Introducing SOHA Graduate Student Representative, Teagan Dreyer

The members of this organization are among those that seek to give a voice to those that experienced history just by living their lives . . .

-Teagan Dreyer
Teagan Dreyer and Farina King in Monument Valley, Navajo Nation (May 2019)

My name is Teagan Dreyer, a graduate student at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and my involvement with SOHA was completely by chance. At NSU I took a class taught by Dr. Farina King and one of the texts for this course was her book Earth Memory Compass. This text looked at the boarding school experiences of Navajo Peoples, and included a lot of oral history, focusing on the individuals that went through a journey that was complex and not as simple as had been presented to me in the past. Being from Oklahoma, a Native American, and my father having worked at a boarding school that still serves Native American students, I connected with Dr. King’s research. She allowed me to accompany her on an excursion to the Navajo Reservation and gave me the opportunity to meet community members who had personal ties to more research and oral history she continued to do. Seeing my interest she introduced me to SOHA, and from her encouragement I was voted the Student Representative and was able to be put on a panel in the upcoming conference with her talking about this experience, along with how it inspired me in the direction of my thesis.

Continue reading “Introducing SOHA Graduate Student Representative, Teagan Dreyer”

The Lawrence de Graff Center for Oral and Public History Biennial Report

We appreciate the #SOHA2018 conference feature in @cophfullerton‘s biennual report. We enjoyed working with you and your incredible team! You can enjoy the entire publication on their site:

An Interview with SOHA President Jennifer Keil


Image above: Jennifer Keil and Cindy Keil at SOHA at OHA 2019

  1. Jennifer Keil, how did you become involved in SOHA?

I presented at the 2013 Oral History Association meeting in Oklahoma City organized by Cora Granata at the Center for Oral and Public History with a panel of graduate students chaired by Alessandro Portelli. Karen Harper, SOHA Past-President, invited our panel to present at Tempe, Arizona the following spring. During these years, I realized my passion for the spoken work and preservation techniques to make it accessible to communities online. As a graduate student, I instituted a community oral history project at the Balboa Island Museum with Cindy Keil, SOHA California Delegate. We founded 70 Degrees in order to facilitate historical consulting and conduct oral history interviews. We led a workshop at the 2017 Tempe SOHA conference.

Continue reading “An Interview with SOHA President Jennifer Keil”

SOHA 2020 Spotlight: Mary Gordon

Purple Starry Spotlight Talent Show Facebook Post

Mary Gordon has been interviewing interesting people since a National Park Service anthropologist, Phil Holmes,  suggested she interview Charlie Cooke, who some considered a hereditary Chumash chief.  Phil referred to that work as oral tradition. In the same time frame, she interviewed many people on her cable TV show and as part of her responsibilities for a major  corporation.  Looking back, she wondered , Was this oral history?  Well, aspects were.  One day, Linda Valois, then managing  archives for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, suggested she attend a SOHA conference.  She did, found it welcoming and certainly worthwhile.  One of her first reactions was, Am I an oral historian? She enjoyed meeting  SOHA members, listening to their presentations, and talking with them at lunch and dinners out.  Well, she said to herself, Maybe I am an oral historian.  With her published biography about Charlie Cooke and all the lessons learned from that project, she began giving presentations herself.  The first was a dramatization from Charlie’s story working with Julie Little Thunder.  That punctuated the fact for her that not all historians are the same, that we all have much to learn from each other, and that she could fit in. Next she wrote a family business history and started giving workshops based on that experience from venues as diverse as an NPS amphitheater, to bookstores, to community center classroom settings.

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SOHA Spotlight: Ryan Morini, SOHA 2020 Conference Co-Chair

Ryan Morini, SOHA 2020 Conference Co-Chair, describes his involvement with SOHA and oral history:

I was drawn to oral history before knowing much about it formally; shortly after I started grad school at the University of Florida, I started learning about Black history in Gainesville from people in the historic 5th Avenue/Pleasant Street neighborhood. When Paul Ortiz arrived at the University of Florida (UF) and became director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP), I continued my work more formally through SPOHP’s African American History Project. Around the same time, I started my dissertation research with Western Shoshone communities in Nevada, and it was again impossible to know meaningful histories or really work with communities without listening directly both to people’s firsthand experiences and the oral traditions passed down through families.

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Preserving Oral History

American Library Association’s Preservation Week theme is “Preserving Oral History”, and participating libraries will celebrate by offering special programs and services to connect library users with preservation tools, promote the importance of preservation and strive to enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the general public. Institutions around the world will be using the hashtag #preswk to talk about their preservation programs and services. In addition, Preservation Week will be celebrating 10 years of promoting preservation and conservation in libraries, institutions and communities.                      

Preservation Week is supported by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association.         

Visit for more information.
#preservationweek #oralhistory #ALA

Spotlight: Midge Dellinger, SOHA member since 2017

Midge Dellinger became a SOHA member in 2017, during her first year as a graduate student.  She received her Master of Arts degree in American Studies with an emphasis in Native American Studies from Northeastern State University, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in May of 2019.  From 2017 to 2019, Midge served on the SOHA Board of Directors as the Student Representative.  It was also in 2017 that she received the SOHA Eva Tuelene Watt Award.

Midge Dellinger presents at SOHA 2017 in Tempe, Arizona

Here is a message from Midge:

Hello everyone, this is Midge Dellinger from Tulsa, Oklahoma!  Well, since the last time I saw many of you in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the annual Oral History Association conference, I have experienced great change in my life.  As many of you know, it has been my goal and ambition since becoming introduced to the Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA), in 2017, to engage Muscogee peoples with the practice of oral history.  Today, I am very proud to tell all of you that beginning on January 6, 2020, I became the Oral Historian for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.  It is a great honor to be given the responsibility of revitalizing oral history in the Muscogee Nation and creating what I hope will be a very successful oral history program for my fellow Muscogee citizens.  I have been busy re-organizing our current online oral history archive, ordering new recording equipment, writing a procedure manual, and preparing for a project on traditional Muscogee foodways.

Continue reading “Spotlight: Midge Dellinger, SOHA member since 2017”

OHA Archives Interest Group

Dear OHA-AIG Members:
Hello, Everyone. We hope that you are all doing well and staying safe during this very difficult time around the world.

In an effort to stay connected, we are hosting a special OHA-AIG Conference Call is this Friday, April 24, 2020 from 2-3 PM EST. Our intention for this special discussion is to facilitate a time and space for us to connect and discuss our relative situations at this unprecedented time. This additional session will also give us a chance to think about and continue to share questions and information related to remote interviewing, which has become a central conversation in this time of social distancing.

The Zoom information for the meeting is listed below. Please Note: To increase security measures for our group discussion, there is now a password to join the meeting.

Topic:  OHA-AIG April 2020 Meeting
Time:  Apr 24, 2020 01:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Zoom Link:
Password: 028561

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16468769923,98254188891# or +13126266799,98254188891#

Or Telephone:
+1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)
+1 312 626 6799 (US Toll)
+1 301 715 8592 (US Toll)
+1 346 248 7799 (US Toll)
+1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)
+1 253 215 8782 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 982 5418 8891
International numbers available:
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to connecting with you!
All the Best,
Heidi and Tina
OHA-AIG Co-Chairs

Heidi Abbey Moyer, M.A., M.L.S.

Archivist and Humanities Reference Librarian

Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections

Penn State Harrisburg Library, 351 Olmsted Drive

Middletown, Pennsylvania 17057-4850 USA

Cell 860.614.2995|

About Me | Archives Blogs | Facebook | Orcid ID  —
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“Protect Our Elders”

Jo Overton is a Mormon Feminist Sicangu Lakota who is leading an effort to get supplies directly to on-the-ground health care workers at Navajo, which has been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. She is sourcing PPE, sanitizer, and other needed medical supplies.
We invite folks to:
1.) consider a modest donation;
2.) share the Go Fund Me “Protect Native Elders” and site links with your networks or on your platforms;
3.) interview Jo Overton for your podcast or other efforts
Overton is a wonderful interviewee, with an amazing legacy of women activists in her family. She has written for Femwoc (Feminist Mormon Women of Color). She wrote the Foreword for Lakota lawyer and legal advocate Viola A. Burnette’s autobiography Confessions of an Iyeska (2018). She is also featured in Peggy Fletcher Stack’s 2015 article “Message from Mormon Blogger to Scouts: Drop the Native American Symbols.”
In Native culture, elders are the keepers of all the wisdom and knowledge of our people. Without them, we lose some of the very things that make us who we are.
COVID-19 is rapidly spreading through the Native American people and they have very few resources to fight the spread. This could decimate an entire culture and generation of Native Elders.
Native Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in across America.
Among the 51% of deaths for which data on race and ethnicity are known, Native Americans make up 15% of deaths.
As of April 17th, the Navajo Nation alone had 1127 cases and 44 deaths. These numbers are accelerating.
Lack of running water and infrastructure makes the situation even more difficult.
Please help us preserve the native elders, native wisdom and support us in providing PPE essentials and supplies to these communities!
“Protect Our Elders” are committed to 100% transparency for all funding. You can find more details on