About Local Contexts and the Hub

About Local Contexts

Local Contexts was founded by Jane Anderson and Kim Christen in 2010. The Local Contexts project grew from the needs of Indigenous and local organizations who wanted a practical method to deal with the range of intellectual property issues that arise in relation to managing cultural heritage materials. Emerging from Mukurtu CMS platform’s use of traditional knowledge fields to incorporate traditional knowledge and copyright concerns, Local Contexts started as a way to provide strategies for managing, sharing, and protecting digital heritage. 

In an increasingly complex legal, social, and cultural environment, the Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Biocultural (BC) Labels offer Indigenous communities a tool to add cultural and historical context and cultural authority to cultural heritage content in their own local digital heritage archives as well as in digital archives, libraries, museums and other digital repositories globally.

The primary objectives of Local Contexts are to enhance and legitimize locally based decision-making and Indigenous governance frameworks for determining ownership, access, and culturally appropriate conditions for sharing historical, contemporary, and future collections of cultural heritage and Indigenous data. Local Contexts is focused on increasing Indigenous involvement in data governance through the integration of Indigenous values into data systems. Local Contexts offers digital strategies for Indigenous communities, cultural institutions and researchers through the Labels and Notices. Together they function as a practical mechanism to advance aspirations for Indigenous data sovereignty and Indigenous innovation.

Land Acknowledgement

As an organization that transcends geographic and national boundaries, Local Contexts acknowledges that all of the lands and waters where we live and work are Indigenous Homelands. We recognize the ongoing significance of these lands and waters for Indigenous Peoples in the past, present, and future. 

Local Contexts is committed to Indigenous sovereignty and ethical data governance; we believe that naming and addressing the violence of settler-colonialism and its ongoing effects is central to the work that we do. The legacy of settler-colonialism has manifested in the structural exclusion and erasure of Indigenous people within institutions that steward collections of Indigenous heritage and data. The (mis)information or absence of information within these institutions and their systems continues to pose enduring challenges that adversely affect Indigenous communities. 

We have responsibilities and obligations to support Indigenous peoples, communities, and organizations. In our efforts to overcome the legacies of settler-colonialism, Local Contexts was developed to create effective and recognized pathways for implementing and maintaining Indigenous data rights and facilitate ethical relationships and enable collaboration with stewards of Indigenous collections.

We ask you to acknowledge these truths and join us in our commitment to acting as respectful guests within the homelands in which we live and work. 

To learn more about Indigenous homelands visit www.native-land.ca.

About the Hub

The Local Contexts Hub began development in 2019 as a way to enable the customization of Labels and the application of Notices directly to Indigenous data. The Hub works in tandem with already existing information/collections management systems and tools. The Hub generates Labels and Notices (with permanent identifiers) so these can be added to already existing catalog and collections management systems.

Design and development of the Local Contexts Hub is thanks to John Deck, Diana Lovette, Steve Taylor, Alex Merrill, Miriame Barbarich, John Moore, and Renee Waiwiri (Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa).

Learn how to register with the Local Contexts Hub by visiting the ‘Getting Started’ page or try out the sandbox site to explore different parts of the platform and learn how to use it before joining the main Hub.

Local Contexts Newsletter

Each issue of the Local Contexts Newsletter includes updates on some of the real-life applications of the Labels and Notices, news, upcoming events, and much more. New issues of the Newsletter will be released seasonally, aligning with the ebbs and flows of our natural world and relations around the world.