WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project (OCDP) was honored today with the National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation during the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual PastForward Conference. The OCDP is a multi-agency collaboration that aims to promote research and education on Oregon’s early Chinese residents.
ACHP Chair Sara Bronin and Jay Clemens, National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) interim president and CEO, presented the joint award of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the NTHP. The award honors outstanding partnerships that advance the preservation of important historic resources and have a positive impact on the community. It celebrates a project or program in which a federal agency and one or more nonfederal partners have achieved an exemplary preservation outcome.
“We are pleased to recognize the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project for their collaborative, multi-agency grassroots effort to uplift the underrepresented role of Chinese Oregonians in the region’s history,” Chair Bronin said. “This project can serve as a model as we prioritize telling the full story of American history through preservation of historic places.”
The OCDP uses local history and public archaeology to challenge dated stereotypes and highlight the transnational lives of the Chinese immigrants who helped establish the early infrastructure and economic industries of Oregon. Through the partnership and its affiliated Chinese American Advisory Committee, the project shares resources and expertise, conducts archaeological excavations, site inventories and evaluations, applies cutting edge technology, models best practices and current scholarship, and aims to identify opportunities and overcome challenges in centering the history of the Chinese diaspora in Oregon.
The OCDP is embedded in local communities, but includes an exceptional public education component that reaches a state-wide audience and beyond. The research generated through public archaeology projects is helping update and center the history of the Chinese diaspora and Chinese Oregonians in the development of the state.
“The Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project is thrilled to have our work nationally recognized,” Chelsea Rose, director of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology, said. “What began as a small grass-roots collaboration now spans the state and is enriching our collective history by re-entering the important roles that Chinese Oregonians had in the settlement and development of the region. This award not only helps us continue to do this work, but will hopefully inspire others to work together, pool resources, and seek out the important stories that have been lost or erased over time.”
The Federal Partnerships award was one of nine awards presented this year honoring those who excel in preservation.
“We’ve gathered at the start of PastForward to honor a few of those leaders who are making a real difference in this field through the National Preservation Awards,” Clemens said. “The theme of this year’s conference is Preserving Place, Empowering Community, and the award recipients each showcase the varied and impactful ways we can put that into practice.”
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2024 National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation. The deadline is January 12, 2024.