Native Voices

Traveling Exhibit Guidelines
Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness

The application period is now ended.

Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Table of Contents

  1. Project Overview
  2. Award Information
  3. Award Administration Information
  4. Points of Contact

I. Project Overview

In partnership with the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the American Library Association Public Programs Office has selected a group of public, academic, special, tribal and tribal college library sites to host national tours of Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness, a banner/iPad exhibition that explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness, and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. The exhibition will travel to a total of 104 sites.

The traveling exhibit is made possible through the support of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. For more information, visit

Native Voices is touring from February 2016 through June 2020. Selected sites will host the exhibit for six weeks. The exhibits require 35 linear feet of space for optimal display. Each site will be awarded a grant of $250 to support public programs related to the exhibits.

The project includes an orientation webinar for the exhibit. Webinars featured presentations about exhibit set up, content, programming and outreach consultation. A recording of the session can be viewed here.

The Native Voices exhibit

Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness examines how wellness and illness are interconnected with cultural life. Stories drawn from both the past and the present examine how the determinants of health for Native People are tied to community, the land, and spirit. Through personal interviews, Native People describe how individual and community wellness are affected by the political and cultural events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Individual reflections show the impact of epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land, and the inhibition of culture on the health of Native individuals and communities today. Collectively, these stories convey how Native People use both traditional and Western methods to enhance wellness, ultimately presenting an inspiring account of renaissance, recovery, and self-determination.

Native Voices is divided into five distinct themes--Individual, Community, Nature, Tradition and Healing--that touch upon the following topics:

  • Native views and definitions of health and illness.
  • Native views of Land, Food, Community, the Earth/Nature, and Spirituality as they relate to Native health and illness.
  • Contemporary and historical roles of traditional healing in Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian cultures.
  • Relationship of traditional healing and Western medicine in Native communities.
  • Native stories about the practice of healing.
  • Native traditions and activities that promote health and healing.
  • Issues of economic development and the impact on the health of Native communities.
  • Role of Native Americans in military service as an element of pride, honor, sense of tribal health, and commitment to tribe and country.
  • Contemporary intergenerational views of Native health, including those of Native elders, women, and youth.
  • Current work by Native communities and leadership to improve their community and individual health conditions.

The traveling exhibition comprises six free-standing banners and six iPads with stands. The title banner introduces the exhibition; each of the other five banners focus on one of the main themes. The iPads complement and enhance the banners by providing a robust selection of videos, imagery and personal stories that delve into those themes. Using the iPads, visitors can:

  • Watch interviews of tribal leaders, healers, physicians and other health care professionals, along with clergy, educators and students.
  • Experience the journey of the healing totem from the Lummi Nation in Washington State to the site of its permanent home at the National Library of Medicine.
  • Follow the voyage of the Hōkūle'a canoe in Hawai'i, an icon of Hawaiian culture and health.
  • Learn about the unique role played by the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II.

Every iPad delivers the full video content associated with the exhibition.

Physical Details

This handicap accessible traveling exhibition comprises six free-standing banners and six iPad stands and iPads. The exhibit comes with all necessary components, including:

  • Six Banners (Height: 7 feet, Width: 3 feet) with a banner installation guide.
  • Six iPads, pre-loaded with video content. No internet connection required.
    • Electrical set-up: Use standard 120 volt AC Recommend one plug per iPad and 2 power strips (host-supplied).
  • Six iPad stands (Height: 50 inches, Width: 20 inches, Depth: 20 inches).
  • iPad stand installation guide.
  • Headphones (6).
  • Tool kit.

Stools optional but recommended (host-supplied). Pilot testing indicates some visitors appreciate having a stool to use while watching the iPad videos.

The exhibition comes shipped in three custom crates (Height: 70 inches, Width: 30 inches, Depth: 48 inches, Weight: 480 pounds each). Labeling Crate exteriors are numbered (e.g., 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.). Crate interiors are labeled to indicate the correct placement of each component. Crate interiors are also labeled with instructions required for packing and unpacking. Crate packing instructions are provided. Exhibits will require approximately 3 hours to set up.

Professional Training /Project Support

Support Materials

The online Site Support Notebook includes programming, publicity, resources and logistics information for the Native Voices exhibit.

Health Resources

American Indian Health,

Over 4 million residents of the United States can claim American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry, in whole or in part. Though far from a homogeneous population, with over 500 tribes, most American Indians are drawn together by core values such as an emphasis on spirituality, recognition of the sacredness of all living things, and respect for the land and the natural world in general. The many American Indian subpopulations are culturally distinctive, diverse, and complex; they are living on nearly 300 reservations in the lower 48 states, and speak more than 300 different languages.

The American Indians' diversity, coupled with their small population groups scattered throughout the United States, has made it difficult to provide a uniform, readily accessible health care system.

American Indian Health web resource sponsored by the National Library of Medicine is designed to bring together health and medical resources pertinent to the American Indian population including policies, consumer health information, and research. Links are provided here to an assortment of documents, websites, databases, and other resources.

Much of the information is easy to understand and there are also links to sites with stories of Indian people and their experiences with health problems and ways of wellness. Pre-formulated PubMed/MEDLINE searches are available under different health topics, and they provide links to the latest in medical research involving American Indians. Often it is possible to read entire journal articles.

Health on this website is used in its broadest sense, and includes physical, mental, social/cultural, and environmental aspects. Research encompasses basic, applied, laboratory, and community, as well as research conducted in partnerships with community groups.

Requirements for Host Sites

All public, academic, special, tribal and tribal college libraries or organizations collaborating with libraries chosen as hosts for a Native Voices exhibit are required to do the following:

  • Sign a contract with the American Library Association agreeing to programming, publicity, evaluation, reporting and other project requirements.
  • Present a minimum of 2 public programs in collaboration with community organizations or educators. The programs should be for different age groups, including one opening event. Any one of these programs may be combined with the opening event.
  • Market the exhibition and programs in the community.
  • Allow the public to view the exhibition and attend public programs free of charge.
  • Provide reports, including an exhibition condition report and a final report, to the ALA. Participate in exhibition evaluation as requested.
  • Appoint one staff member as the Project Director of the exhibition. The Project Director is responsible for attending the orientation webinar, reviewing educational and support materials, and overseeing programming and marketing of the exhibition.
  • Appoint one staff member to be the local Project Coordinator. The Project Coordinator will also attend the orientation webinar, and will be responsible for project logistics and technology, i.e., assuring that the exhibition is set up, displayed and taken down according to project guidelines.
  • Agree to all publicity requirements, including use of designated exhibition credits and/or logos on all local publicity materials, both in-print and online.
  • Show that the library has sufficient space to display the exhibition (35 linear feet in one area of the library is required), and can provide security for the exhibition, i.e., monitor the exhibition at least every half-hour during peak times and every hour at less busy times.
  • Be responsible for the condition of the exhibition. Sites will be held responsible for damage to or loss of the exhibition when it is under their control. Minor repairs will be carried out and paid for by the project grant.
  • INSURANCE: It is required that each host library add the exhibition to their institutional insurance coverage or purchase an insurance rider. The value of the exhibition is approximately $35,000. The exhibition should be insured from ten days' before the first day of the exhibition period to ten days after the closing date.

II. Award Information

Public, academic, special tribal and tribal college libraries, or organizations collaborating with libraries, were selected to host the exhibit between February 2016 and June 2020. A full list of the exhibit sites can be found here. Each host site will receive the following:

  • The traveling exhibition for a six-week loan period (shipping costs are paid by the project grant).
  • A $250 grant for expenses related to local exhibition programming (indirect costs may not be charged to the grant by host sites). Please note that grant funds may not be used to pay for social events, receptions, entertainment, or alcoholic beverages.
  • Exhibition brochures and posters available for download and use.
  • A publicity kit containing images for use in publicity and on host library websites.
  • Online Site Support Resources with press materials, shipping and installation instructions, and suggestions for programming.
  • Technical and programming support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the tour, including participation in an online discussion list for tour sites.
  • Training through a required project webinar.
  • Repair of reasonable damages to the exhibition, due to normal wear and tear, when it is under their control.

III. Award Administration Information

Date grants distributed: At the start of the year your site is receiving the exhibit.

Webinars: A recording of the webinar can be viewed here.

Date grants distributed: January 7, 2016

Webinars: January 7 and 14, 2016

Final Report Due: 30 days after completion of exhibit display period.

Reporting Requirements
Please log in to your account to see the Pre-Exhibit Report forms, where you can upload your publicity plans, insurance information and submit a Condition Report. You will find the Final Report forms here as well. The Final Report is due 30 days after completion of the exhibit display period.

IV. Points of Contact

If you have questions about the project, contact:
American Library Association Public Programs Office
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

To access the application system, sign in with your profile.