Saturday, May 23

Oral History Workshop

Somehow 3 weeks have passed since I attended an Oral History Workshop at the Gabriel Dumont Institute in Saskatoon. Does this indicate how quickly time passes, that I was absorbed in other things or I procrastinated? It is in fact a statement of the times we live in. Maybe too busy but actually I felt I needed time to think, to let it simmer, to stew about it. Then I thought will future generations even know what those phrases mean?
 It is in fact easy to go to the net and find information on topics, mechanics, release forms and procedures on conducting oral history interviews so obviously that is not why I went. I enjoy meeting people, hearing their experience with trying to conduct oral history and sharing ideas. Of course many workshops can happen online, but I guess I am old school I like to see people in person, the interaction with each other and the shared environment. (note to self – I must get back to the Gabriel Dumont Institute it was amazing and the people there wonderfully open and helpful)

 We live in a world of immediacy. We have instant access to all kinds of information too often speculation or rumour, but it doesn't seem to bother us. I worry often that something is slipping away.
Oral history has been around since humankind first began to communicate with each other, to pass on knowledge. There was a period when it appeared to be dying out. For some, especially First Nations it was the attempted destruction of their culture by others. Fortunately a concerted effort is being made to save and pass on what still exists. 

For other people it may have simply been changing times. I met a man from Cape Breton who said when he was young the old folks told stories over and over, but that has passed. We live on our computers / i phones / and tablets chained to facebook or what ever other social media you prefer.

For the people who remember these stories it's time to record them. Thanks to technology there are a number of very reasonably priced and simple to use recording devices. The Museum Association of Saskatchewan has a very compact kit that they can loan out to member museums. So don't wait for someone else, you can do it yourself while your parents or grandparents or neighbours are still alive.

Sunday, May 17

Visit your local museum

It's time to start thinking of day trips to your local museums. Following are dates and times open for the museums in the Qu'Appelle Valley Network. There are also dates given for special events.