Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Hi folks!

In case you don’t remember, I am a librarian (now retired) living rurally in southwestern Ontario, Canada approximately half way between Toronto and Detroit. I am a fervent believer that the job of pubic libraries is to help communities improve themselves.

I am sending this email to colleagues and friends who may be able to assist my colleague/friend, Brendan Howley, in an initiative in which he and his son will travel down the west coast (roughly) from the Bering Strait to Tierra del Fuego. He would like to meet people in communities, especially indigenous communities, along his journey to learn their stories/myths of the natural world, to record their music about such things, and to track dying languages for posterity.

If this interest you, I am hoping that you will contact Brendan directly (brendan.howley@gmail.com) and/or that you will share this email with others whom you know who may be interested.

I won’t talk about Brendan because he will do better himself in the attached description of his project.

Brendan states that the core process is one already proven by BC poet Wendy Morton in her groundbreaking http://www.theelderproject.com/home.html—to share literary skills with indigenous children to induce them to create poetry about their elders: to bubble up the lost voices of the indigenous past, especially regarding the natural world so damaged by global climate disruption.

Brendan and his son Nikolai, a gifted musician/coder-technologist/videographer, are going to travel along the west coast of the Americas from the Bering Strait to Tierra del Fuego—from Alaska to Antarctica, meeting through local libraries subject matter experts, local elders and especially young students.

While the trek focuses on the Pacific Coast indigenous storytelling, the six month itinerary includes stints eastward to the Four Corners of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, and across the Mississippi, along the Seminole/Choctaw ‘trail of tears.’

Nikolai and Brendan, a former CBC investigative journalist-turned social media strategist, will be involved in at least six simultaneous projects during their journey, almost all of which will use local libraries and telecentres as hubs for interviews/recordings/filmings of local subject matter experts and indigenous elders, storytellers and musicians.

That’s where YOU come in.

If you are in their path and/or if you know somebody in a community that is on their path—maybe you can help.

Brendan is looking for librarians for sure, but also other community activists who play roles similar to libraries. The project has already won sponsorship from Mercedes-Benz, with CIBC, ThomsonReuters and Canadian Tire in queue.

If you might be willing to help, please contact Brendan directly at +1.226.880.1449 or brendan.howley@gmail.com or @brendanhowley.

Thanks for reading this,

Sam I am

Brendan Howley proposal

Brendan Howley concept