Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program
August 2013 Grant Announcement

Alaska  |  Arizona  |  California  |  Connecticut  |  Florida  |  Hawaii  |  Idaho  |  Maine  |  Michigan

Montana  |  New York  |  Oklahoma  |  Oregon  |  Wisconsin


Ahtna Incorporated - Anchorage, AK
Award Amount: $50,000

Contact: Ms. Katherine McConkey
Cultural Center Director

Ahtna, Incorporated, together with Ahtna Heritage Foundation, will use its grant to hire a consultant to produce a plan of exhibits and interpretation for C'ek'aedi Hwnax Cultural Center to portray the history, culture, and language of the Ahtna Athabascan people. The consultant will use concepts and themes developed by the community, and exhibit content will be drawn from C’ek’aedi Hwnax collections and through interviews with Ahtna elders. The plan will guide Ahtna in improving its current exhibits, or fabricating new ones, and in developing interpretive text to help tell the stories that Ahtna people themselves have identified as important.


Chilkat Indian Village - Haines, AK
Award Amount: $48,477

Contact: Ms. Lani Hotch
Project Director/Collection Development Planner

The Chilkat Indian Village will use its grant to protect clan treasures while work on the new Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage Center is completed. Working with partners, tribal and clan representatives will examine tribally owned objects and other clan collections to identify those with the most immediate storage needs. The project will help tribal members acquire the museum skills necessary for the successful operation of the heritage center.


Koniag, Inc. - Kodiak, AK
Award Amount: $49,673

Contact: Ms. Marnie Leist

Koniag, Inc. will use its grant to enable the Alutiiq Museum to enhance the care and interpretation of the Old Karluk collection, recording Alutiiq lifeways over a 6,000-year period. Currently, the Old Karluk collection lacks a full and accurate inventory, is poorly stored and organized, and has few summary documents to assist in its interpretation. Excavators’ field notes have never been turned into maps of site features, and the site’s contents are largely unpublished. This project will generate an accurate, complete inventory; rehouse collections; expand an Alutiiq artifact nomenclature to encompass Old Karluk objects; create resources to aid in site interpretation, and promote public awareness of the collection.



White Mountain Apache Tribe - Whiteriver, AZ
Award Amount: $50,000

Contact: Dr. Karl Hoerig
Museum Director

The Nohwike’ Bágowa Museum of the White Mountain Apache Tribe will use its grant to digitize a collection of oral history and oral tradition reel-to-reel audiotapes; develop metadata, including finding aids for the audio recording collection along with previously digitized photographic collections and partially digitized paper archives; and install equipment to make these heritage resources available to museum visitors and researchers. The audio recording collection that is the primary focus of this project includes 525 tapes containing an estimated 788 hours of recordings that were collected between the late 1960s and the early 1980s. About half of these recordings have been transcribed and translated to English. Completion of this project will improve the long-term preservation of a collection of oral history and oral tradition recordings and will make the knowledge that they contain much more easily available for research.


Quechan Indian Tribe - Yuma, AZ
Award Amount: $41,754

Contact: Ms. Barbara Levy
Program Director

As a way of preserving linguistic variation, the Quechan Indian Tribe will produce an illustrated classroom dictionary, using the basic vocabulary spoken by the language instructors in the Quechan Indian Tribe Language Preservation Program. The dictionary will be made available for immediate use in early childhood language and literacy teaching activities. The tribe will also publish two volumes of print-ready Quechan oral stories in a bilingual format designed to serve as user-friendly language learning materials. These publications will facilitate further interest in preserving Quechan culture and an increased awareness of ongoing efforts to preserve the native language and culture.



Smith River Rancheria - Smith River, CA
Award Amount: $32,553

Contact: Mr. Russ Crabtree
Tribal Administrator

The Smith River Rancheria will use its grant to create two online exhibitions focused on the story of the Tolowa people while sharing examples of their culture. The first virtual exhibition, Tolowa Dee-ni’ History and Story of Resiliency, will present the tribe’s history, from creation through contemporary history, and the second, Cultural Traditions of Tolowa Dee-ni, will feature tribal cultural items, songs, stores, and contemporary photographs. The online museum will make the tribe’s history more accessible to members that live away from tribal lands.



Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation - Mashantucket, CT
Award Amount: $47,393

Contact: Dr. Kevin McBride
Director of Research

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation will use its grant to carry out a series of academic and public programs in remembrance of the 375th anniversary of the Pequot War, including: an academic three-day conference titled Seventeenth Century Warfare, Diplomacy, & Society in the American Northeast, public and hands-on family programming to include a 17th-century military encampment, local “Community Conversations,” and a K-12 teacher workshop. Available public resources will be an academic conference publication and an online curriculum-based resource with lessons and activities for K-12 educators. Published resources will be available online and will be placed in community and school libraries. Research presented by the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and participating academics at the conference will contribute to an updated 17th-century Pequot War exhibition gallery script and provide training for museum education staff.



Seminole Tribe of Florida - Hollywood, FL
Award Amount: $29,229

Contact: Ms. Rebecca Fell
Exhibits Coordinator

The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum will use its grant to create and install interpretive signage throughout the 60-acre museum campus. This outdoor area, beyond the main museum building, encompasses a mile-long boardwalk through a natural cypress dome that leads to several important cultural features, including a Clan Pavilion, Ceremonial Grounds, Seminole Village, and Amphitheater. The project will allow for signage to interpret all of these cultural features and support a self-guided tour and extended learning beyond the museum visit.



Bishop Museum - Honolulu, HI
Award Amount: $39,576

Contact: Ms. Noelle Kahanu
Project Manager

Bishop Museum will use its grant to plan an international exhibition of Hawaiian cultural treasures, many of which have been away from Hawaii for centuries. This project will establish a 12-member consultation team of Hawaiian elders, artists, and experts. Six team members and two museum staff will travel to three museums in Australia and New Zealand to consult with experts and document and exchange information in preparation for an exhibition at Bishop of approximately 40 objects.


Papahana Kuaola - Kaneohe, HI
Award Amount: $50,000

Contact: Ms. Mahealani Merryman
Project Director

Through the Ma Uka to Ma Kai: Ha‘iku Valley Project, Papahana Kuaola will create an exhibit with educational activities that will enable residents of and visitors to virtually explore the natural resources and cultural history of Ha‘iku¯ Valley, in rural Waipao on the windward side of the island of O‘ahu, from ridgeline (ma uka) to shoreline (ma kai). Only certain sections of the valley and stream are accessible to the public, thus restricting opportunities to explore the natural and cultural resources of the area. This project was developed in response to requests from educators for more visual and hands-on activities that specifically benefit visitors that are very young, older, or physically challenged who cannot cross Ha‘iku¯ Stream located in the valley, or physically move safely throughout Waipao.


Hula Preservation Society - Kaneohe, HI
Award Amount: $49,905

Contact: Ms. Maile Loo
Project Director

The Hula Preservation Society will make its archive’s cultural resources accessible by developing a database prototype for its collection, establishing a Native Hawaiian college student mentorship program, developing its capacity in collections management and technology-based tools, and implementing a resource sharing plan. During the prototyping process, community elders will be paired with Native Hawaiian youth (community college students) to tap into unique skill sets. The college students, who have technical computer skills, will work alongside elders, who possess first-hand knowledge of the collections, to create digital collection records.



Coeur D'Alene Tribe - Plummer, ID
Award Amount: $46,225

Contact: Ms. Sarah Carrillo-Freeburg
KWIS Program Manager

The Coeur d' Alene Tribe will use its grant to update an audio-video documentary about the history and culture of the tribe presented at the tribe's visitor center in Cataldo, Idaho. The video currently used for this purpose was made in the 1970s, and is missing the last several decades of tribal history. The new product will be narrated by a Coeur d’ Alene tribe member and will include new recordings of traditional music. The project will allow guests at to the visitor center to receive more accurate and current information about the tribe.



Pleasant Point Indian Reservation - Perry, ME
Award Amount: $22,647

Contact: Ms. Brenda Moore-Mitchell
Museum Director

The Pleasant Point Indian Reservation will use its grant to complete an operational plan for the Waponahki Museum and Cultural Resource Center, which serves both tribal members and the visiting public. The plan will inform decisions about cultural retention and interpretive programs, as well as cataloguing and collections care needs. In addition to the plan itself, this project will provide technical assistance to staff through partnerships with museum consultants and local museum professionals.



Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians - Peshawbestown, MI
Award Amount: $27,032

Contact: Mrs. Cindy Winslow
Museum Director

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will use its grant to train the staff of the Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center and tribal representatives in the functions and requirements of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Since the museum’s opening in 2009, it has been contacted about repatriation activities, but the band has not had a staff member with NAGPRA training. This training will increase staff knowledge and understating of historic preservation laws, regulations, and issues thereby ensuring that a tribal member is able to appropriately address NAGPRA requests.



Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes Inc. - Poplar, MT
Award Amount: $25,685

Contact: Ms. Shawn Olson
Community Developement Specialist

This project will provide training in records retention and archives management policies and procedures for Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes employees, community college staff and students, community organizations and members. The project will create a processing manual for referral and future training. As a result of the project, employees and college and community organization officers will learn how to identify archival material and how to process and care for it. The project will result in an archival policies and procedures document to be adopted by the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, an archival processing manual, and a cohort of individuals trained to process materials.


New York

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe - Akwesasne, NY
Award Amount: $43,624

Contact: Ms. SueEllen Herne
Program Coordinator

The St. Regis of Mohawk Tribe will use its grant to fund a short documentary film highlighting the many facets of the “fancy basket” tradition in Akwesasne. The film will feature Florence Benedict, an Akwesasne Mohawk elder and master basket maker, and will document her specialized knowledge of basketry through footage that will have future research potential. The project also includes a workshop on documentary filmmaking open to all Akwesasne Mohawk youth and adults, to provide instruction on making successful documentaries.


Oneida Indian Nation - Oneida, NY
Award Amount: $50,000

Contact: Ms. Christine Todd
Research Analyst

The Oneida Indian Nation will use its grant to develop new exhibits and outreach based on the sport of lacrosse at the Shako:wi Cultural Center located on the Oneida Indian Nation reservation. The project will develop a documentary, prepare a new interactive exhibit, and provide outreach to local schools, lacrosse teams, and the surrounding community about lacrosse and its importance to both the history and the current culture of the Oneida people. With the new exhibits and outreach, the Oneida Indian Nation will enrich the telling of its history, convey aspects of its modern lifestyle and culture, attract new visitors to the museum, and inspire previous visitors to return.



Comanche Nation - Lawton, OK
Award Amount: $49,977

Contact: Ms. Candy Morgan
Education and Public Programs Manager

The Comanche Nation will conduct a yearlong project to develop and implement educational programs that present Comanche history and culture to elementary and middle-school-aged children in Texas. This project will include in-depth research, workshops, program testing, needs assessments, training, implementation, and promotion. At the conclusion of the project, the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center and its partner, the Museum of Texas Tech University, will have a set of educational programs that may be used to educate Texas schoolchildren about the roles Comanches have played in their history and continue to play today.


Citizen Potawatomi Nation - Shawnee, OK
Award Amount: $49,776

Contact: Mrs. Kelli Mosteller
Director, Research Library

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation will use its grant to assess and improve the lighting of exhibits at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center (CPNCHC). This project will address three focus areas: First, power usage is a chronic problem at the Center; its power provider frequently orders usage reductions in the summer, at the CPNCHC’s busiest time of year. Second, displayed objects are at risk of damage because of lighting that does not meet professional museum standards. And third, the project will help to educate those possessing important collections about lighting and provide affordable strategies for making improvements.



Coquille Indian Tribe - North Bend, OR
Award Amount: $46,692

Contact: Ms. Denni Hockema
Tribal Cultural Anthropoligist

The Coquille Indian Tribe will use its grant to create a public space in which to document, preserve, and share the cultural history of the Coquille people. Over the past three years, the tribe has transformed the tribal administration building’s lobby into an interpretive environment through photographic displays incorporating a limited number of artifacts. The next stage of this project will complete the transformation of this space into a vibrant interpretive area by adding museum quality display cases.



Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin - Keshena, WI
Award Amount: $49,398

Contact: Ms. Betty Jo Wozniak
Tribal Administrator

The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin will use its grant to train essential staff in the area of collections management and digitization of museum collections. The tribe will purchase collections management software and related equipment and hire a training consultant and one or more temporary collections assistants and interns. Following training, and working with Menominee elders, staff will process the collections and catalogue information. This comprehensive processing and cataloging of the museum’s collections, combined with a digitized inventory, will improve the accuracy of collections records and create a safer, more publicly accessible space. Tribal members, museum visitors, professors, researchers, students, and the general public will benefit from these activities.