Presenter Information

Val Masters, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 239

Start Date

4-27-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 4:20 PM

Abtract

This presentation reports on my efforts to combine Native American tribal knowledge with digital resources and scientific research. The project began with a University of Michigan-based initiative to predict potential effects of climate change on Great Lakes Native tribes' water resources so the tribes could use this information to make management decisions. Then, using a digital platform called Esri Story Maps, I created two projects for school-age children to illustrate how Great Lakes wetlands function and their importance for both Native American traditions and ecosystem health. Finally, a project for an anthropology course in Fall 2017 provided a new opportunity for me to use Story Maps to engage with indigenous cultural resources, this time of the Unangax peoples of Alaska's Aleutian Islands. I used Story Maps to collate and present my research on a 19th-century Unangax pouch made of animal tissue that was collected by Smithsonian naturalists and is now part of Oberlin's Ethnographic Collection. I learned that by combining oral history with scientific and historical investigation, we can uncover rich object histories and ultimately share them with the people to whom they will matter most - their source communities.

Keywords:

material culture, indigenous knowledge, ethnography, technology

Notes

Session V, Panel 15 - Educational | Models
Moderator: Daphne John, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Associate Professor of Sociology and Comparative American Studies

Major

Geology

Advisor(s)

Dennis Hubbard, Geology

Project Mentor(s)

Amy Margaris, Anthropology

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Apr 27th, 3:00 PM Apr 27th, 4:20 PM

An Exploration of Native Alaskan Cultural Heritage through Technology, Ethnography, and Oral History

King Building 239

This presentation reports on my efforts to combine Native American tribal knowledge with digital resources and scientific research. The project began with a University of Michigan-based initiative to predict potential effects of climate change on Great Lakes Native tribes' water resources so the tribes could use this information to make management decisions. Then, using a digital platform called Esri Story Maps, I created two projects for school-age children to illustrate how Great Lakes wetlands function and their importance for both Native American traditions and ecosystem health. Finally, a project for an anthropology course in Fall 2017 provided a new opportunity for me to use Story Maps to engage with indigenous cultural resources, this time of the Unangax peoples of Alaska's Aleutian Islands. I used Story Maps to collate and present my research on a 19th-century Unangax pouch made of animal tissue that was collected by Smithsonian naturalists and is now part of Oberlin's Ethnographic Collection. I learned that by combining oral history with scientific and historical investigation, we can uncover rich object histories and ultimately share them with the people to whom they will matter most - their source communities.