Digitizing the Ancestors: Issues in Indigenous Digital Heritage Projects

Nicole Strathman


Between 2002 and 2007, several university researchers (Christen, Ridington, and Hennessy; Shorter, Srinivasan, Verran, and Christie) collaborated with Indigenous communities to create digital heritage projects. Although the initial build and methodology surrounding the projects are well documented, the current status and end results are not. Now that a decade has passed since their production, this article examines the issues that have arisen with these Indigenous digital heritage projects. The primary emphasis is on sustainability, and the discussion concentrates on outdated software, funding problems, and maintenance issues that have afflicted these projects over the years. This study concludes that researchers need to take sustainability practices into consideration when creating specialized digital heritage projects.


digital heritage, virtual exhibition, content management system, sustainability, traditional knowledge, Indigenous, Native American, First Nations, Aboriginal

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