The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center is the only Native facility of its kind on any university grounds in the country. The dream began when Evergreen State College faculty member, Mary Ellen Hillaire of the Lummi tribe, founded the Native American Studies Program.
The project engaged 20 local Native youth ages 5 to 17 who live in Sonoma County, California in creating and delivering a theatrical performance designed to illuminate local Native cultural maintenance and social issues and build awareness and understanding of Native cultures.
Funding supported the 10th gathering of ukulele and slack key guitar masters at the Kahilu Theatre and provided a multi-day Institute comprised of eight public performances, four on-site training workshops with over 100 students, and eight youth shows at four schools.
The conference was the very first Native Hawaiian Writers and Literature conference. In addition to the 400+ conference attendees, it attracted over 30 Native Hawaiian published writers who participated in multiple ways including as panelists, performers, workshop presenters and moderators and keynote speakers.
The Alutiiq Museum is one of the premier cultural centers in Native Alaska. From 2000 to 2013, MacArthur Foundation Fellow Sven Haakanson, while their Executive Director, led efforts at the museum like this project that incorporated traditional Native arts education into the museum’s programs.
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is regarded as the foremost Native arts educational institution in the country. It offers four-year degrees in Studio Arts, Visual Communication, Creative Writing and Museum Studies. Funding for the Mescalero Water Tank Project supported an education-based cultural preservation project in which IAIA worked in collaboration with the Mescalero Apache community. The Institute’s staff worked with Apache youth to document nearly forgotten water tanks used by Apache “cowboys” during the area’s mid-20th century heyday of cattle ranching. Known as “cowboy graffiti”, these markings have now been preserved as artifacts.
The Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) provides cultural programming for the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people of southeast Alaska. SHI develops and implements programming for the preservation and perpetuation of Southeast Alaska’s Native arts and cultures. Primary constituencies are the approximately 22,000 Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian of the region and in the lower 48. While Alaska Natives comprise approximately 15% of Southeast Alaska’s total population, they comprise approximately 20% of the population in the region’s nine larger schools, and average 81% of the population in the region’s eight smallest school districts.