Warm Springs Audio Preservation Project

Emily West Afanador, OFN Program Manager

Warm Spring tribal members have been preserving their heritage through audio recordings of songs, legends, oral histories, and Tribal Council meetings dating back to the 1950s. With the help of a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Folklife Network staff Emily West Afanador and Sanna Parikka accompanied University of Oregon Librarian Nathan Georgitis on a trip to Warm Springs Culture Department to work together on making these recordings stable and accessible for future generations. Georgitis installed new digitization equipment and trained Warm Springs staff and volunteers, Valerie Switzler, Dallas Winishut, and Greg Arquette in best practices for sound preservation. Meanwhile, Afanador and Parikka documented the process with photos, video, and interviews. The OFN website will soon feature an online audio digitization training module to make this preservation process available to all Oregonians.

It is a privilege to work with the Warm Springs Culture Department, where projects like this are just one of the many efforts to revitalize cultural knowledge and practices that were forbidden during the boarding school assimilation era just a generation or two ago. Arquette is eager for the knowledge he will gain by listening to tapes of elders; Winishut will build curriculum with the native language recordings for use in Warm Springs language immersion classrooms; and Switzler is confident that the voices of tradition-keepers on those recordings will serve as important cultural role models for today’s tribal youth.

Self Documentation Toolkit: “Telling our Stories”

Project Update by Emily West Afanador, OFN Program Manager

Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) with University of Oregon Journalism Professor, Gabriela Martinez, received a grant from the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies at University of Oregon to develop a web-based tool kit equipping the general public to document their own communities, families, and grass-roots organizations. The tool kit, tentatively called “Telling our Stories,” will be used by families, culture groups, and in classrooms from middle school through higher education to try everything from acquiring information with interview techniques and photography tips, to archiving and self-publishing stories on the web. OFN will give a public presentation on the collaborative development of this tool on Thursday, March 14 at the University of Oregon campus.

March 14
Knight Library Collaboration Center (Room 122)
University of Oregon