American Indian College Fund Awards Grants to Preserve and Restore Native Art Forms

Jun 17th, 2014 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

The American Indian College Fund has awarded four three-year grants of $50,000 each to tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in the upper-Midwest through a program designed to increase the intergenerational transfer of artistic and cultural knowledge and processes from elders to adults and children. The grants also provide direct support for Native artists, while stemming the tide of lost and endangered cultural art forms in tribal communities. The program is funded by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Awardees include Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC, Cass Lake, MN), Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC, Belcourt, ND), Sinte Gleska University (SGU, Mission, SD), and Oglala Lakota College (OLC, Kyle, SD).
LLTC will create a traditional Native arts certificate program for enrolled students, develop a master and apprentice program for quillwork for four to five members of the community, create community classes to teach how to process a whole deer and its’ hide, and hold classes on canoe-making, woodland clay pottery, and basket-making using various fibers.

OLC will use its grant to provide existing academic courses with more supplies and materials, cultural artifacts, and teaching materials. The college will also hire additional traditional artists for its summer series and encourage instructional centers to provide more mini-workshops on traditional Native cultural art forms.
SGU will explore developing certificate programs in specific traditional arts, such as the use of bison products for creating ceremonial and daily use items. Bison products will also be used as a medium for mixing other arts such tanning hides, painting of hides and bone segments, and developing beaded and quilled items using primary bison bones and hides. SGU will also provide workshops in each of the 20 reservation communities and on campus, while developing competencies for certifying master artists through alternative credentialing and degree attainment.

TMCC will strengthen offerings in traditional Native arts through four interlocking strategies, including the formalization of a cultural artist committee which will provide the cultural knowledge to broaden the framework of traditional arts, develop an archival body of knowledge, establish a system to use master artists and apprentices as instructors, and develop traditional Native arts coursework in which the schedule is adapted to the cultural art form.

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