Perspectives on the History of Archival Institutions and Models for Future Research: How Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Systems Continue to Develop

As I have been reading this week about the history of the information profession I began to think about the history and place of tribal archives.  Tribal archives offer a much different set of challenges and products then traditional archives typically do.  Tribal archives often serve a critical role in cultural protection and revitalization, particularly in the documentation of, protection of, and promotion of tribal languages.

Tribal archives are a relatively recent phenomena when compared to most other archives, libraries, and museums.  “Beginning in the 1970s, the development of tribal museums surged due to the availability of federal funding and concomitant emphasis on economic development.“  While historically there has been a heavy dependency on federal funding, the influx of revenue from Indian gaming and other economic successes has greatly expanded tribe’s abilities to fund and expand tribal archive positions.

One of the major differences in tribal archives is there is a much greater focus on oral histories and the use of technology to document and preserve elders protecting the language and culture.  In the past, archival materials pertaining to indigenous knowledge were the dominion of libraries and museums often hundreds or thousands of miles away from the community in which the records were about.  Present day tribal archives are changing this relationship and tribes are taking ownership over their indigenous knowledge through tribal archives.

 

http://publications.newberry.org/indiansofthemidwest/indian-imagery/challenging-stereotypes/tribal-museums/

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Perspectives on the History of Archival Institutions and Models for Future Research: How Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Systems Continue to Develop

  1. Great post, Annette! Tribal Libraries and Archives have a fascinating history, and I think that considering them does us a great service in thinking about library history. I’ll make a note to add some readings in this area later in the quarter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s