OHA Annual Meeting: Spotlight on Plenary Session Cross-Cultural Studies
Plenary Session Cross-Cultural Studies
THURSDAY PLENARY, October 10 – 3:15-4:45PM
“Maori tribal justice, Cherokee language preservation, and Athabascan culture in the schools: three cross-cultural studies in oral history”
Moderator: William Schneider, Professor Emeritus, University of Alaska Fairbanks
In this session, three speakers representing three different cultural traditions share with us how they use oral history to document, interpret, and preserve the meanings that nourish and sustain their communities.
Deputy Chief Judge Caren Fox is a judge for the Maori Land Court in New Zealand and an expert on international human rights. Judge Fox will show how oral history is introduced during the formal hearing process and how it is considered with other evidence in adjudicating Maori Land Claims and facilitating cross-cultural understanding. In recognition of her work, Judge Fox was awarded the New Zealand Human Rights Commission 2000 Millennium Medal. She is currently the presiding officer for the Central North Island stage 2 claims and the Porirua ki Manawatu claims.
Annette Freiburger is completing her Masters degree in Northern Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The topic of her thesis is the life history of her mother, Effie Kokrine, an Athabascan Indian woman who worked tirelessly, particularly in her last years, to bring Native history and culture to the schools in Interior Alaska. In her presentation, Annette Freiburger will describe her mother’s work and will play short video clips from her research to illustrate her mother’s style of teaching and the response of the students. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Annette is the Nenana Center Coordinator for the Interior-Aleutians Campus and she also serves as co-chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Native Education.
Candessa Tehee is manager of the Cherokee Language Program for the Cherokee Nation. She is a doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma. Her topic for this session is communicating Cherokee culture, language, and lifeways through oral history narratives. She will draw examples from a creative project she directed designed to facilitate communication of culture, language, and lifeways between elders and students at the Cherokee Immersion Charter School and the Northeastern State University Cherokee Language Education Program. In this work, eleven students conducted a total of sixteen interviews entirely in the Cherokee language. The resulting collection is particularly valuable because it is in the Native language and there are few other recordings of Cherokee language in conversation.
William Schneider will introduce the speakers, provide brief remarks and moderate the discussion following the last speaker. William Schneider is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he ran the Oral History Program for many years. His primary research has been with members of the Native communities in Alaska.