Voices to Hear
The Voices to Hear (V2H) project uses the oral tradition of storytelling to empower Coeur d’Alene Tribal students (middle school, high school and college) to engage in environmental decision-making and scientific communication, while building a stronger sense of cultural identity. V2H students investigate environmental challenges in their communities by interviewing local experts, community members, and family. By combining two different knowledge systems (mainstream/dominant and Indigenous knowledge perspectives), students reflect on community environmental challenges (e.g. death of Tundra Swans, the impact of the Post Falls dam) and tell these stories through documentary style podcasts. While podcasts resonate strongly with the oral tradition of storytelling in Native American communities, they also provide a mechanism for conducting scientific inquiry. Through the development and sharing of stories about the environment via digital audio storytelling on local radio stations and at community events, V2H facilitates the understanding of how indigenous communities in Northern Idaho merge different knowledge systems to make decisions about environmental challenges faced by their communities.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, V2H programming shifted from an in-person, in the field format to a virtual one utilizing Zoom video conferencing software in its second year. This transition resulted in restructuring the program from six-weeks to a three-week virtual program that worked to engage students living in a rural setting with limited and intermittent access to high-speed internet. This presentation illustrates challenges faced due to these adjustments, and successes accomplished while continuing to meet the V2H program learning objectives and overall project goals.
NSF Awards: 1759407
Presented in: 2021 (see original presentation & discussion)