Two decades ago, the High Desert Museum opened “By Hand Through Memory,” a permanent exhibition sharing the stories of the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama, Spokane and Colville people from the period of reservation confinement in the 19th and 20th centuries to the present day.
The exhibition filled a critical need in conveying the deep connections of native people to the High Desert, stretching back from time immemorial to the late 1990s.
Now, the High Desert Museum is preparing to revisit that exhibition, updating it in coordination with tribes throughout the region. The National Endowment for the Humanities recognized the importance of this effort earlier this month by awarding a $45,000 grant to the museum to carry out these plans.
The NEH funding will support collaboration with tribal representatives, including academic and cultural experts. Together, their insights will help the High Desert Museum reframe “By Hand Through Memory. “
The exhibition will emphasize that Indigenous cultures are vibrant, living cultures that continue to shape the High Desert.