NN Cannery Project Receives Support from Federal Grant for Historical Preservation
The collaborative partnership between Tundra Vision, Alaska Association for Historic Preservation, the Alaska State Museum, Trident Seafoods, and local Bristol Bay groups aims to create an historical exhibition focused on the NN Cannery
ANCHORAGE, AK – Trident Seafoods and Tundra Vision were awarded a grant from the National Endowments for Humanities (NEH) for the NN Cannery Project that aims to revive, reunite and raise awareness for the multi-cultural community that has existed in canneries through the Pacific slope for over a century. In early August, the NEH announced $39.3 million in grants for 245 humanities projects across the country, including the NN Cannery Project, to support vital research, education, and public programs in the humanities.
Tundra Vision, a public history consulting firm, will use the NEH grant to process and refine the raw material – records, interviews, photos, and objects – collected at the NN Cannery property and develop it into an exhibition and companion book that will present to the public an introspective, unique, and colorful depiction of cannery peoples’ lifeways and history.
“We are thrilled, honored and excited to help preserve an important, albeit, little known part of Alaska history,” said Kathrine Ringsmuth, PhD and Founder, Tundra Vision. “Thank you to our project partners for allowing the project to move forward, and to NEH for recognizing the significance of cannery work to the nation’s history.”
The collaborative partnership between Tundra Vision, Trident Seafoods, the Alaska State Museum, the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation and local Bristol Bay groups will create an exhibit designed to connect past and current cannery people; develop educational and interpretive programming to better understand this ethnically diverse group of people; and help the community preserve the architectural, cultural and technological knowledge representative of more than a century of cannery lives. “As a history buff,” said Trident’s President of Alaska Operations Vic Scheibert, “I am very excited about what [the NN Cannery History] project is doing and commend them for their efforts.”
“NEH grants ensure that Americans around the country have the opportunity to engage with our shared cultural heritage,” said NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “From traveling exhibitions and teacher workshops to efforts to preserve local history, these projects demonstrate the power of the humanities to build connections, stimulate discovery, and contribute to vibrant communities.”
For over a century, the NN Cannery served as the centerpiece of the resource-rich Bristol Bay salmon fishery, accounting for 70% of the total salmon pack resulting from the combined efforts of employees from Europe, Asia Pacific and indigenous Alaskans. Because the facility functioned almost continuously between 1895 and 2015, it has maintained architectural and cultural integrity, and remains one of the most historically significant remnants of the industry on the West Coast.
Through a joint agreement with Tundra Vision, the NN Cannery History Project will be added to the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation’s list of programs that includes other community-based organizations such Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance and Friends of Nike Site Summit. AAHP will fulfill the project’s administrative and fiduciary duties and raise funds through grants, donations, and other means to conduct the National Register nomination, educational programming and exhibit.
The Mug Up exhibit aspires to explain to the broader public why the task of canning salmon shaped history as told through the stories, perspectives and products of the NN Cannery crew. It will inform visitors from near and far the narratives from the cannery workscape.
About Trident Seafoods
Trident Seafoods is a privately-held, vertically-integrated seafood company with primary processing operations located in coastal communities throughout Alaska, including Akutan, Cordova, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Naknek, Petersburg, Sand Point, Saint Paul, and Wrangell.
About Tundra Vision
Tundra Vision Public History Consultants provides a broad range of services, including curriculum design; historical interpretation and evaluation; exhibit curation; research and writing; and public history events, activities and projects that bring communities together.
About Alaska Association for Historic Preservation
AAHP, an statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation, and presides over a nine-member Board of Directors that consists of archeologists, architects, and other Alaska professionals with expertise in the humanities. It works with property owners and other groups to preserve Alaska’s heritage though conservation easements and partners with advocates for local preservation.
The Alaska State Museum
The Alaska State Museum’s permanent galleries opened in 2016 as part of the critically acclaimed Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives and Museum building, an 118,000-square-foot facility designed to collect and preserve objects and documents that represent the people and history of Alaska.
For more information, please contact:
Katherine Ringsmuth, PhD