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IMLS Provides Nearly $1 Million in Grants to Strengthen Native American and Native Hawaiian Museum Services

July 13, 2017


Press Contacts:
Giuliana Bullard

IMLS Provides Nearly $1 Million in Grants to Strengthen Native American and Native Hawaiian Museum Services

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced 22 grants, from Montana to Massachusetts, supporting museum services of federally recognized tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. The grants, totaling $985,494, are being made through the IMLS Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services grant program. Forty applications were received requesting nearly $2 million in funds.

The list of awardees provides descriptions of funded projects. States represented among this year’s awardees include Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Washington.

“The IMLS Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services grants play an important role in building capacity of tribal museums,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The funds will help recipient institutions improve collections care; expand access to collections; and develop exhibitions and public programming that will help preserve traditional knowledge for tribal members.”

Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services grants provide opportunities to federally recognized Indian tribes, Native Alaskan villages and corporations, and non-profit organizations primarily serving and representing Native Hawaiians to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge through strengthened museum services. The funding will support activities including exhibitions, educational programming, and professional development. Examples of funded projects include:

  • The Hula Preservation Society’s effort to preserve the ancient Hawaiian storytelling form called Hula ki`i, whose minimal existence, sustained by a handful of practitioners, stands to be a lost tradition. The project will create six video pieces featuring moving images from the HPS Archives of two late hula masters. Combined with historical photos and newspaper articles, the pieces will be used in nine programs to be presented on four islands and the U.S. continent.
  • The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s Tribal Young Adult Exhibit Project, which will create an interactive, kiosk-based exhibit that uses the wealth of Wampanoag cultural materials and resources housed within the tribe’s collections. The Tribe will tap into the talents of young adults (ages 18-30) to gather ideas for exhibit scope, theme, content, direction, and development.
  • The Historic Preservation department of the Puyallup Tribe of Indian’s project will work with consultants to conduct a complete digital inventory of its cultural artifacts to identify the most at-risk, fragile artifacts in need of immediate conservation. The digital inventory, available to those on and off the reservation, is intended to reconnect tribal members to their cultural heritage.

The Native American/Native Hawaiian grant awards were part of $2.4 million in grants that IMLS announced Friday. Additionally, the agency awarded $1.4 million under the African American History and Culture grant program.

More information about the museum grant opportunities can be found on the IMLS website.

Use the IMLS Search Awarded Grants tool to view our archive of grants awarded by the Institute. Search grants by grant name, institution, or project type.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services