Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Respectful Terminologies Project for Indigenous People

The National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA) has launched the Respectful Terminologies Project to develop a preferred classification vocabulary to describe Indigenous people, places, heritage, traditions, knowledge, and culture.

According to a post on the SPARC website, the project has received seed funding to create a platform showcasing results:

"The project will involve extensive consultation with the various Indigenous communities, which in Canada includes three main groups: First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. The idea is to build relationships and work in collaboration to explore language that is more descriptive and appropriate."

"For instance, 'Indigenous peoples–North America' is preferred to the outdated and erroneous library subject heading of 'Indians of North America.' Other problematic terms include 'Indian mythology' or 'folklore' for creation stories and references to harmful terms that objectify Indigenous women. Terms for Nations that are the result of colonial renaming or other misuse need to be replaced with terms Nations call themselves as part of a practice that supports Indigenous self-determination."

"Library workers use lists of approved terms to indicate the subject or topic of the book that determine how the book can be found in a library search.  Terminology often reflects racial and cultural biases of those who created the information system. Many librarians acknowledge these terms can affect accessibility and representation, as well as perpetuate trauma to groups outside of that dominant perspective."

Funding has been received from a variety of  organizations such as Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Heritage Information Network, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Canadian Urban Library Council, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, the Internet Archive Canada and OCLC.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:55 pm


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