One of Bishop’s most important cultural resources is getting some financial aid from Southern California Edison.
According to Emma Williams of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, SCE has awarded a $10,000 grant for restoration of the Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center on West Line Street in Bishop.
Williams said the Edison grant will be used to install a new security system.
“The whole grant will probably go to the new electric security system, which we hope to have up next month,” Williams said. “There are also ongoing projects, like archiving and updating the database.”
The Cultural Center has served as the heart for the Tribal Community for 32 years, housing 7,500 square feet of exhibits and playing host to community events.
“On behalf of the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council, we’re appreciative of this gift and a lot of community members have also expressed appreciation,” Tribal Chairman Chad Delgado said. “The partnership with SCE will continue to strengthen.”
In addition to the $10,000 restoration grant, representatives from SCE held a community forum on the Bishop Reservation in March, inviting tribal members from nearby communities to discuss different programs offered by the company.
“They came and met with the community and went over all the services they offer, assistance, scholarships,” Williams said. “It was really well attended.”
Several representatives from SCE attended the Bishop Tribal Council meeting on Sept. 1 to deliver the check and were treated to a tour of the Cultural Center by former Assistant Curator for UCLA’s Flower Museum Hidonee Spoonhunter.
“This was an historic occasion,” the tribe said via press release. “The Bishop Paiute Tribe is the first tribe to be awarded a philanthropic gift by SCE.”
The Bishop Paiute Tribe has launched the “Save the Cultural Center” campaign in an effort to raise money and awareness about challenges the tribe faces in keeping the Cultural Center operating.
“The facility’s deterioration is primarily cosmetic, but the tribe is committed to its full restoration during the next several years,” the tribe’s press release states. “SCE’s gift will fund a much-needed security system for the center, which is home to a collection of more than 2,000 artifacts and an invaluable resource to all Owens Valley tribes.”
“SCE is pleased to support the efforts of the Bishop Paiute Tribe to restore and preserve this Cultural Center that plays an important role and is such and integral part of this community,” SCE Regional Manager Dan Brady said.