Through research, education, advocacy and alliance building, The Cultural Conservancy’s mission is to protect Native lands, document and revitalize endangered songs, stories and traditional knowledge and advocate for the health and well being of indigenous communities.
Ronald Paquin is an artist whose mastery of a number of Indigenous art practices is well-known. Michigan State University has awarded him a Master Artist Grant nine times and the Ziibiwing Cultural Center of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe commissioned him to create over 70 items for the collection. His work has been recognized by two different artist awards from the First People’s Fund.
Building from a renowned lineage of musicians with unique guitar tunings, including his father Gabby Pahinui, slack-key master Cyril Pahinui has developed a distinctive style that is instantly recognizable and imparts an intimate picture of his island home. His soulful baritone voice brings a deeply personal emotion to everything he sings.
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.
PA’I Foundation’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations, and they have established a cultural center on O’ahu to better serve the broader Hawaiian community. The foundation is among a group that is the driving force behind movements to recover language, cultural traditions, healing practices, voyaging, navigations and agricultural practices of a people in their ancestral land who are now the minority population.
Funding for the project supported a collaboration between Narragansett tribal members and Narragansett wampum artists, Allen Hazard, who has been creating wampum art for over 35 years, and Lorén Spears, a traditional bead artist. Traditionally the creation of wampum belts was a collaborative effort. As a cultural practice, the wampum belt depicts the stories of the Narragansett people.
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 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.