If you thought the last excellent heritage project posted on this blog was great then I’m sure this one sounds just as amazing.
In 2013 the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs approached the University of Oregon Libraries for assistance in preserving and improving access to its tribal sound recordings. These recordings are important for the Tribe’s cultural history, governance, language instruction and genealogy.
The Warm Springs Tribe and the UO created a plan with two objectives:
- raising public awareness that significant cultural material was at high risk of being lost.
- supporting a centralized collection of Warm Springs recordings in a place where tribal members could feel confident that the best cultural and professional practices are being followed.
Using a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission, the U of O purchased equipment and supplies, installed the equipment and then provided audio preservation training.
The Warm Springs and the U of O jointly created policies and procedures that allow the Warm Springs to control of both the process and the outcomes. These policies make certain that sacred or seasonal songs are listened to only in culturally appropriate situations.
This effort enabled 44 hours of the most endangered recordings of profound cultural significance for the tribe to be preserved and indexed. The recording content includes tribal council meetings conducted in three languages, legends, oral histories and songs.
Because of its exceptional attention to cultural heritage and professional practices won a 2014 Heritage Excellence Award.
Heard of another project that ingeniously protects Oregon’s history? Nominate it for a 2015 Heritage Excellence Award!