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2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, and the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and Indigenous materials in Australian GLAM collections was a strong theme at ALIA Information Online.
Thursday’s keynote on Revitalising First Nations Languages: Keeping Culture Strong in the Digital World was presented by Terri Janke, an internationally recognised authority on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP). Terri is a Wuthathi / Meriam woman from Cairns and is a member of the Library Council of NSW. Terri’s law firm have developed resources including Indigenous Knowledge: Issues for protection and management ICIP protocols and policies for various organisations and government agencies and the True Tracks guide to working with communities and ICIP.
Sophie Herbert and Danièle Hromek from UTS discussed the challenge of making sure that references to Indigenous artworks, designs, objects, or images in academic writing also acknowledge the Nation or Country and/or language group of the Indigenous person or community who created them as well as where the Country is located. Their presentation on Empowering Indigenous perspectives through the humble referencing system delivered using the Indigenous technique of “yarning” covered how they developed a UTS guide to referencing Indigenous Material. You can also see their presentation slides.
Many GLAM organisations have digitisation projects and in Challenging the Canon: Collaboration, Digitisation and Education Jason Ensor and Rachel Franks examined the challenges and opportunities these projects present to challenge historical views. They considered two major examples: the redigitisation of the Governor Arthur's Proclamation to the Aborigines, ca. 1828-1830 (also labelled Governor Davey’s Proclamation) and the Angus & Robertson Collection for Humanities and Education Research (ARCHIVER) project. You can view their presentation slides.
We were fortunate to hear from Marcus Hughes, Indigenous Programs Producer at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, about the extraordinary legacy of Eddie Koiki Mabo and the enduring custodial relationship MAAS has in ensuring Eddies personal items owned by his wife, Benita are in safe keeping at the museum. On Mabo Day in 2015, MAAS dedicated a star, ‘Koiki’, which can be found in the Crux constellation, or Southern Cross, as a tribute to his legacy. You can see Marcus’ The Living Legacy of the Mabo Decision - so much more than Land presentation slides.