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American Indian Digital Storytelling


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Keywords: Indian, Storytelling, Mobile Digital Camera Lab, Lumbee, Native American, American Indian, Local history, Social Studies, multimedia presentation, culture
Subject(s): Social Studies, History
Grades 9 through 12
School: Lumberton Senior High School, Lumberton, NC
Planned By: Shannon Brayboy
Original Author: Shannon Brayboy, Lumberton
Robeson County is the home of the Lumbee tribe, the largest American Indian tribe east of the Mississippi River. As an American Indian Studies teacher, I would use the mobile digital camera lab and laptops to guide my students in the process of "digital storytelling" about the culture and heritage of the Native people in our community.

Students would select a topic of interest, in which they are able to photograph significant sites related to the topic. Example topics include: tobacco farming, lumber industry, Pow Wows, the story of local Indian hero Henry Berry Lowrie, quilt making, the Lumber (Lumbee) River, flute playing, Lumbee Indian war veterans, Indian cemeteries, Lumbee role models/heroes, Indian churches, the Croatan Indian Normal School, Native medicinal remedies, the Lumbee tribal government, Native superstitions, the Lumbee dialect, etc.

After reading "The Only Land I Know: A History of the Lumbee People" by Adolph Dial & David Eliades, students will select a topic of research regarding Lumbee history, heritage, and culture. Students will select key local sites relevant to their topic, schedule visits, and take photographs of these historic places. Students my also conduct interviews with people related to the topics.

After completion of the research (media, interviews, field research), students are to produce a "digital story" by creating a multimedia presentation using software and a laptop, using photographs, historic information, music and interview quotes and excerpts.

These stories could be shared with the Indian Education Resource Center, the UNCP Native American Resource Center, or with other departments within the school (ex. tobacco farming with the Agriculture Department; Native remedies with the Allied Health Department; Native artists with the Visual Arts Department).

These stories would allow the heritage of the Lumbee people to be passed along to future generations of Lumbee children, as well as being shared with non-Natives who are a valuable part of the history and culture of the Lumbee.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Final projects could be shared with other curriculum areas such as Agriculture, English (literature), Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Allied Health, Food & Nutrition; JROTC;
Follow-Up
Students could present their projects to other classes or elementary level students.
Links: http://www.lumbeetribe.com/
Materials: Batteries, Flash/USB Drives, Camera Bags, Digital Voice Recorders, Mobile Labs, Slideshow
Other Items: 10 XPSTM M1330 Dell Notebook, $1500.00 each, total of $15000.00