From June 29th to July 1st the Yale Indian Papers Project hosted an NEH-sponsored Digital Native American & Indigenous Studies workshop at Yale Divinity School and at the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. The three-day event introduced participants to issues of access, preservation, and methodology related to the use of digitized cultural heritage materials in the context of tribal communities and cultures from the territories east of the Mississippi River.
Among the many participants were tribal members, tribal historical preservation officers, tribal museum administrators, and members of the academy. Some of the communities represented were Ojibway, Passamaquoddy, Chickasaw, Stockbridge-Munsee, Schaghticoke, Narragansett, Nipmuc, and Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (Canada).
The Yale Indian Papers Project, the Jonathan Edwards Center’s Online Archives and Sermon Editing Project, the Beinecke Library’s Trancribe@Yale, and Yale Library’s Digital Humanities Lab were among the many programs featured at the workshop. Each is actively involved in issues of cultural preservation, archival access, and digital humanities work. Meetings were held both at the Divinity School and at the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale’s West Campus.
Conversations ranged on how work in the new field of digital humanities interfaced with Native and Indigenous Studies, especially in terms of establishing a set of ethical practices for scholars wishing to research Native communities.