Digital Knowledge Sharing: Forging Partnerships between Scholars, Archives, and Indigenous Communities

Timothy B. Powell


The article reviews a digital repatriation project carried out by the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at the American Philosophical Society over the course of eight years (2008-present). The project focused on building digital archives in four indigenous communities: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Penobscot Nation, Tuscarora Nation, and Ojibwe communities in both the United States and Canada. The article features insights from traditional knowledge keepers who helped to create a new system of co-stewarding the APS’ indigenous archival materials and recounts how the APS established protocols for cultural sensitivity. A new model of community-based scholarship is proposed to create a more equal and respectful relationship between indigenous communities, scholars, and archives.


History of Archives; Digital Repatriation; Digital Knowledge Sharing; Community-Based Scholarship; Cherokee; Tuscarora; Penobscot; Anishinnaabe; Ojibwe

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