It is our hope that we at indigistory are able to gather stories of native peoples and share them across the nation. It is through our efforts that we hope to preserve the stories of many in one place for all to enjoy.


“The truth about stories is, that’s all we are.” -Thomas King


The stories we tell, and how we tell them, are important. They are a form of material culture that shape how we perceive ourselves, our families, and our communities. Indigistory cares for self, community and place while storytelling blends with digital media.

This is a space for Native peoples to tell stories in a variety of media formats. The stories themselves are about life, reflection, culture, community, family, personal healing, dreams and visions for their futures. Indigistory engages community members in storytelling while simultaneously providing the resources and skills needed to document these stories. This project is about honoring, remembering AND listening—as much as it is about providing tools and support.

The videos are often not polished, the sound quality is not perfect, and their authenticity is what makes them so powerful. The stories are community-driven. They make us laugh and cry—sometimes a mixture of both. Raw, diverse and honest these stories convey powerful messages about Indigenous experiences and amplify the voices of Indigenous peoples.

Project History

Indigistory is a community driven process bringing together knowledge and resources from the social sciences, arts and technology disciplines. Digital storytelling empowers community members to share their perspectives with a variety of audiences. Awarded the 2017 Michigan State University Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Creative Activities, Indigistory is a collaborative partnership between the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, Michigan State University Native American Institute, the Michigan History Center, Michigan State University Hub for Innovation Learning and Technology, Michigan State University English Department and the Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters. This work was also made possible by generous funding from the Michigan Humanities Council and College of Arts and Letters. Indigistory began in 2012 from the work of Dr. Gordon Henry and Ellen Cushman. The project began with the purpose of providing American Indian youth and community members a digital platform, support and resources to produce digital stories about their families, tribal histories, cultures, languages, and lifestyles. After the first start up year, Dr. John Norder of the Native American Institute as well as and Michelle Schuelte of the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan joined as partners with Indigistory and partnerships have continued to grow.



With Native communities in Michigan, Indigistory facilitates digital storytelling workshops that encompass components of teaching, outreach and dissemination of knowledge. Participating in a workshop led by student interns and faculty will learn about the story building process, methods of storytelling, and be trained in technologies to develop these stories. This includes storyboarding, audio recording, video recording, and technical design strategies. Participants will edit video using WeVideo, an accessible online software for producing short films. By incorporating photos, videos, and audio medias Indigistory compiles a spectrum of experiences from many types of people.

During one workshop a woman came into the conference room with her elderly mother, arms filled with picture frames. The frames were different shapes, sizes, some colored and some black and white. It seemed she had gone through her home carefully combing her walls to curate a group of family photos. For the audio, she interviewed her mother and who talked about her life. Our team digitized the photos and our student interns helped record the interview. By the end of the workshop, she had created a beautiful film about her family from the perspective of her mother’s life. This process was emotional for the woman and her mother.


Adding or Removing a Digital Story

Indigistory is always looking for art, music, poetry, and other kinds of models to add to Indigistory context. If you would like to add your story to Indigistory’s digital archive, contact us below. If you have already added a story to this website, and would like it to be removed, please contact us to request this.  This website is a host for onsite projects from community workshops. It also hosts submissions from community members who would like to showcase their work.

Contact Us

Michigan State University

Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture

446 W. Circle Dr., Suite 412

East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: 517-353-9757