Claremont, CA (May 10, 2012) — Pitzer College Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Studies Gina Lamb has received a Community Stories grant from Cal Humanities, a nonprofit that promotes the humanities in California. The grant will fund Lamb’s on-going documentary project about the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe’s culture and community.
The Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe is so relatively unknown that some historical accounts list the tribe as extinct, according to Lamb. The tribe is currently trying to re-establish its presence on ancestral lands in Northern California.
“Documenting this process and current activities of the tribe, as well as establishing their history as told by the tribal members, will help educate people in California and across the nation that the Costanoan Rumsen are a living, culturally-practicing indigenous people,” Lamb said.
Lamb began working with the tribe about four years ago, building on a partnership established by Assistant Professor of Sociology Erich Steinman, Community Engagement Center (CEC) Assistant Vice President Tessa Hicks Peterson and CEC Native American Program Coordinator Scott Scoggins. The CEC has helped create a variety of Native American programs at Pitzer, including the Native Summer Pipeline to College, a two-week program which immerses Native high school students in the college experience. Lamb has taught in the program since its inception and works with Native youth to create documentaries and archive tribal footage from past events and ceremonies.
“Getting to know the tribe has been an honor for me and has raised my consciousness about the history and present-day struggle of some of California’s first peoples,” Lamb said.
Cal Humanities’ Community Stories (previously the California Story Fund) grant program supports story-based public humanities projects that collect, preserve, interpret and share the stories of communities in California.