We Are the Land, We Are the Sea: Stories of Subsistence from Chenega
Working with an Alaska Native Corporation, a non-profit 501(c)3, and an independent author, I interviewed several members of a community based in Prince William Sound to produce a collection of oral histories. The stories reflected the subsistence practices and traditions of the community. These stories demonstrated the traditions passed down from generation to generation, as well as the negative effects of the 1964 earthquake and tsunami and the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill on their subsistence traditions. Recipes utilizing locally sourced ingredients were included in the final book.
Oral histories allow communities to document their traditions from elders and other members before those memories are forgotten. Oral history methods also allow people to express themselves in an informal manner, making history that much more engaging to those within and beyond the community.
Chenega Heritage Inc. 2007. Collection of oral histories. Co-author, co-editor, collector and photographer.