The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Blaine County Museum Hosts Its First-Ever Intern


June 3, 2020

Brandon Long Fox, student intern at the Blaine County Museum, is working on cataloging and digitizing oral history tapes.

Blaine County Museum Director, Samantha French talked excitedly recently, about bringing summer assistants and student interns into the facility. In the spirit of fulfilling that goal, she wishes to introduce readers of the Blaine County Journal-News-Opinion to Brandon Long Fox-Blaine County Museum's first-ever student intern.

Expressing aspirations to advance with the Island Mountain Development Group, Long Fox reenrolled at Aaniiih Nakoda College (ANC), where he is currently a business administration and business tech student.

"I'm broadening my horizons, Dr. Miller," Long Fox said.

French collaborated with ANC, who made the internship possible with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) funding. Long Fox is paid from these funds.

At the museum, Long Fox is cataloging some oral history tapes, which he will later be digitizing.

"We're so excited about this project because many of these tapes have been in storage since the eighties, and they hold countless stories about early-day Blaine County settlement, industry, and education. We're on our way to making these stories so much more accessible," French said. "We're so grateful to have Brandon's help with this digitization project!"

In 1981, at the close of the school year, the eighth grade history class at-what was then-East Side Junior High School presented the museum with a set of tapes and transcripts of interviews they had made of several Chinook residents. The subject of the interviews was Early Education, and the project was under the guidance of Jim Magera. Eight of the twenty-four interviews came from people who had attended school in Blaine County.

Those interviewed spoke about teacher qualifications and expectations, building routines and school day rituals, subjects taught and types of punishment for misbehavior, and recess entertainment and modes of dress.

"I think I jumped into a pot of gold, here," Long Fox said. "These stories are really interesting, and some even talk about subjects unrelated to education-like bootlegging. I'm looking forward to getting them digitized so that people can listen to them. It's in the tone that the story really comes out since you can hear when a storyteller is excited or even depressed."

Designed by Terry Ball in consultation with Nez Perce elders LeRoy Seth and Silas Whitman, this Pendleton wool blanket features symbols and colors representing the Nez Perce as well as tribal leaders, landscapes, and battle sites from the War of 1877.

Using a comprehensive software suite called PastPerfect that was designed for museums, Long Fox described how something can be found with a simple key word search since the software cross-references everything.

"It's an application for collections archiving," Long Fox explained.

French also added details about how PastPerfect has transformed the way museums catalog collections and manage relationships with members and donors:

"PastPerfect is a management solution that enables the museum not only to automate cataloging, listing, and documenting but to streamline asset management.

It will be good for Brandon to have that ability to operate PastPerfect on his résumé."

Blaine County Commissioner Dolores Plumage thanked French for being open to all kinds of possibilities for collaboration, such as internships through ANC.

"The Commissioners also welcome Brandon," Plumage added.


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