PAPER SESSION 5 - THURSDAY 26/8, 9–11pm (UTC +8)
P5.2 – Oral History and/as Resistance
Samuel Herley & Tawa Ducheneaux (USA) Harmony and Disharmony: the Struggle for Freedom, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination among Native American Voices of Wounded Knee
In the winter and spring of 1973, elements of the American Indian Movement (AIM) converged along the historic grounds of Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in an effort to reclaim sovereignty for Native American peoples. The act sparked varied reactions, including a backlash from the Pine Ridge’s Oglala Lakota tribal government, who in turn also claimed sovereignty on behalf of Native Americans. The episode was a prime example of how harmony and disharmony often have co-existed among Native American groups who have fought with and against each other while also within the United States for common goals: freedom and sovereignty. AIM and its allies saw the tribal government as a branch of a federal colonial power. The tribal government saw AIM as a lawless invader bent on violating legitimate tribal autonomy. Through a series of oral history recordings, transcript excerpts, and photographs, this presentation demonstrates the impassioned struggle to restore and defend the rights of Native American individuals and their communities. The lessons of the Wounded Knee Incident are as crucial as ever in the twenty-first century, as Native American communities persist in their endeavor to maintain identities, demand rights as sovereign nations, and strive toward self-determination. The presentation will conclude with some words about the Doris Duke Foundation Native Oral History Revitalization Project and the ongoing efforts to improve preservation and access of the voices of Wounded Knee and other Native American oral histories.
Sam Herley, Ph.D., is the curator of the South Dakota Oral History Center at the University of South Dakota. With more than 6,000 interviews and recordings (nearly half of them related to Native American studies), the SDOHC is one of the largest oral history archives in the United States.
Tawa Ducheneaux is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was raised near Verdigris, Oklahoma. After moving to Pine Ridge in 2003 to raise her family, much of her work over the last 18 years at Oglala Lakota College has been in the archives and emphasizing understandings about indigenous collections management and community involvement in the preservation and access of knowledge. During her appointment as an archivist at Oglala Lakota College’s Woksape Tipi Archives and Tribal Repository, she completed an MLIS in Management, Digitization, & Preservation of Cultural Heritage & Records from San Jose State University.
Keywords: 1973; Lakota; Native American; sovereignty; Wounded Knee
Uldis Neiburgs (Latvia) Resistance Movement in Latvia during World War II: between Oral History, Social Memory, and Academic Research
During World War II while the territory of Latvia was in the hands of one occupiers –Nazi Germany – with the threat of yet another USSR occupation looming, the Latvian people’s aspirations for self-determination and desire for the recovery of their national independence were represented by the national resistance movement.
In the context of Soviet totalitarianism, for decades, objective research on this subject in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States was not possible, just as it was not possible to include it in the research discourse of the West nor in the shaping of public opinion about this time. As a result, the Latvian public's awareness of the national resistance movement during the occupation of Soviet and Nazi Germany has experienced repeated shifts, the nature of which has depended on the existing political equipment, but the details of the ideology and propaganda, education, science, culture and memory policies of the relevant period, and individual information provided by mass media and activities of individual social groups.
Based on the archival sources and oral history testimonies, demonstrating contradictions and seeking solutions between the discoveries of history science and the general understandings of social memory in nowadays, the paper will explore the activities of democratic underground organization – the Latvian Central Council and General Kurelis military group, who tried to achieve their political goal – the restoration of Latvia’s national sovereignty – in an opportune moment between the retreat of the German Army and the invasion of the USSR troops into the territory of Latvia.
*Dr. hist.* Uldis Neiburgs, researcher at the Institute of Latvian History, University of Latvia; PhD in history – 2012, University of Latvia; author of 2 monographs and 2 popular-scientific books, editor of 4 volumes of essays, author of 80 scientific publications and reviews; research interests: history of World War II, resistance and collaboration, oral history, social memory.
Keywords: academic research; Latvia; Nazi German occupation; oral history; resistance movement
Viviane A. Blatter (Switzerland) ‘…and this is why I’m fighting for inclusion’: Using One’s (Hi)story to Make a Case for Structural Change and Inclusion in Narrative Interviews
Spontaneous narration is particularly realistic in reconstructing past lived experiences, making narrative interviews an excellent tool for extracting people’s life stories. Hence, we are using this methodology to elicit the experiences of people who were socialized in Swiss schools and institutions for children with physical disabilities in the second half of the 20th century.
In the narrative interviews, a pattern has emerged that goes beyond narration: After recounting particularly memorable anecdotes, interviewees - without being prompted to do so - interrupt their personal narrative to make their anecdote a case for structural change in the education system, particularly by talking about the need for more inclusive schools or a more intellectually demanding school curriculum. While the content and sternness of the suggestions differ between instances, the pattern is observable throughout different age and disability cohorts.
The topic of schooling for children and youth with disabilities is a highly politicized one: the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in effect in Switzerland since 2014, states that “State Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels”, which has not yet been achieved in Switzerland. Debates about inclusive schooling are ongoing in the media and politics.
In my paper I look at how affected persons connect their life experiences to take a political stand for more inclusion, linking the past to the present and incorporating demands for structural change into a retelling of their history.
Keywords: disability; inclusion; narrative; politics