UC Riverside is among 90 institutions to share $2.5 million in recently awarded National Trust for Historic Preservation grants. UCR’s share is $25,000, and will fund Professor Steven Hackel’s grant proposal entitled “Reenvisioning Mission San Gabriel Arcángel’s Museum: Towards a Collection-Based and Community-Centered History of Los Angeles’s Most Important Historical Site.”
In the grant application, Hackel wrote that the goal of the project is to “fully engage Native consultants and a range of experts in the research, interpretation, conservation, and presentation of the history of Mission San Gabriel.”
“The mission was built by Native labor, is the site of 5,600 Native burials, and is a place of profound Native memory and religious observance. Yet, Native voice, Indigenous knowledge, and local history have never been incorporated into the mission museum’s curatorial practices or gallery displays,” Hackel wrote. He wrote that a project goal is to “displace a Eurocentric understanding of the legacies of Spanish colonization and Catholic missionization.”
The National Trust received 450 applications for the grants, which are awarded through its Telling the Full History Preservation Fund, made possible through a one-time National Endowment for the Humanities, or NEH, grant program funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The grants will help to preserve, interpret, and activate historic places to tell the stories of historically underrepresented groups in our nation, including women, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ individuals, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Black Americans, and Latinx Americans.