College student partners were in the field today (Thursday, June 4) doing journalistic interviews with Navajo elders for the feature films they are producing as part of the 2015 Navajo Oral History Project.

Three teams left the Diné College residence halls in the morning, and returned late afternoon or early evening, tired and satisfied after a day well spent.

One team headed northeast to Shiprock, New Mexico, to meet with Tony Goldtooth Sr., a language and culture professor at Diné College's Shiprock Campus. While there, they also interviewed Tony's wife and daughter, and were treated to a fry bread and navajo taco meal.

In addition to teaching at the college, Tony is an accomplished silversmith.
Above two photos by Robbie Christiano.

Above four photos by Nate Nelson.

The group enjoyed navajo tacos for lunch: (left to right) Shelly Wheeler, Nate Nelson, Taylor Nyman, Cora Goldtooth and Kim Schneider; photo by Robbie Christiano.

Tony Goldtooth's daughter, Carol.

Tony displayed his handcrafted squash blossom necklace on his daughter, Carol.

Tony Goldtooth's wife, Cora.
Above three photos by Kim Schneider.

Another team went south to Fort Defiance, Arizona, to interview Louva Dahozy for a third time, and to interview her daughter, Katherine Arviso. They also enjoyed watching Louva and Katherine do a cooking demonstration focused on sovereign Navajo foods.

Above four photos by Josh Averbeck.

 Above photo of Louva Dahozy and Josh Averbeck by Reagan Johnson.

A third team went west to Chinle, Arizona, for an interview with Peggy Scott, a retired educator, community leader and activist.
Above three photos by Jake Hilsabeck.

While at the Scott home, the group also interviewed Peggy's husband, Eddie, a retired educator and principal in the Chinle School District.

Eddie Scott is also an accomplished silversmith. During the afternoon, WSU student Jake Hilsabeck watched Eddie work on a bracelet he's making for a customer in Japan.
Above four photos by Jake Hilsabeck.

In the evening, like most evenings, some of the WSU group played freestyle disc golf around the Diné College campus. It's a great way to blow off a little steam, relax, discuss, and get some exercise all at the same time. Several students had never played disc golf before this trip, and are already developing into competent disc throwers.

Tom Grier, NOHP founder and co-driector, and his wife, Julie, purchased commemorative disc golf discs and had them professionally printed with the NOHP logo as a gift for all the students.

The groups are now reviewing video, checking audio, editing photos, and beginning to write scripts and narrations. This work will continue for several days as drafts of the projects begin to come together.

And, a little late-night nourishment was in order.

The WSU group will be on the Navajo Nation until mid-week next week, gathering more b-roll video, and recording narrations, writing title slides, etc. After returning to Winona, they'll work remotely with their Diné College classmates through teleconferencing to perfect their documentary films.

Early in fall semester, the films will be premiered at receptions at both WSU and DC. The Winona reception and premiere is scheduled for Thursday, Sept 10, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Atrium of WSU's Science Laboratory Center. The Tsaile, Arizona, reception is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 14, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Union Building. Students from both schools will be present for both receptions and talk about their work. At the Diné College event, family and friends of the featured elders are invited to a traditional Navajo meal prior to the film showing.

These film premiere receptions are free and open to the public. Put them on your calendars now, and plan to attend to enjoy the students' work, learn from the films about Navajo culture and lifestyle, and congratulate the students for making their personal commitment of time and talent to do something truly meaningful and lasting.

1 comment: