​AAPI Historic Sites Campaign Webinar

National historic sites commemorate important elements or our shared national identity and American history. Of the more than 2,500 sites designated as National Historic Landmarks, AAPIs are represented by only 17 of these sites—reflecting a startling deficiency in light of their rich contributions to the understanding and interpretation of American society. AAPIs have contributed greatly to building the rich heritage of our nation and we are committed to increasing AAPI participation in historic site nomination and designation to better reflect our communities’ contributions. As such, the main goal of the AAPI Historic Sites Campaign is to identify historic sites that are significant to our communities, and we need your help to identify them!

Members of the public can work with universities and partner organizations to nominate a historically significant site for local, state, or federal recognition. Join us to learn more about the nomination and designation processes and current efforts to preserve our heritage. Speakers will discuss the importance of capturing intangible AAPI history, provide an overview of the AAPI Heritage Initiative, and describe the process for nominating a site to the National Historic Register or designating a site as a National Historic Landmark. 

AAPI Historic Sites Campaign Video


Moderator: Ambreen Tariq, Advisor, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Speakers:
• Isra Pananon, Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks 
• Kathy Ko Chin, member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
• Jamie Jacobs, Acting Branch Chief of National Historic Landmarks Program 
• Michelle Magalong, Chair of Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation

     

AAPI Historic Sites Campaign Power Point Slides

 

AAPI Historic Sites Campaign Webinar Questions & Answers

Where can I see a list of sites that have been nominated?
There is a National Historic Landmarks database: http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/default.cfm
And some tips for using the database: http://www.nps.gov/nhl/find/searchnoms.htm
The National Register database is being updated but you can find spreadsheets listing the sites here: http://www.nps.gov/nr/research/index.htm

How do we check to see what sites are currently listed or nominated in our state?
Is there a list based on states?
There is a list of National Historic Landmarks that is organized by state: http://www.nps.gov/nhl/find/statelists.htm

How do we find out if our site is being included in AAPI theme study?
You can check out the table of contents for the theme study here, and email us at aapihistory@nps.gov with the name of your site and the topic(s) of the relevant essay(s).

For Historic Register or Landmarks is there funding available from NPS once selected?
There are several available grant programs, some of which provide funding after a site has been designated or listed – one example is the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

Our partners at the National Trust for Historic Preservation have additional information about grants and funding opportunities. The Trust is also a deep resources; they have handbooks and brochures available as well. Their grant programs have helped communities considerably in the early planning stages when they are preparing the kinds of studies and documentation needed for NR/NHL nominations.

What are some objections a property owner may have about being nominated to the NR?
In general, objections about being listed in the NR or designated as a NHL relate to misunderstandings about property ownership and perceived limitations on how a property may be used or changed.  Listing or designation does not give ownership of the property to the Federal government in general or the National Park Service in particular. National Historic Landmarks are owned by private individuals; by local and state governments; by tribal entities; by non-profit organizations; and by corporations. The Federal government owns fewer than 400 NHLs (less than 16% of all NHLs). The laws that govern private property rights still apply to designated landmarks.

As a private property owner, the federal government does not place any restrictions on what you may do with your property if it were to be listed in the NR or designated as an NHL.  Only in the instance that federal funding, permitting, and/or licensing is involved in a project is a review process called Section 106 triggered.  Section 106 review allows the federal government the opportunity to assess whether a federal project (or federally-funded or licensed project) may have a negative impact on a listed or designated property and, if so, how to mitigate any potential damage. 

What are the current initiatives being done with universities?  Is it mostly tapping into student interns, are there other faculty partnerships being initiated, or...?  For any of the projects, what has been the involvement of youth groups through university students?
The AAPI Theme Study essayists are all scholars from universities across the country, and we have also tapped other leading academics to serve on our panel. While we do engage in work with partners like the Youth Heritage Project to offer preservation field schools for K-12 students, we do not currently have formal programs that directly engage university students. However, we see the Historic Sites Campaign as a key opportunity for universities and university students at all levels to work with AAPI communities and organizations to prepare nominations. Students would get the benefit of producing an actionable thesis or research paper in the form of a nomination, and communities would get the benefit of university expertise in preparing the nomination.

As an example, the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) worked closely with faculty and students at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, especially in the area of oral histories. These have been incorporated into a range of documents, including the interpretive resources for exhibits, books and publications, funding proposals, legislative/executive action documents, and promotional materials.

Why is there such a push for formally nominating cultural resources to the National Register?
The NR and NHL programs are among the nation’s premier and high-profile endeavors in historic preservation.  The American public is familiar with these programs and their potential for how historic places are able to powerfully convey the nation’s vast and diverse history.  NPS heritage initiatives aimed at better telling the stories of underrepresented groups will assure the future vitality of historic preservation—place-based history—in the United States.  The present need and desire for even greater inclusiveness expands on earlier, more limited efforts by the NPS within the context of broadened ideals and viewpoints of the United States in the early-twenty-first century.
Designating a place as an NHL (or listed on the NR) also tends to bring credence to the site for funding and other partnerships.