Last updated: August 25. 2014 11:30AM - 868 Views

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PEMBROKE — Retired American Indian teachers aged 70 and older are invited to participate in a new oral history project of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Native American Resources Center titled “Telling Our Stories.”

The Resource Center, located in Old Main, has began a video project that seeks to capture the stories of retired American Indian teachers from Robeson County.

“We are also including those retired teachers who are originally from the local community but who taught in schools in adjacent counties or in other American Indian communities,” said Stan Knick, director of the center. “‘Telling Our Stories’ focuses on teachers telling what is to them their most important, or their favorite story of their teaching experience.”

The project is looking for stories that are three to five minutes long to capture as many stories as possible. “Telling Our Stories” will kick off with teachers who are 70 and older. When the older teachers have had their turn, invitations will be issued to retired teachers who are 69 years old or younger. Depending on how many teachers have been recorded by then, more than one volume of the series may be produced.

“As was shown in our 2002 video production, ‘Lumbee By Grace: Landmarks In Lumbee Identity,’ education is one of the signal beacons of Lumbee identity, history and culture,” Knick said. “The stories of Native educators are a vital part of the local American Indian community’s history. These same stories will also provide windows into local culture, attitudes and values. Capturing the stories of the eldest teachers first will allow the deepest possible look into that history and culture.”

Jo Ann Lowery, a retired educator, has agreed to collaborate with the Resource Center on the project. Knick will be responsible for videography, video editing and production.

There will be two main products of this work. The first will be a video, or videos, edited and produced for public viewing and distribution. The second will be a permanent archive of the entire unedited video collection on tape and in digital format that will become part of the Native American Resource Center’s permanent collection.

For information, call the Native American Resource Center at 910-521-6282.

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