Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) conducted the Skins workshop to explore a pedagogy that integrated North American Indigenous cultural frameworks into the design of video games and virtual environments. Skins provides instruction in digital design, art, animation, audio and programming within a context of Aboriginal stories and storytelling techniques. In the pilot workshop with Mohawk youth at the Kahnawake Survival School, students developed interactive environments based on traditional stories from their community in a process that required them to reflect on how they knew those stories, who had told them, and which stories were appropriate for such remediation. In the process, AbTeC found that the discussions about these stories in the context of the technical skills development provided substantial motivation for both further inquiry into the stories and greater participation in the skills development. This paper describes the curriculum and strategies of the Skins pilot workshop.
Advocacy by Design (AbD) is a design framework for critical engagement centered on advocacy. AbD advocates for transparency, openness, polyvocalism, stewardship, and how to achieve these goals. In order to best fulfill these goals, the presentation suggests that libraries take part in collaborative projects.
For more information on collaborative projects and the importance of collaboration in libraries please see other resources tagged with “Process and Partnerships”
Native Americans create, preserve, and organize knowledge within the context of community, thereby ensuring the inclusion of Native American philosophies. Historically, mainstream cataloging and classification systems have not adequately represented this knowledge. The Mashantucket Pequot Thesaurus of American Indian Terminology was designed to incorporate an Indigenous perspective into mainstream controlled vocabularies. Using story as pedagogy, this article examines the conceptual foundations, theoretical framework, and application of the Thesaurus to a museum setting.
More than 30 years ago, in October of 1978, Standing Rock Sioux scholar Vine Deloria Jr. prepared a paper for The White House Pre-conference on Indian Library and Information Services On or Near Reservations titled “The Right to Know.” In his paper, Deloria establishes the United States Federal government’s treaty responsibility for Indian Country’s:
…need to know; to know the past, to know the traditional alternatives advocated by their ancestors, to know the specific experiences of their communities, and to know about the world that surrounds them (Deloria 1978, p. 13)
Deloria called for “direct funding from the federal government to tribes for library, information and archival services…[specifying that] every effort should be made in joint planning to transmit the major bulk of records dealing with tribal histories to modern and adequate facilities on reservations” (p. 13). Deloria warned us that “Authorizing the development of libraries, archives, and information centers and dividing existing federal records among these groups will require sophisticated and intelligent planning by the persons concerned” (p. 15).
One decade into the twenty-first century, this paper analyzes two catalytic initiatives relating to this Indigenous “right to know” funded—at least partially—by the US Federal government:
* Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Grants to Indian Tribes
* Fourth Museum of the National Museum of the American Indian.
It places these initiatives within the broader Indigenous knowledge ecology.
Despite living in an age of ubiquitous access to digital information, scholars still struggle to access both the physical and digital primary sources needed for research and teaching. This can be due to limited access to physical primary sources (i.e. cultural heritage materials located in another country), lack of resources to make analog primary sources digitally accessible (i.e. limited funds and staff for digitization), or lack of a concerted effort to collect born digital materials (i.e. no clear institutional mandate). The inaction around preservation and access can result in the loss of the materials themselves, for example to obscurity and obsolescence, as well as an impoverished historical record. In order to confront these threats while simultaneously supporting scholarly research at The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas Libraries has adopted a post-custodial archive model to address the collection, preservation, and access challenges for digitized and born digital archival materials. This approach also allows us to secure valuable scholarly resources for The University of Texas at Austin and the global community and to foster deep collaborative relationships with campus faculty and academic units as well as with our partners around the globe, all in close alignment with the strategic priorities of the Libraries and the University. This presentation will explore the background and rationale that underlies the post-custodial archive model and how this model has been implemented through digital projects such as the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive, Primeros Libros de las Américas, and the Human Rights Documentation Initiative. We will discuss these initiatives as part of broader efforts to redefine the role and identity of the research library as a central component of teaching, scholarship, and resource to 21st century learners, and as an exemplary activity of the University’s commitment to “scholarship and education that advances the social good.”
This article addresses how the advent of technology can allow for the inclusion of indigenous stories in American literature history. Thus, this article is rooted in the assumption that may become a part of American literary history. It is the hope that through this integration of Native American culture through oral traditions and artifacts that they can no longer excluded from the study of American literature.
“The advent of digital technology is undoubtedly changing our understanding of the origins and story lines of American literary history, as Randy Bass suggests. This interpretive shift offers a critically important opportunity to think more carefully about the place of Native American expressive culture as an integral, albeit long-neglected, part of “American literature.” While most anthologies in the field now include an opening section on indigenous origins—irresponsibly reducing thousands of years of precolonial storytelling to a few pages—the selections are invariably limited to stories that fit within the parameters of the white printed page. Rather than reviewing this history of exclusion yet again, I will assume here that the field is ready to acknowledge that indigenous stories are indeed part of American literary history, whether they appear in the form of the oral tradition, rock art, narratives woven in wampum belts, or pictographic images inscribed on birch bark. This may be an overly generous assumption. Nonetheless, my point is to demonstrate how digital technology can be utilized to extend the formal boundaries of the field and to create exciting new interpretive opportunities by taking seriously, at long last, the idea that the Ojibwe “epistemology of beginnings” is an intellectually valid interpretive paradigm. In doing so, the Gibagadinamaagoom digital archive, whose name means “to bring to life, to sanction, to give authority,” devotes itself to sanctioning the intellectual sovereignty of indigenous wisdom carriers, so that the question of whether American literary history begins with the Puritans or Columbus becomes moot as we set off in search of much deeper origins, wondering whether we are “worthy to translate wind” or to record “knowledge [that existed] long before humans.”
Archivists have long recognized the inherent historical and social mandate in preserving stories of those who endured violence at the hands of the state. Examples of this responsibility include archivists who recorded public tribunals in post-apartheid South Africa, documented stories of Japanese Americans forced into internment camps during World War II, and acquired collections of 1960s civil rights activists who experienced military intervention while fighting to end segregation. These endeavors align with the historian Howard Zinn’s call for archivists to “compile a whole new world of documentary material” about the lived experiences of marginalized populations and communities. Drawing upon Zinn’s charge as well as scholarly literature around community archives, social justice, and human rights, this article describes the joint effort of community organizers and professional archivists who collaborated to establish a community archive for victims of police violence in Cleveland, Ohio. The archive, A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland, provides a sustainable, autonomous means for Cleveland residents to share their first-hand accounts of police violence in the region. The authors will narrate the archive’s conception and development as well as advance the archive as a post-custodial model for other grassroots organizations protesting various forms of state violence.
The Community and Museum collaboration guidelines were developed over a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders and artists. The guidelines are intended as a resource for community members who are working in collaboration with museums. This is not a set of rules; instead, it offers ideas to consider when working with museums.
Your work with a museum might consist of viewing the collections to learn what the museum has from your community; sharing information about items from your community that are part of a museum’s collection; helping to develop museum exhibits; or if you are an artist, you might use a museum’s collections for artistic inspiration. These are just a few of the ways you might engage with a museum.
Design Justice in Action (2017) rethinks design processes, centers people who are normally marginalized by design, and uses collaborative, creative practices to address the deepest challenges our communities face.
Created by librarians and archivists with a history of handling, cataloging, and preserving zines in an effort to help other do the same. Serves as a guide and a platform to discuss this relatively new form of media very often created by historically silenced groups, and how libraries and archives can form more ethical partnerships with zine creators.
“This document emerges from years of challenging and joyous conversations about the work we do with zines. As caretakers of these materials, in our roles as librarians and archivists —independent, public and academic alike—we believe in a set of core values that inform and guide our work. We disseminate those values here in order to communicate openly and build trust.”