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Students of Winona State University and Diné College Preserve Life Stories of the Navajo

News & Events

May 28, 2013

Tsaile, AZ - The 2013 Navajo Oral History Project brings together five students from Diné College and fourteen students from Winona State University (WSU) to create documentaries of life stories from five Navajo elders. Miranda Haskie, Ed.D of Diné College will take part in leading the project and looks forward to another successful experience for this year’s participants.

“This is the fifth year of the project, a journalism partnership with our students collaborating with WSU journalism students” said Dr. Haskie. “They share knowledge with each other and produce documentaries.”

She commends the group for preserving these Navajo life histories for future generations of the Navajo Nation. The group will focus on Navajo artisans this year interviewing a painter, a rug weaver and a silversmith. They will interview, photograph, and video record the Navajo elders over an 18-day period in May and June.

As part of their assignments, the student teams will complete service projects for the Navajo elders and interview each elder several times. They will also interview friends and family members of the interviewees. Included in their project every year is a film about a Navajo Codetalker and a long-standing employee of Diné College.

Their final product of the collected material will be archived at the college libraries of Diné College and WSU, the Navajo Nation Museum and Library as well as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Participants in the project will premiere their final production of the documentary films at museum shows held at each institution. In the fall, there will be a reception event at WSU in Winona, Minnesota on Friday, September 13, 2013 and at Dine College, Tsaile Campus on Monday, September 16, 2013.

The Diné College summer journalism and research class is a collaborative project that included Dr. Tom Grier of WSU and Robbie Christiano, a WSU Graduate student teaching assistant.