Historical Research Project, Inc.
Research and Educational Agency
Walthill and Rosalie, Nebraska
An Omaha Baby
Omaha Tribal Historical Research Project, Inc. [OTHRP]
New Moon Moving
A Vision of Cultural Resilience
The Omaha Tribal Historical Research Project (OTHRP), begun informally “from the grassroots” in 1974, has over the last quarter century become one of the more successful and influential groups of its type in the United States.
Incorporated in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, OTHRP has been at the forefront of cross-cultural “coalition building, public education and advocacy to effect positive social change” between the Native and non-Native communities of Nebraska, and elsewhere. The group has facilitated important original research in a wide range of related fields, including the recording of archival photographs and other documents, and production of major exhibits held at such institutions as Harvard University and the University of Nebraska/Lincoln (UNL), among others.
One of OTHRP’s first projects occurred in the early 1980’s, in collaboration with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. The group provided authentication for restoring early wax cylinder recordings of traditional Umonhon (Omaha) music, and reintroduced these songs to the local community and to the world. Today this project is documented at the Library of Congress website: http://memory.loc.gov/ ammem/omhhtml/omhhome.html
worked with both the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature and the United States
Congress to successfully pass landmark legislation regarding repatriation
issues, including (with the former) both LB 612 (Omaha), which was first
defeated but later passed as LB 340 (Pawnee) adopted in 1989, and the
Federal Native Graves and Repatriation Act of 1990. Beginning in
the late 1970’s, OTHRP successfully negotiated a return of sacred objects,
including the Sacred Pole and White Buffalo Hide and other cultural materials
from such institutions as Harvard University, the George Heye Collection
of the Museum of the American Indian, and the Nebraska State Historical
Society, among others.
Honorable Mention of the 1998 Victor Turner Prize for Blessing For a Long Time: The Story of the Omaha Sacred Pole by Robin Ridington and Dennis Hastings;
Several awards each for Dancing to Give Thanks and The Return of the Sacred Pole (1991), both shown at the Sundance Film Festival;
and a 1993 Governor’s Art Awards from the Nebraska Arts Council for West Meets West, a collaborative performance with t
he Omaha Symphony Orchestra of contemporary Umonhon and symphonic music, among many others.
OTHRP has been prominently noted in several
books, collaborated with or contributed to dozens of scholarly articles,
and featured among scores of print and broadcast news reports circulated
throughout the U.S., and internationally.
Collegiate Schools of Architecture
Society of Architects' Unbuilt Architecture
50th Annual Progressive Architecture Award
The organization has existed primarily on the dedication and commitment of its Founder/Director Dennis Hastings, a Ph.D. candidate. OTHRPís Board of Directors presently includes several distinguished Umonhon tribal elders and non-Natives, including the current and a former Tribal Council Chairman, a former head of a national archival organization, a retired senior Library of Congress folklorist, a current museum director, a UNL professor and Fulbright Fellow, and a professor emeritus of anthropology from a Canadian University.
OTHRP's latest project on the reservation is "Bringing the past to the future." Sixty pictures have gone up in the Umonhon Nation Public Schools including a special "Hall of Honor" for Hampton Institute students. Pictures have already been placed at the Carl T. Curtis Medical Centerís Dinning Room and Lobby. Plans are underway to place another thirty pictures in the Walthill Public Schools. A Nebraska State Humanities Council grant helped this project.
Internationally, OTHRP has facilitated Omaha Classes in Egypt. In 2005 Dr. Wael A. Abdelhameed, Assistant Professor of Architecture started to use the plans of New Moon Moving as an model example of organic and cultural architecture in his classroom. In 2006 Dr. Ikram Elsherif is teaching Native American Literature and Omaha Culture at South Valley University in Sohag, Egypt.
To contact OTHRP, INC. directly:
RR 1 Box 79A
Walthill, NE 68067
A museum for the people, built by the people to house the artifacts and sacred items taken from the people over a century ago. Help right a historic wrong by being a part of the return of a culture, make a donation with or without a purchase.
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This site is the work of an all volunteer multi-cultural group of people. We update it regularly so that it is timely and useful. It is constantly expanding as we bring new information and new art pieces to the public. This is a free service given willingly by people who believe in promoting artisans and in helping the Omaha people built their museum for their artifacts and sacred objects that were finally returned to them in 1991. We ask that you join us by telling others about the site and to make a donation to the museum. Every little bit helps.
All donations are USA tax deductible.