Neah Bay: Telling Our Stories

Using oral histories, digital storytelling, and photography, UW students will learn about the rich history and culture of the Makah people while mentoring 5th grade students in the creation of a digital storytelling that celebrates their Native culture and identifies pathways to meaningful careers in their own community.

The result is an exciting new project that will focus on encouraging Neah Bay students to envision their futures. The goal will be to not only have Native students see themselves pursuing higher education, but learning as early as fifth grade, of career paths that could ensure their being able to live and thrive in Neah Bay after graduation.

What is your favorite memory in Neah Bay?

“I loved getting to know each of the kids personally and learning where they come from.” (Natalie)

“While building sandcastles, one of my students dug a hole deep enough for it to be filled with water. When I asked her about it, she explained how it is part of her culture and how they used to use it for cooking clamshells, but she was making it so other kids could use the water for their sandcastles and for washing their hands. It was one learning moment in the morning of fun.” (Grecia)

Why is this work important to you?

“I love working with children, and I just want them to know that there is an adult out there who’s rooting for them, who believes in them, and wants the best for them.” (Amy)

“It allows me to learn more about a demographic that I don’t know much about, using some of the skills I have to do something positive for the community, challenging myself and learning as I go.” (Grecia)