Monday, October 12, 2009
Kickapoo Oral Histories
I see that fellow Kickapoogian Josh has checked out this blog. Josh and Kelle are working on an oral history project based in Crawford County, Wisconsin. They are interviewing "back-to-landers", who came to the Kickapoo Valley in the 1970's. (Still referred to as "Hippies" by some locals.) For more information on that project, go to firstname.lastname@example.org. I have been involved with an oral history project that was run through my Local History class at La Farge High School back in 2000-01. It focused on interviews with people involved with the La Farge Dam Project and eventually led to the book, "The People Remember" published by the Friends of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Another great oral history was done in 1978-79 as part of the Kickapoo Valley Project. Over 150 people were interviewed Valley wide and part of their stories ended up in the "Kickapoo Pearls", a book on Kickapoo history, which was recently republished by the KVR Friends. Those interviews from that 1970's era project are being digitally reworked by the Wisconsin State Historical Society at this time. This past summer, Chuck Hatfield and I led a group of Wisconsin teachers in a class based at the Reserve called "Making It Home on the Kickapoo". That class, sponsored by the Wisconsin Humanities Council, focused on using oral histories in the classrooms in a variety of ways. That class will be repeated next summer, so we have quite a bit of activity here in the Kickapoo on telling our stories and getting them saved.