Lacey Museum set to launch oral histories of local marginalized communities

‘Stories of the South Sound’ will include histories and experiences of historically underrepresented cultures and groups throughout the South Sound area’


The Lacey Museum will soon mount an oral history project to gather information to echo the narrative of marginalized communities and underrepresented cultures and groups.

Museum Coordinator Felicia Rova-Chamroeun said they aim to use the best practice to "decolonize" the way oral history is collected in the museum.

"Through this oral history project, we are looking to begin filling those gaps to include histories and experiences of historically underrepresented cultures and groups throughout Lacey and the South Sound area," said Rova-Chamroeun during the Lacey Commission on Equity meeting on Tuesday, June 26. 

"The museum is working towards bringing into light the perspectives of people in different cultural and racial backgrounds as well as the LGBTQIA+ community," she added.

Rova-Chamroeun said the project would increase the number of guests that visit the museum from various backgrounds as the project is one of the means to make the Lacey Museum more representative of the local communities.

"We hope that people will be able to learn from the experiences of others to provide a wider perspective of Lacey and South Sound history," the museum coordinator said.

From June until July this year, staff will identify and search for local community groups qualifying as "narrators" for the project. The team will then reach out to these groups and build a relationship with them in the coming months. Rova-Chamroeun added that they would hire a paid intern to support the project.

Rova-Chamroeun said she hopes they can launch the project by June next year, adding that "building relationships takes time."

Rova-Chamroeun's graduate thesis focused on collecting oral histories from communities facing hardship, trauma, and the diaspora.


4 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Deskandchairs

    Rova-Chamroeun speaks WOKE ""decolonize" the way oral history is collected in the museum"

    What a shame

    Tuesday, June 27, 2023 Report this

  • AugieH

    Tourists will flood the Lacey Museum, no doubt. Reserve your place in line now.

    It'll be interesting and revealing to see the "marginalized communities and underrepresented cultures and groups" with whom the museum team "build a relationship."

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023 Report this

  • JKRector

    Oral history is a smart and technically easy way to save stories from experience. Stories are powerful. Experience shared is powerful. Just imagine you could hear or read a excerpt from your great grandfather or your grandmother simply sharing what a normal day was like in their experience… it would be without computers or even telephones, reading letters vs emails, using analog clocks, washing clothes with a scrubbing board, growing vegetables, berries and harvesting fruit. In our crazy warp-speed and high tech lifestyle, we need to remember what things were like for those who came before us.

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023 Report this

  • wildnature

    About 5 years ago I visited the Lacey Museum. It only had displays about people who came to Lacey in it's early days. I asked the person in charge, why there were no Nisqually Indian Tribe displays. She said it was a museum only about Lacey's history.

    This new approach of bringing in the stories of the marginalized people is wonderful. And I hope personal stores of how the Nisquallies, who were not marginalized to begin with, got marginalized because of immigration are a big part of it. Please reach out and consult them.

    Thursday, June 29, 2023 Report this