“The Sustainable Heritage Network (SHN) is an answer to the pressing need for comprehensive workshops, online tutorials, and web resources dedicated to the lifecycle of digital stewardship. The SHN is a collaborative project that complements the work of indigenous peoples globally to preserve, share, and manage cultural heritage and knowledge. The SHN, along with our Partners, organize and offer face-to-face workshops, produce educational resources, and link people and resources through our digital workbenches. The SHN is part of a network of individuals, communities, and institutions who work together to provide each other with digital tools and preservation assistance. We call this: Collaborative Stewardship.”
This historical reading from 1971 critiques the Library of Congress Classification system’s treatment of indigenous peoples, highlighting issues such as segregating American Indians from the United States, arranging American Indian history with bias, and representing American Indians as “savages.” Yeh offers proposals for improving the classification system, which is followed by comments and rebuttal from Frosio of the Library of Congress.
While the article offers interesting documentation of the long debate librarians and catalogers have had regarding ethical description and representation of indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups, it is definitely dated from a modern standpoint (for example, though it criticizes calling indigenous peoples “savages” and erasing their contemporary history and existence, the article also privileges problematic concepts like assimilation and United States government rule “civilizing” American Indians.
Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) is an open source platform and content management system for digital community archives. The name is a Warumungu word meaning ‘dilly bag’ or a safe keeping place for sacred materials. This grassroots project seeks to empower communities to manage, share, narrate, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways.
The Research Ethics for Students & Teachers: Social Media in the Classroom resource, developed by a FemTechNet initiative called the Center for Solutions to Online Violence, suggests basic guidelines for how to ethically study and use of social media in classrooms. It also includes a list of questions to pose to researchers and educators preparing to engage in social media research. While these guidelines don’t explicitly refer to cultural heritage and information systems, they provide excellent guidelines applicable to any partnership involving digital collections.
Moya Bailey shares her experience collecting Tweets using the #girlslikeus hashtag and how she incorporates ethical practices when researching vulnerable communities, specifically trans women of color. Although this is not specifically a code of conduct, Bailey provides an explicit case study for how to be respectful, collaborative, and center a community’s needs over the researcher’s needs.
The Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal is a collaboratively curated and reciprocally managed archive of Plateau cultural materials. The materials in the Portal have been chosen and curated by tribal representatives. Each item has one or more records associated with it as well as added traditional knowledge and cultural narratives to enhance and enrich understanding to many audiences.
Based off of discussions and her own contributions during the Design for Diversity Opening Forum, Mecagni produced these guidelines for Digital Humanities (and other disciplines) projects to work ethically and responsibly with communities, particularly marginalized communities.
This article highlights the importance of partnerships in digitization projects in relation to indigenous communities. While digitization and the advent of technologies that make information and items widely available, the groups, in this case indigenous communities, should always be consulted before items are made widely available in an effort to ensure that the item should be included online and that the appropriate description is included.
“In the last twenty years, many collecting institutions have heeded the calls by indigenous activists to integrate indigenous models and knowledge into mainstream practices. The digital terrain poses both possibilities and problems for indigenous peoples as they seek to manage, revive, circulate, and create new cultural heritage within overlapping colonial/postcolonial histories and oftentimes-binary public debates about access in a digital age. While digital technologies allow for items to be repatriated quickly, circulated widely, and annotated endlessly, these same technologies pose challenges to some indigenous communities who wish to add their expert voices to public collections and also maintain some traditional cultural protocols for the viewing, circulation, and reproduction of some materials. This case study examines one collaborative archival project aimed at digitally repatriating and reciprocally curating cultural heritage materials of the Plateau tribes in the Pacific Northwest.”
The University of British Columbia has created the Indigenous Knowledge Organization. The X̱wi7x̱wa Library strives to respect the First Nations-preferred names and spellings of nations. X̱wi7x̱wa is developing an authority list of First Nations Names. All X̱wi7x̱wa materials are catalogued on the UBC Library Catalogue.
The purpose of the Indigitization Toolkit is to provide a reference document as well as a series of templates for BC First Nations communities interested in undertaking digitization projects. The Indigitization toolkit also fits into a broader goal to provide support to First Nations communities in the management of their information.