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Historical Society adds Ojibwe video archive footage to collection

The video archive at the Carlton County Historical Society (CCHS) had a recent growth spurt of 345 hours of important, local video footage.

Through work completed by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) and an arrangement with the original copyright holder, the Carlton County Historical Society received copies of written transcriptions as well as logged video footage used to create the acclaimed WDSE/PBS series "Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look In All Directions," originally produced in 2002. The project was funded through a $44,273 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society, with a matching amount of $6,200 split between FDLTCC and CCHS.

The project collection includes 132 interviews with Ojibwe tribal leaders, elders and language/cultural specialists, including 22 interviews in the Ojibwe language. The materials will be accessible to researchers, scholars, students, and the general public. Copies of the materials are available in both the Ruth A. Myers Library/Archives at the college and the Carlton County Historical Society.

The primary purpose of the grant project was to provide easier public access at the Ruth A. Myers Library/Archives to the video footage and interviews by cataloguing and transcribing the entire 345 hours of footage created for the Ojibwe history and culture series Waasa Inaabidaa.

The unique materials will benefit the college, culture and history researchers, and the general public.

"This collection, now properly processed for ease of access and content preservation, will provide a primary source of Ojibwe history and culture collection for the campus," said Nancy Broughton, library director at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. "The materials will be available to teachers, researchers and scholars, campus users, and the public. Specific needs met will include a wealth of information on Ojibwe culture, home communities, families, and especially language."

The project aligns perfectly with the mission of the college and the Ruth A. Myers Library/Archives.

Both the college and the library include in their missions the preservation and promotion Native culture, especially that of the Anishinaabe. This project will provide access to primary source materials - interviews, film, transcripts - created in and as a result of the production of the Waasaa Inaabidaa series.

The idea for the project started with a small group of individuals who worked on the grant concept and proposal about two years ago. Lorraine Norgaard, producer of "Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look in All Directions," and Anne Dugan, former director of the Carlton County Historical Society, met with FDLTCC president Larry Anderson and library director Nancy Broughton in early 2009 to begin discussions about how to do get the project funded and the work completed. The work was completed in June 2011.

The actual work to transcribe, catalog and copy was completed by an Ojibwe language specialist, a Waasaa Inaabidaa specialist, Minitex catalog librarian, a contract transcriptionist, and the Ruth A. Myers Library/Archives staff.