About the Oneida Nation

The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin is located in eastern Outagamie County and western Brown County in Wisconsin, west of Green Bay. The Oneida are one of the five founding members of the Iroquois Confederacy. Under federal and state pressure, members were forced to cede territory in New York and many resettled in Wisconsin. The Oneida Nation reservation has a land area of about 100 square miles, running along the Upper Fox River.

The Oneida Cultural Heritage Department seeks to preserve, protect, maintain, and interpret the Oneida traditions, artifacts, language, customs, and history in a manner that shall promote the dignity and respect of the Oneida people and culture. They run the Oneida Nation Museum and Oneida Community Library, as well as Oneida language and culture classes.

The Project

TLAM students began collaborating with members of the Oneida Nation in February 2013 in a partnership along with the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. The intended goal of the project is to identify, catalog, and describe the materials contained in the Oneida Film Collection. However, other less-defined goals are also included in the project, such as providing an opportunity for TLAM students to learn necessary skills such as film handling, preservation, and description, as well as learning about the history and culture of the Oneida Nation.

Going Forward

The first priority for the future of this project is finishing the initial processing of the films. After all of the film is processed and recorded, tribal partners in Oneida will be consulted to determine what materials will be kept and what will be weeded from the collection (e.g. duplicates, outtakes, trims).

Next, the films found to be of value to the community will be spliced together, if necessary, to show the relationships between them. The current housing conditions of the materials will be assessed for preservation needs, and proper housing (e.g. vented archival film cans and cold storage) will be provided if possible.

A final, and incredibly important, step in the future of this project will be applying for grants to fund archival storage materials and the costs of digitizing the film.