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Native American Oral History Interviews

A guide to the Native American History Project collection housed within the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and supported through the UF Libraries’ Digital Collections, with funding from the Doris Duke Chartable Foundation.

Introduction to the Resource Guide

The resources collected here include academic essays, magazine articles, protocol guides, initiative, and even young adult novels that contain critical perspectives and considerations in the realm of Indigenous oral histories. 

The Annotated Bibliography includes a deep analysis of case studies and best practices around the ethical use of and access to Indigenous oral histories.

Further Reading compiles a variety of important resources in the realms of Indigenous archives, digitization, oral histories, and copyright and ownership.

Related Initiatives includes projects doing work to Indigenize archives across the globe, as well as protocol guides for repositories that hold Indigenous materials, and fundamental documents on Indigenous rights.

Archival Ethics and Indigenous Materials Workshop

On July 25, 2022, Evangeline Giaconia, the UF Smathers Intern in Culturally Appropriate Access to Indigenous Oral Histories, led a hybrid library workshop on Archival Ethics and Indigenous Materials. A recording of this workshop and a copy of the presentation slides can be found on the UFDC. 

UFDC permalink
Workshop description: 
Western repositories that hold Indigenous materials are often unaware of a multitude of ethical considerations that are involved in respectful storage and access. This workshop will educate library, archive, and museum personnel in issues related to metadata, categorization, and access that are often overlooked in repositories with Indigenous materials. It will address the tangible harm archival neglect can inflict on Indigenous peoples, and explore a spectrum of solutions, using the UF Library’s participation in the Archive of Native American Oral History as an example. The workshop will explore innovative ways of Indigenizing digital archives, classification schema, and access paradigms.  
Indigenous Heritage in the Digital Archive Workshop
On July 25, 2022, Isis Dwyer, the UF Smathers Intern in , led a hybrid library workshop on Archival Ethics and Indigenous Materials. A recording of this workshop and a copy of the presentation slides can be found on the UFDC. 

Researching with Native Collections

Researchers should educate themselves on culturally-responsive archival best practices and policies when researching with Native collections, as well any legal or Tribal restrictions to accessing information. Below are resources to support informed, ethical scholarship and archival practices when using and handling Native collections: 

  • Digitizing and Handling Indigenous Cultural Resources in Libraries, Archives, and Museums, by Alex Byrne. Public access

  • Tribal Archives, Traditional Knowledge, and Local Contexts: Why the “s” Matters, by Kimberly Christen. Available at UF; Public access

  • A Defense of Native Americans' Rights over Their Traditional Cultural Expressions, by Kay Mathiesen. Available at UF; Public access

  • Ethics of Access in Displaced Archives, by Samantha R. Winn. Public access

  • Identifying Culturally Sensitive American Indian Material in a Non-Tribal Institution, by Ellen M. Ryan. Public access

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