Welcoming Founding Supporter Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields


Photo of Stephany RunningHawk Johnson

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson
Founding Executive Director, Local Contexts

Local Contexts has made great strides in our work to create a sustainable platform dedicated to supporting and promoting Indigenous data sovereignty. Over the last six months, we have been on the road participating in events, presentations, and discussions. We have hosted events, working groups, and support sessions while adding community boundary mapping to our Hub platform among other improvements and new features. We have consolidated our operations, launched our subscriptions program, and announced our Service Provider early adopter program.

We are thrilled to welcome more of you to the Hub and our Outreach programs. More Hub users and connections means more people asking more questions — which we love! Our goal in the future is to respond to questions within one working day and resolve over 80% of questions within two working days. 

At the moment we do not have a dedicated staff person to field incoming inquiries, which is leading to longer wait times for your questions. We have it in our budget to hire a Help Desk Coordinator in 2025, but it is clear that we need to build capacity now to better serve Indigenous communities as well as institutions and researchers. 

We are seeking “kickstarting” funds to help us build that capacity, and are delighted to announce our first Founding Supporter, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields has committed to a $10,000 Founding Supporter donation. In addition, they are also committing to the long-term success of Local Contexts and our mission by becoming a Local Contexts Subscriber.

“Collaborating with Indigenous communities is more important than ever as a core function of ethical collections stewardship,” said Anne M. Young, the Director of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. “Through Newfields’ work to integrate the Local Contexts’ Notices and Labels, we are signaling our commitment to advance Indigenous intellectual property rights and to encourage Indigenous data sovereignty within cultural heritage institutions. To signify this commitment, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields is leading the field through this important Founding Supporter donation and remains grateful for the work of the Local Contexts team.”

Newfields has created an account on the Local Contexts Hub and is using it to apply Notices to parts of their collection, demonstrating their commitment to working with Indigenous communities in ethical and reciprocal ways.

If you are able to make a contribution to Local Contexts, either stand-alone or — even better — along with a Subscription or Service Provider agreement, let’s talk! Please contact us at