DWR Native American Tribal Water Stories Graphic Novels
Dudek is supporting the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) in creating and distributing K-12 educational materials on water literacy and conservation for all 10 of California’s hydrologic regions. As part of this effort, Dudek collaborated with DWR staff and DWR’s Tribal Policy Advisor to create two graphic novels, The Fish Story and The Making of the World, that depicted water-related Tribal stories submitted by Tribal Representatives.
California Department of Water Resources
K-12 Educational Materials on water literacy and conservation
Two graphic novels based on stories submitted by the North Fork Mono Tribe and Paiute of the Mono Lake Area
Graphic novels available online and printed for distribution at the State Capitol on Native American Day 2022
DWR envisioned developing relevant, culturally sensitive K-12 educational materials for school districts and educators statewide to increase water literacy and promote water conservation, as well as awareness and appreciation of Tribal communities, cultural water uses, and Tribal relationships with the ecosystem. Through this process, and in collaboration with DWR’s Tribal Policy Advisor, DWR Program staff determined that making the Tribal Water Stories into graphic novels would be highly beneficial to educational and program goals.
Dudek collaborated with DWR to craft two graphic novels titled The Fish Story and the Making of the World. These stories were two of many solicited through the Tribal Water Stories Project in which California Native Tribes submitted stories that explained something about a Tribe’s historical and current connections with water. Using digital watercolor and illustration tools, Dudek’s creative designers and technical storytellers storyboarded and illustrated the two stories with extensive input from DWR staff. Characters in the stories wear tribal regalia matching the stories’ origins, further demonstrating the stories’ connections to the specific Tribal water histories of the North Fork Mono Tribe and Paiute of the Mono Lake Area. The graphic novels will eventually be animated and translated into native tribal languages.
The project and program’s impact is broad ranging and includes six main components, one of which is to uplift the past, present, and future of Tribal communities in California. Educational materials provide an opportunity to recognize the narratives and lived experiences of all peoples in the history of the lands we call California.
In 2023, the project was a Finalist in the Visual Storytelling category at the PR Daily Social Media and Digital Awards, ultimately receiving an Honorable Mention award.
The Graphic Novels
Click the grey arrows to flip through the books!
The Making of the World
The Making of the World story from the North Fork Mono Tribe was first recorded in 1918 by Edward Winslow Gifford, a researcher from Berkeley. The storytellers included Molly Kinsman Pimona, Mrs. George Teaford, Singing Jack, an old shaman; and Chipo, an old man. Dan Harris, a young man, was the interpreter.
The Fish Story
The Fish Story originates from the Paiute of the Mono Lake area. The storyteller was Tina Charlie, transcribed by Helen August, edited by Ron Goode, and shared by Raymond Andrews in 2014.
What We Did
- ADA-accessible statewide web-mapping tool for the prioritization of communities
- Community and water system needs assessments and evaluations
- Digital illustration and Technical visual storytelling
- Graphic design and visual communications
- Hydrologic and engineering studies
- Preparation of culturally sensitive and language-appropriate materials
- Technical training material development and implementation in Tribal and underrepresented communities
- Tribal government and underrepresented Community engagement
Groundwater Sustainability Plans for the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency
Dudek worked with the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency (FCGMA) to prepare the groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) for the Oxnard, Las Posas Valley, and Pleasant Valley basins in Ventura County.View Project