- The Indigenous Oral History Manual: Canada and the United States (2023)Ramsey County Library - Shoreview, Shoreview, MN
For the past several years, Barbara Sommer has worked on the Indigenous Oral History Manual: Canada and the United States, with authors Winona Wheeler, Charles E. Trimble (posthumous), and Mary Kay Quinlan. The book focuses on the role of Indigenous voices in Indigenous history. As Māori oral historian Nepia Mahuika wrote in 2019, “I argue that indigenous oral histories and traditions cannot be adequately defined by nonindigenous people.” This is a straightforward statement, but it also can be seen as radical. In this book, written as a manual, they discuss support for this work and profile several Indigenous organizations that are active in doing it. In the presentation, she’ll discuss the major points of the book and present information about the profiled projects.
Barbara W. Sommer, M.A., has over forty years of experience in the public history and oral history fields. She is the author and co-author of several publications including The Oral History Manual (4th edition due out in 2024), the Indigenous Oral History Manual: Canada and the United States (2nd edition of The American Indian Oral History Manual, 2023), the Community Oral History Toolkit (2013), Practicing Oral History in Historical Organizations (2015), and Doing Veterans Oral History (2015). She also is the author of the award-winning book Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota (2008, re-issued in 2022), a history of this Depression-era program based on oral and written sources. She holds degrees from Carleton College and the University of Minnesota.