Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Native Northeast Research Collaborative (formerly the Yale Indian Papers Project) has been at Yale University since 2003, where it has established itself as one of the country’s leading Native digital humanities endeavors, recognized as a national model for innovative intercultural cooperation. (You can see our accomplishments in our recent post.)
From 2010 to 2019, our work was financed by generous grants from the NEH, NHPRC, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, CLIR, and matching funds from Yale University. This year, however, the Provost’s Office notified us that Yale would no longer contribute to the project, and that we would have to raise the matching funds ourselves for any subsequent grant application.
During the summer, we proposed building a consortium of universities and institutions to share the benefits and the costs of the project and requested bridge funding from Yale. We presented the University with letters of support from 8 tribal governments, 6 Native scholars, numerous Yale students, faculty, staff, alumni, and scholars in the field.
Nonetheless, the Provost, with the approval of the President, denied our request for continued funding or the ability to provide matching support for grant applications. The Provost said while he recognized the project had provided benefits for Yale faculty and students, scholars, and for the University’s reputation among Native American groups, given all the other requests for funding, the project did not meet Yale’s qualifications for funding priorities.
On September 30th, Toby and I closed our office at the Yale Divinity School and left the University.
As we seek to find a new institutional home, we will also continue to explore federal and foundational support.
Many of our tribal community partners have written to us asking about the availability and sustainability of the materials we have collaboratively worked on. On that front, we have good news. The Native Northeast Portal will continue to be available to provide communities and the public access to the thousands of records it contains. We will be adding new documents to it but at a slower rate.
We look forward to continuing our outreach to Native and scholarly communities and providing access to primary source historical materials about Native people, places, and events in the greater Southern New England area.
Paul and Toby