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Navajo Oral History Project in Full Swing

TSAILE, AZ- The last few months have been a whirlwind of planning and preparation for Diné College Sociology Professor, Dr. Miranda Haskie and Winona State Mass Communications Professor, Dr. Tom Grier.  For six years, that duo has collaborated to bring together students from Winona State University and Diné College for the Navajo Oral History Project (NOHP).


Gala Line Up

NOHP participants come together for three weeks at Diné College in Tsaile where they are teamed up to conduct research projects focused on the Navajo culture.  In addition, the students learn some basic introductory concepts related to journalism, photojournalism and ethnographic research.  This year, the groups progress is being documented by former NOHP participant, Chops Hancock, who will serve as the overall project photographic consultant.


During the program, each student team will participate in a service project for four separate Navajo elders.  During their time with the elder, student teams will conduct personal research, interview them, create an audio recording, video recording and photographically document the interviews. Students will then transcribe the interviews, write scripts, proofread, and edit.

Students will then produce a finished documentary film at the end of the summer for each elder.  Those films will be archived at the Navajo Nation Museum and Library, the Libraries at both Winona State University and Diné College, and at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.


For students, the program is a great way to learn hands-on research methods, while also learning basic introductory concepts related to journalism, photojournalism and ethnographic research.  But, ultimately, the goal of the program is preserve, share and document the Navajo Culture.


For more information, contact Dr. Miranda Haskie at mhaskie@dinecollege.edu.