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Indigenous Knowledge Management

Many museums, archives, libraries and cultural institutions throughout the world hold large collections of objects that are of cultural or historical significance to indigenous communities. Because many of these objects were collected without the consent of the traditional owners, the custodial organisations are now facing the challenges of determining ownership, seeking direction from the traditional owners on the future of such objects and either repatriating them, storing them or exhibiting them appropriately as requested. This process is made more difficult because colonisation has caused many indigenous communities to become dispossessed of their lands and widely dispersed geographically. New collaborative interactive software tools, high-speed networks and emerging grid technologies that facilitate communication and the sharing of resources and knowledge between geographically dispersed groups, appear to offer an infrastructure that is ideally suited to the implementation of such digital and physical repatriation programs.

This research investigates how information technology tools and standards can be refined and extended to enable indigenous communities to preserve and protect their unique indigenous cultures, knowledge and artefacts whilst supporting traditional protocols and facilitating better cross-cultural communication and understanding.

Related Publications

J. Hunter. "The Role of Information Technologies in Indigenous Knowledge Management" Chapter 9 of "Australian Indigenous Knowledge and Libraries", Australian Academic and Research Libraries, Canberra. 2006.

J. Hunter, R. Schroeter, B. Koopman, and M. Henderson. "Using the Semantic Grid to Build Bridges between Museums and Indigenous Communities" Global Grid Forum: Semantic Grid Applications Workshop. Honolulu, Hawaii. June 2004. pp 46 - 60. (Alternative location).

J. Hunter, B. Koopman, and J. Sledge. "Software Tools for Indigenous Knowledge Management" Museums and the Web 2003. Charlotte. March 2003. (Alternative location).

J. Hunter. "Rights Markup Extensions for the Protection of Indigenous Knowledge" Global Communities Track, World Wide Web Conference 2002. Honolulu. May 2002. (Alternative location).

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