What role can libraries play in preserving Indigenous Stories? Once Stories have been digitized, who do they belong to? There are many good reasons why Indigenous Peoples may want to put their Stories online but the reality is that for centuries, Indigenous Peoples have had their cultural treasures stolen by settler colonial powers, including libraries, so there are also good reasons for proceeding with caution. One major consideration is ownership: how do Canada’s copyright rules apply to Indigenous Knowledge?
Our website will consider how libraries can create successful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples who are interested in digitizing their Story collections, and who would like assistance from library and information workers. We will identify key considerations for culturally appropriate digitization, discuss copyright and ownership, and present examples of successful collaborations, as well as a list of suggested best practices.
Marja Mack is a privileged cisgendered Euro-Canadian woman living in the Robinson-Superior Treaty, Anishinaabe Territory. Her parents immigrated to this Land we now call Canada to make a better life for themselves and their children. Due to her rural farming upbringing, her parents instilled in her a disposition for hard work, deep respect and connection with the Land, and the importance of showing respect, ethics of care, and living in reciprocity. She is currently a student of Library and Information graduate studies, and have worked in the role of library technician for the Thunder Bay Public Library for the past twenty years in various capacities, but have found what I believe is my niche in my passion for local history and genealogical research, and strive to stand beside as an ally, helping Indigenous patrons find their connection to the Land and to one another.
Heather McMullin (she/her) is a settler Canadian living on Treaty Six territory and within the Métis homelands in the city of Edmonton, also known as amiskwaciwâskahikan. She is a cis-gendered, able-bodied student of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta and she brings a specific point of view to this project, including a position of privilege and a colonial upbringing, because of her background and experiences. She is working to become an Indigenous ally. She is interested in contributing to the decolonization of libraries, and in participating in community-led library projects that help build bridges of trust and mutual respect between libraries – both public and academic – and local Indigenous communities.