Wordcraft has been committed to supporting our Native and Indigenous communities through workshops, mentorship, and ongoing support for work and words.
For the past several years, Wordcraft has been researching and focusing efforts on closing the literacy gap among Native American youth. Our idea has been to establish a new model of literacy that focuses on synthesizing Indigenous and Western knowledge and leads to stronger student accomplishments in reading, writing, and communicating. Rather than punishing students who have trouble with reading and writing, we are looking to draw upon our traditional values in order to draw upon the strengths of Native knowledge and Native communities in addressing these significant issues for Native students.
To this end, the Native Youth Literacy Project will look to develop a new system of literacy with a new approach to assessing individual capacity and competence, one that draws upon traditional Indigenous values and contextual relations in order to promote reading and writing, while at the same time, strengthening traditional systems of knowledge transference and honoring different concepts of literacy, including in the areas of language retention and communication.
We hope to complete the first phase of this work by the end of 2015 and will continue to post updates on this website. If you have interest in discussing this work, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Wordcraft Circle is looking to provide a permanent home for the incredible stories of our Indigenous communities.
Too often, we have stories which have been recorded but now collect dust beneath the bed or shelved in archives where no one has access. Our stories are too important to be left to these fates. These stories must be heard in order to live!
The Electric Tellings Project will ensure that the stories continue and always have a location for current and future generations to listen and learn from the knowledge of our elders, our ancestors and ourselves.
Our goal is to collect as many stories as we are able in order to create an online repository and digital radio station which will broadcast these stories 24/7.
For thousands of years Indigenous people have shared their knowledge, traditions, and values through the use of story. Sacred stories, heroic stories, historical and narrative stories, all formed the basis of how the People were supposed to exist in ways that promoted sustainability and longevity. As Western values and knowledge structures were introduced, it was the stories that held the People together during the missionary and boarding school eras.
Yet, Western education systems find no value in models that do not serve to reinforce the dominant hegemony. Therefore storytelling is often disregarded in favor of a mastery over reading and writing.
The Story Keepers project seeks to draw upon the traditional Indigenous ways of being and knowing as a way of providing a cultural grounding and reframing for literacy efforts in Native and Indigenous communities. By utilizing the name of Story Keeper, we are highlighting the important role that each of the participants will have in keeping and maintaining the stories of their People.
The goals for the project are as follows:
To empower Native and Indigenous youth and communities through deep cultural and traditional connections to become guides and guardians of their communities' traditional values and ways of being as communicated through traditional and contemporary stories
To support the development of strong communication skills based on Indigenous traditions of storytelling and oratory
To develop a new metric for determining literacy from a Pueblo Indigenous perspective
To promote intellectual curiosity and Indigenous imagination through the use of traditional Indigenous learning methodologies
If you are interested in assisting with the Story Keepers project or wish to host the project at your school or community, please use the link below.
Over the next year, Wordcraft will be offering a number of genre-based digital workshops to help support writers interested in developing their craft and advancing their career aspirations. Workshops will be both individual and series-based and will have a supporting cost. Scholarships and fiscal support for workshops will be available.
Use the link below to add your email to our workshop listing when they become available later in the year.