Voices to Hear (V2H) is a project that uses oral tradition of storytelling to empower Native American students (middle school, high school and college) to engage in environmental decision-making and scientific communication, while building a stronger sense of their ethnic identity. We believe that by asking students to reflect on environmental decision-making processes in their communities they, and we, will advance the practice of merging two different knowledge systems (Eurocentric- mainstream/dominant science perspective, and Indigenous – traditional knowledge) to resolve environmental problems, and enable sustainable decisions in their everyday lives.
Through the development and sharing of stories about the environment via podcasts, local radio stations and community events, V2H will facilitate understanding of how indigenous communities in Northern Idaho merge different knowledge systems to make decisions about environmental problems faced by their communities. While podcasts resonates strongly with the oral storytelling traditions of native American youth, they also provide a mechanism for conducting scientific inquiry. The production of a three- or five-minute high- quality audio documentary/podcast is a multilayered, labor-intensive process that emphasizes scientific inquiry, patience, and perseverance, ultimately requiring observation, data collection, analysis, and building a summary or conclusion.