Museum of Riverside Receives $19,150 Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums

Published: 3/30/2022



March 30, 2022



Brenda Buller Focht

Museum Curator

[email protected]

(951) 826-5130


Susan Feller, President & CEO

Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums

[email protected]




Museum of Riverside Receives $19,150 Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums

Riverside, CA – The Museum of Riverside received a $19,150 grant through the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Native Institutions. This grant opportunity is intended to help Native cultural institutions to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and provide humanities programming to their communities. Funds were provided through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed by the U.S. Congress.

Funds will support “The Boarding School Experience: A Scholarly Series of Oral Histories, Lectures, and Video Screenings.”  The Museum of Riverside will work with the Sherman Indian High School Museum and University of California, Riverside to capture and present stories from the heritage of California’s Ajachemem, Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Luiseño, Tataviam, and Tongva peoples, specifically the effects of the boarding school experience. Five tribal members’ interviews will become a documentary first screened at Sherman Indian High School and later at other Riverside venues.  The project will include a public discussion with scholars and culture bearers.

 “This grant supports the Museum’s continuing partnerships that have aimed for many years to foreground Indigenous history and culture of our region,” Museum of Riverside Director Robyn G. Peterson said. “Funding through ATALM will ensure that still more of these histories are recorded and—most importantly—in the voices of those who experienced Indigenous boarding schools.”

“COVID-19 hit Tribal communities particularly hard. The pandemic is not only responsible for the loss of culture keepers, Native language speakers, elders, and government leaders, but also the closure of cultural institutions, furloughed staff, and reduced programming,” said ATALM President Susan Feller. “This opportunity will provide much-needed financial support and create humanities-based programs that bring cultural practitioners and the public together in a dialogue that embraces the civic and cultural life of Native communities.”

The Museum of Riverside was selected by an independent Peer Review Committee and is one of 84 awardees to receive funding. Other awardees representing 25 states include Tribal governments and Native nonprofit organizations, as well as higher education institutions and non-native nonprofit organizations working in partnership with state or federally recognized tribal entities. A total of $3.26 million was granted. A list of grantees is available at www.atalm.org.

“The National Endowment for the Humanities is grateful to the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums for the association’s important work in administering American Rescue Plan funding to help Native American cultural institutions recover from the pandemic,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “These grants provide valuable humanities resources to tribal communities and represent a lifeline to the many Native heritage sites and cultural centers that are helping preserve and educate about Indigenous history, traditions, and languages.” 

Follow the Museum of Riverside on Facebook and Instagram for more information.

For the latest information and resources regarding COVID-19 -- www.RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19







The Museum of Riverside, a department of the city of Riverside, holds a large multi-disciplinary collection relevant to the history, culture, and natural science of the region.  The Museum has a proud history of exhibitions, programs, and publications foregrounding local and regional achievement.  Sites include the downtown Riverside main museum, Heritage House, Harada House, and the Harada House Interpretive Center (forthcoming).  All sites except Heritage House are temporarily closed for renovation or rehabilitation.  Heritage House is open Friday-Sunday for guided tours; pre-registration for tours is required via Eventbrite.




museum logo


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.




National Endowment for the Humanities logo


The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) is an international association dedicated to preserving and advancing the language, history, culture, and lifeways of Indigenous peoples. Founded in 2010, ATALM maintains a network of support for Indigenous cultural programs, provides professional development training, enables collaboration among tribal and non-tribal cultural institutions, and advocates for programs and funding to sustain the cultural sovereignty of Native Nations. To learn more, visit www.atalm.org.





Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums Logo