Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services
Grant Announcement
September 2012

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  |  Oregon  |  Washington  |  Wisconsin 


Chilkat Indian Village - Haines, AK
Congressional District: AK_01
Award Amount: $42,575
Category: Enhancing museum services

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

Chilkat Indian Village, under the guidance of staff members from the Alaska State Museum and the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center, will use grant funds to create a collections development plan for the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage Center in Klukwan, AK. The project director will work with elders, clan leaders, project team members, and the tribal council to identify topics for future cultural center exhibits; develop exhibition goals and objectives; and create an outline and a basic schematic layout for each exhibit. The tribe will also use funds to document and inventory tribally owned public artifacts.


Koniag, Incorporated - Kodiak, AK
Congressional District: AK_01
Award Amount: $49,988
Category: Programming applications

Contact: Dr. Sven Haakanson
Executive Director

Koniag, Inc. tribal museum, the Alutiiq Museum, will advance and renew the lost art of skin sewing through Nuta'at Mingqusqat: The New Sewers' Club. This 18-month project will educate developing adult skin sewers, recruit new sewers, establish intergenerational ties around instruction and practice, develop educational resources on skin sewing, and enrich community knowledge of the art. The project will start with a one-week trip to the National Museum of Finland to study the Etholen Collection, a large and rare sample of ancestral Alutiiq skin clothing. Using what was learned from the trip, Master Sewer Susan Malutin will travel to rural schools to lead workshops on skin sewing, and work with members of these communities to produce pieces of a child-sized caribou skin parka. Developing adult skin sewers will assemble the parka during sewing circles at the museum. A DVD of the project will be produced to document the project.


Seldovia Village Tribe - Seldovia, AK
Congressional District: AK_01
Award Amount: $40,125
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mr. Michael Opheim
Environmental Coordinator

Seldovia Village Tribe will build the capacity of the Seldovia Village Tribe Museum and Visitors Center through The Safeguards Through Time: Seldovia Village Tribe Museum Project. In response to previous collections assessments, this project will provide the museum with systems for improved collections care and build a foundation to achieve national standards. Project activities include a written five-year strategic plan for the museum and the completion of museum policies and procedures; the identification of collection items as "gifted or loaned," with signed agreements from the respective donors; adequate and protective display cases for the museum’s collections; and travel to other regional museums to network and to broaden staff knowledge of museum practices.



Tohono O'odham Nation - Sells, AZ
Congressional District: AZ_07
Award Amount: $49,330
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mr. Michael Reinschmidt
Museum Administrator

The Tohono O’odham Cultural Center and Museum, or Himdag Ki: (culture house), will use grant funds to increase the professional development capacity of the museum to care for its collections. Two interns will be hired and trained by staff members from the Arizona State Museum, Western Archaeological Conservation Center, and Archaeology Southwest, to process a large, recently donated archaeological collections. A hands-on curriculum will then be developed among three training agencies and compiled into an easy to understand desk reference handbook to provide guidance and instruction for the processing of other large collections. A new server will be purchased to increase storage space for electronic records and the collections database.



Big Pine Band of Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Indians - Big Pine, CA
Congressional District: CA_25
Award Amount: $17,832
Category: Programming applications

Contact: Mr. Bill Helmer
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

Big Pine Band of Owens Valley Paiute will develop the Papoose Flat Exhibit, a collaborative project of the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley and the Inyo National Forest. The exhibit will describe the partnership between the two in protecting the Papoose Flat Prehistoric Archaeological District after a motorcycle event adversely affected six sites in 1990. Representative artifacts, with accompanying interpretive panels, will be displayed in two cases in the Big Pine Paiute Tribal Council chambers. Students from the Big Pine Indian Education Center will complete an educational activity with elders at the exhibit and go on site visits to Papoose Flat and a nearby obsidian quarry with staff and elders.


Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians - Coarsegold, CA
Congressional District: CA_19
Award Amount: $50,000
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Ms. Mary Motola
Cultural Specialist

The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians will catalog and inventory the tribe’s historical and cultural collections. Intellectual control will be gained over these diverse collections by establishing a single, consistent cataloging system while inventorying and cataloging all artifacts. With the assistance of consultants, tribal staff will receive training in cataloging; collections handling and storage; data management; and emergency preparedness as it relates to archaeological, ethnographic, and archival materials in the tribe’s care. A Curation Policies and Procedures Manual will also be completed.


Table Mountain Rancheria - Friant, CA
Congressional District: CA-21
Award Amount: $26,104
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mr. Robert Pennell

Table Mountain Rancheria will increase the storage, access, and preservation of the tribe’s cultural, archeological, and photographic collections. The project will include working with a consultant to conduct a conservation needs assessment to evaluate storage conditions and review existing collection policies and disaster plans. Storage and security of collections will be increased through the purchase of secure storage cabinets and shelving; an HVAC system; conservation supplies; and environmental, fire, and security monitoring devices. Collections will be moved and rehoused in the new storage units.



Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut - Mashantucket, CT
Congressional District: CT_02
Award Amount: $47,637
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Ms. Kimberly Hatcher-White
Executive Director

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation will use its grant to make audio-visual history collections in the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center's archives more accessible to the tribal community, museum staff, and researchers. The project will build on an existing collections management program to improve image documentation and the ability to search digital image and media collections focusing on Pequot community history over the last 150 years. The collections encompass Pequot family images, oral histories, and video interview footage documenting tribal members and elders involved in revitalizing the community following federal recognition in 1983. Project activities will also produce and pilot a tribal community electronic scrapbook for outreach to tribal members, particularly tribal youth, and highlight the Pequot family history materials in museum archives.


Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut - Uncasville, CT
Congressional District: CT_02
Award Amount: $32,694
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Ms. Anita Fowler
Museum Operations Director

The Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut will replace outdated exhibition cases housing artifacts on display. Funds will also be used to purchase three portable exhibition cases that will be used to transport replica and non-fragile items to various outreach projects such as schools, military institutions, and assisted living centers. Current exhibition cases are contributing to the deterioration of museum artifacts. Some do not lock or have broken glass, and many are made from wood - qualities that are not conducive to preservation. The project staff will inspect and conduct condition reports of artifacts while they are being removed from exhibition and update artifact records in a collections database.



Bishop Museum - Honolulu, HI
Congressional District: HI_01
Award Amount: $36,839
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mr. Marques Marzan
Cultural Resources Specialist

The Bishop Museum, in partnership with Michigan State University, will develop ‘Ike Papale, The Living Legacy of Hawaiian Hats, a project honoring and examining the rich traditions of Hawaiian hat-making. Working with the Hawaiian weaving community, project team members will build a body of documentation on all aspects of Hawaiian papale (hat) weaving. With grant funds, the project team will expand documentation of contemporary papale weavers, travel to meet with advisory team members, and obtain licensing rights and images of contemporary woven hats for use in future display and publication. The project ultimately aims to build a collection of published and primary resources, create an exhibition that will tour the Hawaii Islands and the U.S. mainland, and develop an online, searchable resource on Hawaiian hat weaving history and traditions and master hat weavers.


Hula Preservation Society - Kaneohe, HI
Congressional District: HI_02
Award Amount: $49,994
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Ms. Maile Loo
Project Director

The Hula Preservation Society will complete "Preserving the Past, Sharing the Future," a project designed to expand the capacity of the society to meet the needs of the Native Hawaiian community. Through a partnership with Kamehameha Schools Archives, society staff members and interns will receive training on processing techniques for archival collections. An archival consultant, in partnership with elder advisers, will develop two guiding documents:  an Archive Processing Manual and a Policy Manual, customized for the society’s unique resources and role in the community.  During the year-long project, the society will complete archival processing of 21,500 items donated by hula masters and native elders; purchase and install archival shelving; and stabilize the collections environment through HEPA air purifiers, enhanced dehumidification, and installation of a multicamera security system.



Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan - Mount Pleasant, MI
Congressional District: MI_04
Award Amount: $49,852
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mr. William Johnson
Curator of the Ziibiwing Center

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways will develop an Exhibition Enhancement and Sustainability Plan to address exhibition wear, update multimedia components, and address artifact conservation concerns. Diaba Jimooyung, a permanent exhibition that opened in 2004, has experienced extensive use and is showing signs of wear. During this project, the tribe will retain the original designers to evaluate the current state of the exhibition and multimedia components to create a plan for its refurbishment, including updating content and integrating new technology components.


Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians - Peshawbestown, MI
Congressional District: MI_04
Award Amount: $22,438
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mrs. Cindy Patek
Museum Director

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will complete the project Mjimendan Dibaajimowin 'naa (Remember Our Story), which will preserve tribal traditions by educating and communicating the history of the tribe through various types of media. Project activities include digitizing, cataloguing, and archiving 400 recordings of taped Grand Traverse Band tribal elders, cultural activities, and oral histories collected from 1996 to the present for long-term storage and preservation. The tribe will also interview and record 60 Grand Traverse tribal elders and preserve many of their personal family photographs for archival purposes. The end result will be a total of 460 digitized recordings of the Grand Traverse Band's elders as well as cultural demonstrations that will be permanently catalogued, archived, and preserved at Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center for current tribal members and future generations.



Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma - Seneca, MO
Congressional District: MO_07
Award Amount: $28,295
Category: Programming applications

Contact: Ms. Robin Dushane
Museum Director

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma will strengthen the tribal museum’s programming through the creation and presentation of Shawnee language classes for all ages. Through partnerships with tribal departments and two other Shawnee-speaking tribes in Oklahoma, the museum will offer regular language classes as well as quarterly language competitions. Courses will focus on teaching vocabulary the first year and subject/verb relationships (conjugation) the second year. The competitions will give students the opportunity to team up with family members or other individuals to demonstrate their language achievement while competing for culturally significant awards and certificates. The museum will offer forty-eight language classes and eight language competitions during this two-year project.



Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe - Nixon, NV
Congressional District: NV_02
Award Amount: $49,994
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mr. Ben Aleck
Collections Manager

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe will develop and install an exhibition, Four Seasons at Pyramid Lake, at its museum/visitor center. Focusing on the life of contemporary Northern Paiute people, the exhibit will be told from the perspective of tribal members through photos and oral history documentation to help stimulate and educate local, regional, and international museum visitors. Photography from the exhibition will be digitized and made accessible through their website. A second phase of the project will involve the complete digitization, inventory, and cataloging of permanent collections. After creating digital records of all collections, the tribe will provide web-based access to this information. The tribe will also create a database of previous visitor names taken from sign-in sheets and website contact forms, which will provide the museum with resources to establish a membership program.


New York

St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians - Akwesasne, NY
Congressional District: NY_23
Award Amount: $49,890
Category: Programming applications

Contact: Ms. Sue Herne

The St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians will work with an independent filmmaker to create a documentary on legendary Mohawk basket weaver Henry Arquette. The filmmaker will collaborate with the Akwesasne Cultural Center; Akwesasne Freedom School; Salmon River Central School District; and New Blankets, a volunteer technology-based organization, to mentor students on the art of documentary filmmaking. Students will participate in a four-week summer class and twenty out-of-school sessions during the 2013-14 school year. Local film studies teachers will provide student instruction, and filmmaking software will be available for student use on 12 computers at the cultural center. Students will produce individual documentaries that will be critiqued by the filmmaker, and an evaluator will measure outcomes throughout the project.



Kaw Nation - Kaw City, OK
Congressional District: OK_03
Award Amount: $34,093
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Ms. Crystal Douglas
Library/Museum Director

Kaw Nation will create an exhibition that will travel to sites such as museums, libraries, universities, and classrooms in Kansas and Missouri. This project will also support the development of new permanent exhibits at the Kanza Museum, including one focusing upon projectile points, a second on beading traditions, and a third on how elders taught youth through storytelling. Another goal of this project is to protect artifacts on display at the museum from light damage by creating screen panels printed with scenes of the Kanza to cover museum windows.


Comanche Indian Tribe - Lawton, OK
Congressional District: OK_04
Award Amount: $49,994
Category: Programming applications

Contact: Ms. Candy Morgan
Education and Public Programs Manager

Through a partnership between the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center and the Museum of Texas Tech University, the Comanche Indian Tribe will develop educational programs teaching the Comanche way of life to Texas elementary and middle school students. Comanche history and culture is not limited to the geographic boundaries of southwest Oklahoma. Indeed the Comanche helped shape the history of Texas. The partners will develop educational programs to be used in Texas classrooms to teach how the Comanche story relates to Texas history. An additional goal of the curriculum is to teach students that the Comanche are a living, thriving community.



Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation - Pendleton, OR
Congressional District: OR_02
Award Amount: $49,982
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Mr. Randall Melton
Collection Curator

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation will create a wireless network throughout the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, allowing wireless access to Tamastslikt's server and its collections database. This network will expedite catalogue and inventory projects, as staff will be able to use any area in the collection or exhibit spaces to add information to the database instantly. Once these upgrades are installed, staff will conduct an inventory and begin to catalogue selected photographic and multimedia collections, including 8 and 16mm footage of tribal functions and tribal council meetings from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.



Makah Indian Tribe - Neah Bay, WA
Congressional District: WA_06
Award Amount: $49,712
Category: Enhancing museum services

Contact: Ms. Janine Bowechop
Director, Makah Cultural and Research Center

The Makah Indian Tribe will use funds to plan for and upgrade dated systems within its thirty-two-year-old museum, the Makah Cultural and Research Center, to ensure safe environmental conditions for artifacts on display. Building on the findings of a recent Conservation Assessment Program report, the tribe will work with a conservator, an electrician, and a lighting designer to develop a lighting and electrical design plan that will improve conservation, increase exhibition viewing opportunities, and save electricity. Additionally, the professional conservator will provide a workshop for community members interested in caring for their cultural items. Upgrades to the museum fire suppression and alarm system will be made to improve safety for collections and visitors.


Quinault Tribe - Taholah, WA
Congressional District: WA_06
Award Amount: $48,940
Category: Programming applications

Contact: Ms. Justine James
Cultural Resource Specialist

The Quinault Indian Nation’s Division of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Quinault Cultural Center, will collect ethnobotanical information to create an illustrated guidebook and mobile museum kiosk. The project’s objectives are to sustain local plant knowledge and values for future generations and to increase the resources available at the Quinault Cultural Center. Elders and plant gatherers will be interviewed, existing documents and photos researched, and reservation field sites explored. Plant names and descriptions will be recorded in the Quinault language, as well as English, when possible. Two tribal members will be trained in basic ethnobotanical research to maintain the project within the community. An interactive kiosk introducing plants and their uses will be developed and made available for loan from the cultural center to community events, schools, and conferences.



Stockbridge Munsee Community - Bowler, WI
Congressional District: WI_08
Award Amount: $49,379
Category: Programming applications

Contact: Mrs. Nathalee Kristiansen
Library/Museum Manager

The Stockbridge Munsee Community will create an outdoor exhibition around a recently constructed traditional longhouse built on the grounds of the Arvid E. Miller Memorial Library-Museum. The longhouse will be used as a teaching lodge featuring three interactive stations (block printing, moccasin making, and loom beading) geared to school-aged children. An interpretative path around the longhouse will focus on various cultural practices, including canoe making, basket making, and storytelling around a fire. Demonstration areas will be developed for animal hide preparation and dance presentations, and a medicine wheel garden of ceremonial plants (sage, sweet grass, tobacco and cedar) will be planted. Participants in the tribe’s Summer Youth Program will play a key role in the development of the exhibition components.