I learned about public narrative (story of self, us, and now) from Marshall Ganz in graduate school. One lesson on public narrative, we watched and analyzed several videos of public speeches to get a feel of what one would sound like. Later as an assignment we had to practice and make one of our own. We had to write our stories, record it, and practice delivery. Today, I too have my student practice this similar lesson. Good skills to have. Some of the videos we watched were; Obama’s 2004 DNC speech, MLK’s I Have a Dream speech, J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement speech and Bono’s 2006 National Breakfast speech to name a few.
While I was in Ganz’s class, I would think about our Indigenous public narratives and stories. My mind would swirl of our creation stories, our stories of hope, inspiration, and motivation. I knew they were all connected and after spending some time organizing the Native Vote in 2011 I had to find Indigenous public examples to try and show tribal community members I was working with Indigenous examples of public narrative. I heard these and loved them. Now I use them all the time. I’m always on the hunt for more amazing public narratives, so when you hear one let me know. I’d like to highlight.
Denise Juneau via Trahant Reports (Mandan Hidatsa)
Peggy Flanagan via C-SPAN (White Earth Nation Ojibwe)
Peggy Flanagan – Swearing In Ceremony (MN House) (start at 4:38)