Native Memory Project works to preserve local history, stories

(Fremont County, WY) – The Native Memory Project (NMP) is a nonprofit that documents and preserves the stories, histories, and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples, early settlers, and others with historical ties to the American West.

Locally, Darrah Good Voice Elk is the NMP project coordinator and is seeking those willing to preserve their stories on camera along with those willing to provide a voice to the written stories.

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“My goal and my job are to honor the story and the creation of it,” she shared.

The NMP was founded by Dr. Sharon Kahin over two decades ago, and since then a core group has created several videos for educational purposes. Their website is open to the public and has stories from both Tribal members and non-Tribal members that include teaching stories, creation stories, traditional lifeways as well as plants, animals and many others.

“I think a lot of this knowledge that is out there is going to become lost if it’s not documented,” Darrah explained. “They’re not always gonna be here and their lessons and their knowledge aren’t going to be here forever. So we need to capture it.”

For Darrah, this goes beyond capturing the stories on video – bringing the stories that were taken away back and preserving them is important for our people’s healing, she noted.

She also acknowledges the importance of “walking softly” and being mindful of what you can and can’t document.

“I never try to push anything or step over boundaries when it comes to things like that, and I’m always respectful because that is also a part of me.”

Those interested in being part of the NMP can contact Darrah by calling (307) 240-4257 or emailing [email protected]. She wants the community to know her intentions are good and that she can be trusted when talking to her.

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