Each year, Recovering Voices funds a Community Research Grant Program to make the collections and archives of the Smithsonian Institution available to community researchers working on language and knowledge revitalization. Thus far, researchers from eight communities have been funded including Bella Bella and Bella Coola, Barbareño Chumash, Hopi, Zuni and Kiowa among others.
The visits funded through the Recovering Voices’ Community Research Grant Program allow communities access to the resources and collections of the Smithsonian Institution that would otherwise be inaccessible due to distance and cost. Visiting groups in past years have researched collections held by the Department of Anthropology, the National Anthropological Archives and the National Museum of the American Indian. Each community brings a different focus, but all are united in their work towards revitalizing their language and cultural knowledge.
Community visits are conducted following the Recovering Voices model of collections-based research. Recovering Voices understands that knowledge and information are embodied in material culture; interaction with an object can bring back a memory or a story of how it was used or made. As such, visits are video recorded to assist both the group and Recovering Voices in remembering what we learn in a medium that can be returned to the community. These audiovisual materials are high definition and can be used to create educational materials for use in community-based revitalization activities.
This year’s call for proposals opens Friday, February 13th and closes Friday, April 10th. All research projects are required to use the collections or archives of the Smithsonian and we encourage visiting groups to be intergenerational, fostering the transmission of knowledge between generations. Selected projects can be carried out in Fall 2015. Guidelines for proposals and application materials can be found on the Resources & Grants tab on our website.
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