Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program
July 2014 Grant Announcement

Alaska  |  Arizona  |  California  |  Hawaii  |   Maine  |  Michigan  |  Nevada  |  North Carolina

Oklahoma  |   Washington  |  Wisconsin



Chilkat Indian Village - Haines, AK
Award Amount: $47,900

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

The Chilkat Indian Village will conduct a yearlong project to increase the capacity of tribal members to implement museum best practices and install a traditional whale house exhibit using original objects at the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center. Staff from the Alaska State Museum will train tribal members in professional collection handling, interpretation, and exhibit installation. Tribal members will create the interpretive content and work with a consultant to design and install the exhibit using the traditional layout of the whale house interior and original objects. The Whale House exhibit will preserve the Whale House collection and enable the Chilkat Tlingits to share their history, art, and cultural practices with tribal members, clan members, and all audiences viewing the installation.


Sealaska Corporation - Juneau, AK
Award Amount: $49,860

Contact: Dr. Charles Smythe
Cultural Anthropologist

The Sealaska Heritage Institute will engage in a one-year exhibition development process to design an exhibit that showcases Tlingit Indian clan hats from the perspective of the Tlingit people to educate the public about the functions, roles, and uses of clan hats today. The process will include several meetings with exhibit designers and Sealaska Heritage Institute staff to develop the conceptual and final design plans for all aspects of the exhibit. The exhibit will be the inaugural show in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s new building in downtown Juneau, Alaska. This exhibit will benefit tribal members and promote cross-cultural understanding as Alaskans and tourists learn more about the cultural significance and artistic characteristics of clan hats and the ways of the Tlingit people.


Seldovia Village Tribe - Seldovia, AK
Award Amount: $38,148

Contact: Mr. Michael Opheim
Environmental Coordinator

The Seldovia Museum will hire a professional curator and engage staff in professional development to improve skills in exhibition design and mount-making. The curator will organize a two-day professional development workshop, to be held at the Pratt Museum in Homer, AK, for ten participants from the Seldovia Museum and other small local museums to learn about aspects of exhibition development. The workshop will be filmed and developed into six brief instructional how-to videos that will be made available online to museum professionals and the public. Following the workshop, staff will create two new temporary exhibits and make environmental improvements to the exhibit gallery to improve collections care.



Gila River Indian Community - Sacaton, AZ
Award Amount: $44,700

Contact: Ms. Monica King
Education Curator

The Gila River Indian Community’s Huhugam Heritage Center will document the tradition of basket weaving through video recording and oral history interviews with tribal members and their families. The knowledge of basket weaving has declined over the past 50 years and there are few weavers left with the proper expertise in this tradition. This project will compile the materials, processes, and techniques associated with basketry into a guide that will increase accessibility to this traditional craft to researchers and community members. The videos and the guide enhance the ability to teach this custom and will inform the tribe’s future education, collection, and outreach programs.



Yurok Tribe - Klamath, CA
Award Amount: $50,000

Contact: Ms. Rosie Clayburn
Cultural Resource Manager

The Yurok Tribe will design and fabricate the central exhibit for the opening of the Yurok Visitor Center. This exhibit will display historic Yurok items, including baskets, dresses, nets, canoes, and other artifacts currently not available for public viewing. The project will utilize informational panels, sculptures, photo murals, banners, and multimedia displays to share the history and accomplishments of the Yurok people and the natural beauty of their environment. Through this exhibit, the public and the community will learn about the Yurok people, their cultural values, and tribal ways of life.


Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria - Loleta, CA
Award Amount: $49,875

Contact: Ms. Erika Collins
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria will research, design, and create educational materials by translating and transforming two traditional Wiyot stories into children's storybooks. To provide youth greater access to tribal languages, the books will be written in Wiyot and English, have an accompanying CD, and feature illustrations by community youth. The books will be printed and made available in PDF format to provide greater access to this important component of traditional culture. In addition to the language and early literacy benefits of the project, telling these traditional stories will help to reconnect youth and their families with aspects of tribal history.


Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians - Temecula, CA
Award Amount: $47,079

Contact: Ms. Teresa Lorden

The Pechanga Cultural Resource Facility will create a virtual museum using the virtual exhibit module of the PastPerfect museum collection management software program. The tribe will create three virtual exhibits primarily focusing upon ethnographic and archaeological objects. The first exhibit will consist of Pechanga's basket collection, and the second and third exhibits will focus upon their pottery and stone tool collections. The virtual museum will be accessed by a kiosk located in the lobby of the Pechanga Tribal Government Center as well as through a portal on the tribe’s website.



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

Contact: Ms. Mahealani Merryman
Program Administrator

Papahana Kuaola will teach students and teachers the Hawaiian cultural and historic legacy of the Ko’olau district on O’ahu. A culturally rooted Hawaiian approach to place-based learning will be used in developing and testing a full-day, nine-stop field trip to significant Ko'olau sites with the goal of increasing students’ exposure to cultural experiences. Field trips will include the use of site-based activities and student worksheets; take-home materials will also be developed to encourage students to share what they learn with their families. At least 500 students and teachers engaged during the project’s first year will have opportunities to increase their understanding of the connection between the land and Hawaiian culture, traditions, and practices.


Hula Preservation Society - Kaneohe, HI
Award Amount: $49,751

Contact: Ms. Maile Loo
Project Director

Working with community elders and other partners, the Hula Preservation Society will develop and present a five-part cultural event series on the hula and musical traditions of four islands (O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, and Hawai‘i) to address the need for greater collaboration and understanding of these cross-island customs. Fifty multimedia pieces and five high-definition video documentaries will be developed and shared with those attending the cultural events. Each program will be recorded through high-definition video and made be available by the Hula Preservation Society archive to the general public, thereby extending the reach of the event series to a larger audience.


Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources - Wailuku, HI
Award Amount: $49,935

Contact: Ms. Terri Gavagan
Commission Coordinator

The Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources houses a collection of archival materials, including over 8,500 photographs, 2,500 texts (reports, papers), and 10,000 artifacts/samples that are available for research but generally unknown to the community. IMLS funds will be used to train interns on the process of scanning archival documents, labeling digital files, and applying proper archival standards for storage of these items. This information will be organized into a searchable database that will be accessible to researchers and the community via a pilot online museum portal, and a series of outreach events will introduce the community to the available online resources. The overarching goal of the project is to sustain Hawaiian heritage, culture, and knowledge for future generations through collections stewardship and educational outreach.



Aroostook Micmac Council - Presque Isle, ME
Award Amount: $49,397

Contact: Mr. John Dennis
Cultural Director

The Aroostook Band of Micmac Museum will further its “Honoring Our Traditional Families” strategy by implementing a range of activities to professionalize the services it provides to the community. IMLS funds will be used to research, design, fabricate, and install a series of three exhibitions that will recognize and pay homage to Micmac basket-making families. Project activities will also include formalizing the museum's infrastructure and governance, hiring a part-time curator of collections, and caring for the Micmac split-ash basket collection. The exhibit on basket-making families will spearhead the staff’s engagement in heritage preservation, while building ongoing stewardship of the tribal collections. An interpretive plan for the gallery displays and baskets will extend learning opportunities and strengthen visitor engagement



Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians - Peshawbestown, MI
Award Amount: $25,023

Contact: Ms. Cindy Winslow
Museum Director

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center will provide professional development training for staff to gain knowledge in book preservation in order to care for the silverbacked copy of the Durant Roll, a community artifact that documents the tribe’s federal recognition. Classes will provide staff with greater technical expertise in collections stewardship that will be used in the preservation of the Durant Roll and historic documents acquired in the future. The overarching goal of the project is to increase the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indian's capacity to preserve and share its tribal culture and history.



Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribes of the Fallon Reservation & Colony - Fallon, NV
Award Amount: $48,104

Contact: Mr. Nathan Strong
NAGPRA Coordinator

The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe will create a centralized database of historical and cultural collections, while inventorying and cataloging the artifacts to ensure future access and proper care. The inventory will bring together all cultural items in the possession of the tribe from multiple locations. A collections policies and a procedures manual will be developed and shared with the community, providing the structure and support necessary to manage and preserve both the current collection and any future acquisitions. The grant will also enable the tribe to update and create museum displays to produce a sustainable cultural presence.


North Carolina

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - Sylva, NC
Award Amount: $49,900

Contact: Ms. Anna Fariello
Project Director

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Oconaluftee Indian Village will re-create a living history experience of a blacksmith’s studio to educate visitors about a traditional Cherokee art form. Project activities include conducting research to expand educational programs; designing and creating an authentic blacksmith studio on-site; providing training for village staff; writing a script for village workers; and creating signage to explain these Cherokee traditions. The project will expand community engagement in Cherokee culture by presenting history, arts and crafts, and language through this new interpretive experience.



Kaw Nation - Kaw City, OK
Award Amount: $48,715

Contact: Ms. Crystal Douglas
Museum Director

The Kaw Nation’s Kanza Museum will create a virtual museum to share the story and culture of the Kanza people. IMLS funds will be used to create three online modules linked directly to the Kaw Nation website, including a virtual timeline of Kanza history; an exhibition featuring tribal cultural objects, regalia, songs, stories, and photographs; and an interactive language feature that will promote learning the Kaw language and illustrate how Native elders teach youth through storytelling. Additionally, an interactive mobile application will be developed to teach Kaw Nation members the Kaw language.


Muscogee Creek Nation - Okmulgee, OK
Award Amount: $49,995

Contact: Mr. John Beaver

The Muscogee Creek Nation Museum, Archives, and Cultural Center will develop a comprehensive collections management program, purchase archival supplies, and enhance the museum’s digital infrastructure. Project activities will support the preservation of collections and improve access to more than 3,000 objects, photographs, and archival materials. This project will facilitate the ongoing care of current artifacts, serve as a foundation for future curatorial endeavors, enable the museum to acquire new items, and allow for a systematic organization of the collection. As a result, the museum will be able to increase accessibility for Muscogee tribal citizens and the public and better serve its mission to advance the presentation and knowledge of Muscogee culture—past, present, and future.


United Keetoowah Cherokee Council - Tahlequah, OK
Award Amount: $43,002

Contact: Ms. Ernestine Berry
Museum Director

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indian’s John Hair Museum will build the capacity of staff in museum operations and improve the management of the tribal archive. Staff will participate in professional development opportunities to increase their understanding of museum procedures and operations, and a consultant will be hired to assist staff members in establishing policies and procedures for the archives including care, handling, storage and exhibition of materials. Grant funds will be used to purchase storage equipment and implement an archival monitoring program to ensure long-term preservation and access to Ketoowah tribal history.


Tonkawa Tribe - Tonkawa, OK
Award Amount: $40,222

Contact: Ms. Laura Sigwing
Project Coordinator

The Tonkawa Tribe will conduct a yearlong project to preserve the Tonkawa language through outreach to youth. With only a few Tonkawa native language speakers alive, this project is focused on teaching the language to children by developing a coloring book with simple pictures and Tonkawa words, a pronunciation guide, and an audio CD with words pronounced by a Tonkawa native language speaker. These materials will be delivered to caregivers at Tonkawa home daycares, Tonkawa Elementary Public School students in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and students in the Tonkawa tribal afterschool program. The project will expose tribal members and non-tribal members to Tonkawa language and culture to help preserve the Tonkawa language for future generations.



Suquamish Tribal Council - Suquamish, WA
Award Amount: $47,005

Contact: Ms. Janet Smoak
Museum Director

The Suquamish Tribe will care for and further document two significant archaeological collections and additional archaeological artifacts. The artifacts and associated field notes and maps will also be digitally photographed in preparation for a website-based platform, allowing the Suquamish Museum to share images and information about Suquamish history and culture with Suquamish tribal members and researchers. At the conclusion of the project, the Suquamish Museum will have the artifacts, notes, and maps assembled together, which will better provide information about the Suquamish people over the last 4,000 years. Producing a record, eventually available on the Internet, will allow comparative analysis amongst Suquamish sites and other documented Salish sites in the region.



Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Inc. - Odanah, WI
Award Amount: $46,763

Contact: Ms. Edith Leoso
Historic Preservation Officer

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa will provide 26 four-hour long training sessions for staff on the development, design, and management of exhibitions. This training will educate staff on professional museum practice in order to utilize exhibit spaces located in 11 tribal buildings. During the training, participants will develop an exhibit management plan; conduct an inventory of existing exhibit materials in tribal facilities; and develop an exhibit. As a result, the project will strengthen the museum staff’s skills in developing and managing exhibits both during and beyond the grant period.