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Ikoi Uaini looking at binder of F. E.Williams’ photographs while his wife Aea
looks away and his granddaughter Rose and daughter-in-law Kathleen look on. This photograph was taken by Joshua A Bell in Mapaio village in the Purari Delta of Papua New Guinea in 2001.

“In the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, our language is being reintroduced to the community using written documentation collected a century or more ago. Language revitalization goes hand-in-hand with cultural revitalization, strengthening traditional ways of thinking about our people, place, and relationships.”

- Tim McCoy, Citizen, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Smithsonian Geologist.

Recovering Voices is a collaborative initiative of the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Our Mission

The Recovering Voices mission is to collaborate with communities worldwide to sustain and celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity.

Recovering Voices will achieve this mission through the following four activities:

  • Methodology: Recovering Voices develops, refines, adapts and shares a research methodology that links communities, collections and experts.
  • Community Collaboration: Recovering Voices collaborates with communities to identify, share, and return cultural heritage and knowledge held by the Smithsonian and other institutions.
  • Outreach: Recovering Voices transforms public understanding and discourse around the value of language, knowledge, and culture. 
  • Capacity and Alignment: Recovering Voices reflects upon and refines our process and interactions with our partners to optimize our resources, capacity, and relationships and thereby maximize our impact.

Want to know more? Download our Brochure.