New Town, N.D. — Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC) and the University of North Dakota (UND) will collaborate on a $500 thousand grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitally preserve Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara language and culture. NHSC faculty and students will conduct oral interviews with elders and inventory, preserve and digitize critically endangered language resources and other at-risk traditional knowledge. The UND team will build and expand Three Affiliated Tribes’ digital collection. Together, NHSC and UND will create educational resources for use in the state of North Dakota’s new K-12 Native American history curriculum and as part of a special initiative on the NHSC campus.
“This partnership will help bridge gaps in preserving and revitalizing Three Affiliated Tribes’ cultural and traditional lifeways by helping us train the next generation of caretakers,” said Dr. Twyla Baker, NHSC president. “We are excited to enter into this partnership on such culturally significant work with our colleagues at UND.”
“These three tribes were among the first occupants of what became known as the Dakota Territory – long before settlers arrived,” said UND President Andy Armacost. “It is fitting that we partner with Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College in this important endeavor to preserve these valuable resources for current and future generations to study. This grant award is another advancement for UND’s ongoing efforts to not only strengthen its American Indian Studies program, but also to digitally preserve and make available critical historical and cultural information about the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation”.
The NEH grant also provides funding to build a traditional foodways skills lab that will feature a kitchen where faculty, students and community members can practice traditional foodways and preservation techniques. Kitchen cabinets will be temperature controlled to ensure proper storage of NHSC’s seed cache as well as materials needed for demonstrations on seed drying and plant processing, including those used for medicinal purposes. The professionally designed skills lab also will be used for community gatherings and the practice of food sovereignty.
NHSC enhances the quality of life and builds a strong, positive identity for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations or Three Affiliated Tribes. NHSC offers in-demand certificate programs and associate degrees as well as three bachelor’s degrees. The college offers high-quality cultural, academic, and vocational education. NHSC provides encouragement and support to facilitate successful college careers.