The Wild Center has been awarded $245,000 from a federal grant program to fund a collaborative project that will honor indigenous perspective and knowledge and incorporate it into the everyday museum experience. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced recently that the Tupper Lake museum was successful in its grant application for $245,161 for a Museums for America Grant for its Two Row project.
The Two Row project will bring several Native American tribal entities and indigenous knowledge experts together to help The Wild Center incorporate traditional ecological knowledge, different perspectives and culture into its exhibits and experiences. The Wild Center will partner with the Six Nations Indian Museum, the Akwesasne Cultural Center, the Indigenous Education Institute, and the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry for this three-year project.
The Marsh Oxbow exhibit, in the permanent exhibit hall at The Wild Center, will be reinterpreted from the perspective of the Akwesasne Mohawk people, and include a storytelling video, by the Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota, NY and the Akwesasne Cultural Center in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne (located 75 miles from The Wild Center). The partnership will also develop a canoe trip along The Wild Center’s oxbow on the Raquette River that shares both western science and Native American ecological knowledge. Interns, specifically hired for this project from the Mohawk community and SUNY-ESF, will work at the three organizations leading the canoe trips and programs. Funds from the grant will also go towards permanently installing elements of these exhibits at both the Six Nations Indian Museum and the Akwesasne Cultural Center.
The Wild Center will also host two traveling exhibits in 2018, one created by the Akwesasne Cultural Center providing an introduction to their community’s culture, lifestyle and ecology and the second, Roots of Wisdom, created by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, will help visitors discover the modern-day partnership between western science and traditional knowledge through the stories of four communities addressing challenges using both of these perspectives. In 2018, the partners will co-curate a contemporary art and artisan exhibition at The Wild Center.
This year IMLS received 558 applications requesting $104,538,159. They selected 132 projects to receive funding totaling $19,189,929. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program and project category. IMLS staff presented this information to the IMLS Director, who then made the final funding decisions.
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. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Their grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. For more information, click here.
For additional information about the Akwesasne Cultural Center, contact Sue Ellen Herne at (518) 358-2240.
For additional information about the Six Nations Indian Museum, contact David Fadden at (518) 891-2299.