A generous grant from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, which we received at the end of 2010, is allowing us to start a new, vital project! We are embarking on an effort to support the documentation and revitalization of indigenous oral literatures, which reveal the intimate connection between people and nature. By assisting indigenous communities in recording and preserving their oral traditions, we will support language maintenance efforts, and help ensure that these invaluable repositories of humanity’s diverse worldviews, values, beliefs, and knowledge will be transmitted to and appreciated by the younger generations. A well documented body of oral literature that is relevant to people’s relationship with place can also be an asset in support of efforts to affirm indigenous peoples’ ownership of and stewardship over their lands.
We are thrilled to undertake this new project. Right now we’re busy exploring opportunities to start small pilot projects in places as diverse as British Columbia, the Pacific, the Russian Far East, and more! We’ll keep you posted as any one of these opportunities comes to fruition.
We are also formulating plans to establish a special fund in support of the documentation of oral literatures. We’ll update you on these plans in due time. Meanwhile, we encourage you to make donations earmarked for the “Indigenous Oral Literatures” project on our Donate Now page.