Oral Histories

Exploring the Past as It Really Happened

Storyteller: Laguna Acoma High School student
Title: Native Americans in Wars
Run time: 00:06:10
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYQgPfrow2w

     This digital story is a history of – and a tribute to – his family members who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. At the same time, the personal reflection portion reveals the creator’s identification with his family. He sets up the piece with his personal reflection then shows the generations of elders that served.
     Application: This story is of historical relevance for the creator’s family, but also to other families who lived through similar situations. Also, the story acts as a beacon for self-reflection about cultural identity.

Storyteller: Ernesto Ayala
Title: Sacrificios (Sacrifices)
Run time: 00:03:26
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_8JaApyvS0

     This story reflects the social construct that existed between Mexican farm workers and wealthy Anglos from a third person perspective. The narrator, however, is affected by the protagonists’ plight because they are his grandparents and their diligence has helped mark his generation’s success.
     Application: The story has historical value for the family and community at large and is also a self-reflection for the creator.


Celebrating the Spirit of Your Important Work

Storyteller: Lummi CEDAR Project
Title: Organized Generations
Run time: 00:06:36
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCF-FDw92gc

     This story provides a vivid overview of the various programs that compose the Lummi CEDAR Project. Pictures are strategic in portraying the programs facilitated by this organization. The testimony provided by a youth member is particularly powerful in illustrating the impact the Lummi CEDAR Project has on the Lummi Reservation.
     Application: This story was created by members of the Lummi CEDAR Project as a recruitment tool for the Organized Generations Program. It can also serve as part of an evaluation report presented to funding organizations.

Storyteller: Llano Grande Center
Title: KLCC National Gathering- The Sound of Change
Run time: 00:08:39
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIehsaLU6Mo

     A team of five participants at a national KLCC gathering videotaped conference proceedings and in collaborative fashion produced this video. The purpose for this digital story is three fold: (1) it attempts to capture the images, voices, geographical nuances, and spirit of the national network, and (2) it does it in a distinctly participatory manner, where more than a dozen people participate in the decision making process of “putting the story together.” (3) The story also served as a way to reflect, evaluate, and bring closure to that particular experience.
     Application: This story is an example of how a conference can be “captured” and used for evaluative, reflective, and other learning purposes.


Addressing the Issues that Matter in the Community

Storyteller: Laguna Middle School (LMS) students
Title: LMS Problems
Run time: 00:04:23
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIc2mRifzc4

     Created by three Laguna-Acoma Middle School students, this digital story exposes a rash of very dangerous pranks that had recently occurred at their campus, using a fast-paced style with stark imagery and sound that exemplifies the fear and confusion they were feeling during that time. The students also use this piece to explore the emotional implications of these pranks – one of which sent a teacher to the hospital – on the student body, the community and themselves through a series of on-camera interviews.
     Application: This digital story is used to uncover a volatile community issue which has a direct personal effect on its creators.

Storyteller: Llano Grande Center
Title: Edcouch-Elsa Bond Election Video
Run time: 00:05:56
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fdwOwlL7r0

     Created by Edcouch-Elsa High School students, this digital story takes a non-political approach in clarifying the meaning of a bond for voters in a school district, as well as the financial implications associated with it. Using data collected through their own research, the digital story factually explains – with a series of graphs and definitions – the different ways the bond would affect the community. Interviews with students and teachers also help to explore the personal impact of the bond. The students’ activism helps demystify the process of a bond election, encouraging more people to vote.
     Application: This type of digital story can be used to clarify an idea to a community or other group, as is seen in this example.

Personal Stories

On Transformation and Reflection

Storyteller: Ginger Alferos
Title: The Other Half
Run time: 00:02:47
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePxt6t4ZPP0

     Storytelling requires courage to confront our most basic fears. In “The Other Half,” Ginger presents her transformation from a fear-plagued life by placing the audience in the cold and desolate emptiness of her prologue. With minimalist style she foreshadows her arctic experience with a chilling wind and a powerful voice. She closes by engaging our eyes with the imagery of an awakening following her embrace of change and confronting death.
     Application: This story has been a magnificent teaching tool because it strikes a chord in people. Its honesty helps people find the nerve to confront their story and find their voice.

Storyteller: Edyael Casaperalta
Title: Community College Prep
Run time: 00:07:30
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz-O8lA40VA

     Created by an Edcouch-Elsa High School graduate, this digital story provides self-reflection as well as reflection on the creator’s family. By breaking preconceived barriers, the sisters in this story are a source of inspiration for their community and have become a useful resource. Edyael’s reflection and realization of an individual’s role as a resource for college preparation in their community is powerful and insightful.
     Application: This digital story can be used as a resource for college preparation as well as a motivational tool in the community.

Storyteller: Chi Haut
Title: Breaking the Barrier
Run time: 00:04:28
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUTodtc3bS0

     This personal journey urgently begins with Chi’s family escaping Vietnam for opportunities in the United States. The imagery is fast and the message is urgent- they are trying to break through. The immigration back-story drives a life of challenging social and economic norms. With reflections and imagery of her college experience, she summarizes entering mainstream America and newfound privilege. She balances her desire to succeed by staying grounded in the community that saw her grow.
     Application: Inspirational for people vying for academic achievement and finding ways to stay connected to community. Excellent college prep material for a wide audience.

Storyteller: Steve Stapleton
Title: Core Values
Run time: 00:03:28
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDotqhCWaOo

     Steve Stapleton’s reflective digital story focuses on the values he considers most dear to him: love and balance. The narrative is concise, the voice is crisp, the music is appropriate, and the images align to all these essential elements. It is an example of how a storyteller can clarify his/her own set of core values and understand what really is important.
     Application: This digital story can be used to stimulate discussion on values, on cultural beliefs, and on how to engage in reflective exercises.

     Now that you have a clear idea of the story types you can pursue, are you ready to make your own digital story to get at some exploration for change? If so, go meet The Cast you will need, or click on the following links to learn about the roles and responsibilities required to create these types of digital stories: