Cultural Preservation Department
General Council Report
The Cultural Preservation Department was created with the mission of maintaining, preserving, and protecting the culture, language, and traditions of the Absentee Shawnee People. To fulfill this mandate, the following programs were created to assist in this endeavor: Cultural Preservation; Gift Shop; Library; and Tribal Historic Preservation. Each of these programs serves a specific function and capacity within the department.
C.P. serves as the main catalyst of the entire department. The main premise is to lead lectures or other discussion concerning the activities of the Tribe and its membership in today's society. We help dispel myths about and stigmas associated with Native Americans. Oftentimes, this program is responsible for providing 'Stomp Dance' and Powwow demonstrations. This programs also provides 'How to' training workshops, teaching our people the basics of regalia construction. We are always recruiting individuals with these types of skills to help us, by maintaining a database of interested people.
This program attempts to provide the types of goods and products our customers want. We have increased our inventory and by the time of this printing, our store will be offering a wide variety of products which will include: hand-made or sewn blouses, dresses, shirts, yarn work or beaded jewelry; embroidered hats, jackets and shirts (dress and Polo-style); Saddle Blanket brand bags, blankets, coasters, and serapes; AST screen printed t-shirts, hoodies, and women's zippered jackets; Leaning Tree greeting cards; and more importantly, Pendleton blankets, plates, mugs and other accessories. If we don't have what you need, let us know and we'll try to find it for you. It is our hope that we will become the "one stop shop of the metro area" as we continue to expand our product line for all types of Native people, whether they participate in Stomp Dance, Powwow, Native American Church, or Sweat Lodge.
The AST Library and Archives has undergone recent changes as well. It is my great pleasure to announce to the Tribe that in the next year, approximately six (6) new initiatives will be implemented through this program, such as: Adult Literacy; Friends of the AST Library; Young Artists in Residence; Library or Books on Wheels; and the continuation of Living Histories. The Library, today, houses over 700 books and 300 documents, along with a number of other donated artifacts. We will also implement a new "Archives" collection, which will enable our current and future members to research data or images specific to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe. Unfortunately, disasters or events beyond our control happen and families lose photos or other memorabilia. It is my hope that members will bring their documents to be scanned and digitally stored.
Tribal Historic Preservation
The THPO program is our busiest and provides the bulk of our daily work. Most people don't know what this program is and why it's vital. On average, we receive at least thirty (30) letters and one hundred (100) emails weekly concerning Section 106 and NAGPRA notifications. This office determines the necessary response for the Tribe's "areas of concern" in our former land base, consisting of at least 23 states. Some of these discussions include: phone conversations; emails, drafting and negotiation of Memorandum of Understandings (MOU); MOU signings; and Government-to Government relationships, which requires regular travel. These visits always provide an update of the current situations with each organization and each specific site.
As we continue to make progress, please visit with our staff. Each of them is knowledgeable and skilled in their areas. If you haven't been to our building lately, please stop by to say 'hello' and look around. We hope you like the improvements we've made and it is our intent to provide services from a department you can be proud of.