Northern Arapaho Tribe Historic Preservation Office Receives Grant; Arapaho Story Map Creation Projects

(St. Stephens, WY) – The Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office received a $49,996 grant through the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Native Institutions.

This grant opportunity aims to help Indigenous cultural institutions recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver humanities programs to their communities. The funds were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed by the US Congress.

The funds support the Reclaiming the Past for Future Generations project which will support the organization and creation of an Arapaho history map. The Arapaho History Map is designed to infuse historical documentation from the Chicago Field Museum’s Cleaver Warden Anthropological Collection with contemporary stories and photos of living Arapaho elders.

The Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) along with a cohort of tribal experts, will use information from Cleaver Warden to create educational materials to inform our tribal members, community and schools by creating a timeline or what we call the history of Arapaho. Map. We have curated a timeline preview and will be working with seniors and a cohort of education and humanities experts to collect stories from living seniors and photos to complete a story card to put in the hands of each Arapaho. We will work with schools to introduce the Arapaho History Map (ASM) through lesson plans developed by our cohort and classroom teachers to meet state standards and integrate ASM into the mainstream curriculum by following these steps:

  1. Generate a story map to educate and teach our youth;
  2. Build a genealogical timeline;
  3. Creation of a Ken Burns type Powerpoint to share in booking schools
  4. Use pre- and post-questionnaires as evaluations to measure effective and ineffective aspects and ineffective aspects of programs and improve them for future presentations
  5. Working with classroom teachers to generate lesson plans based on the ASM THPO will fulfill part of our mission to preserve traditional ecological knowledge for the Northern Arapaho people and provide materials that will enable future generations to study and to learn.

“It will be for the betterment of our community, the inclusivity of our elders, and bringing together our older and younger generations to learn more about our past, for the future,” Crystal Reynolds shared.

“COVID-19 has hit tribal communities particularly hard. The pandemic is not only responsible for the loss of culture keepers, native language speakers, elders and government leaders, but also for the closure of cultural institutions, furloughed staff and a reduced programming,” said ATALM President Susan Feller. “This opportunity will provide much-needed financial support and create humanities-based programs that will bring cultural practitioners and the public together in dialogue that embraces the civic and cultural life of Indigenous communities.

The Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office was selected by an independent peer review panel and is one of 84 winners to receive funding. Other recipients representing 25 states include tribal governments and Indigenous nonprofit organizations, as well as institutions of higher education and non-Indigenous nonprofit organizations working in partnership with state-recognized tribal entities or at the federal level. A total of $3.26 million was granted.

A list of beneficiaries is available at www.atalm.org.

“The National Endowment for the Humanities is grateful to the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums for the association’s important work in administering U.S. bailout funding to help Native American cultural institutions recover from the pandemic,” said NEH President Shelly C. Lowe. (Navajo). “These grants provide valuable humanities resources to tribal communities and represent a lifeline for the many Indigenous heritage sites and cultural centers that help preserve and educate about Indigenous history, traditions and languages.

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