Dr. Oscar Kawagley, Retrieved March 20, 2021 from https://www.uaf.edu/ankn/


Project Peel River, Nov 29, 2018, Garry Njootii (Blackfox_01) @ Kyhenjik, Retrieved March 20, 2021 from https://www.uaf.edu/ankn/, Wind River(Gwich’in Name Tr’iniintr’aiinjik) wind blows through the area. Just one of many interesting projects on this site.


Assignment 9:

“The Alaska Native Knowledge Network’s goal is to serve as a resource for compiling and exchanging information related to Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing. It has been established to assist Native people, government agencies, educators and the general public in gaining access to the knowledge base that Alaska Natives have acquired through cumulative experience over millennia”

~(Alaska Native Knowledge Network, 2021).

I found all the videos informative. Especially, the one on data. I don’t think that data management and digitizing paper information at a museum level occurs to anyone. I’ve worked with data digitizing and it is time consuming, as well as insuring that the information is correct. I can relate to the floppy disk era. Recently, I was discussing the military bases museum collection from previous year to a manager at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe, NM. I stated, the information you have in Archaeological Records Management Section (ARMS) needs to be sent over to my department via the Internet. What I received was not readable. Our government firewall rejected it. The manager stated, I’ll change it. He sent the data over in another language and again it was unreadable. We did this over several months and finally found something retrievable, The GIS technician and I are still going over the data, as well as paper documents from 30 years ago. It is a huge mess that has not been maintained properly. He stated that several years ago, the servers were upgraded and they lost data. I asked how much? He said, maybe 3 to 4 years’ worth. I talked to the Curator, she stated, we do not have enough people to help input or update information from entities who are curating their collections at the museum. There is not enough funding or man power (graduate students etc.) I wished that I had time to write a grant to help them out. Museums are under staff. I’m under the impression that keeping staff is hard as well. They tend to move on.

As for your listed options to retrieved data at the end of the required videos. I have explored each in the past. I like them all, especially the Alaska Native Knowledge Network. I have used this one for school for my Doctorate in Indigenous Studies. I have explored the oral narratives through Jukebox.I have researched information, articles, and publications that Dr. Oscar Kawagley and others have written. I’ve explored the rural Alaskan school system methodologies (Curriculum Resources: Lesson Plans) as well. I remember, an assignment in which we had to explore Cultural Atlases and Talking Maps. And, I’ve used the Cultural Resources for Indigenous Studies, Ethnobotany with Lisa Strecker, and Judith Ramos for Alaska Rural Development.This site has provided me with so much information, and has helped me navigate through a majority of my courses and assignments. The information is endless and it has preserved interview recordings (oral stories) told by Alaskan Elders on Native Ways of Knowing, along with Traditional Ecological Knowledge. They now have a new communication strategy. Please check the site out and learn more. It is fascinating. Question: What topic would you choose to explore on the Alaska Native Knowledge Network?




Alaska Native Knowledge Network. (2021). Alaska Native Knowledge Network. Retrieved March 20, 2021 from https://www.uaf.edu/ankn/




5 Thoughts to “9# Data and Museums Discussions”

  1. Angela Linn

    Thanks for highlighting the ANKN – truly a great resource for anyone interested in Alaska Native knowledge. I wonder if you could use this resource to conduct the assignment for this week, which revolved around finding an animal or plant species and see what sort of information you could uncover. For example, this site teaches us about the plants at Point Hope: http://ankn.uaf.edu/ANCR/Inupiaq/pointplant.html It might be interesting to compare the content provided at this site with entries found in Arctos for the same plants: https://arctos.database.museum/guid/UAM:Herb:77933 is a specimen collected inland from Point Hope.

  2. Michael Hubert

    Barbara ,
    to answer your question, I would like to know more about the past cultures of Alaska. I think that it intrest me the most to see how they did things in the past and how those have changed over time, I really would like to explore the way that they hunted and fished in that time.

  3. Erin Gingrich

    This sort of resource sounds great but it is challenging for me to use. There is no about page or intro page that shares what this is and what they share or provide, so I’m left feeling a bit lost as to where to direct my attention. Is this lead by indigenous scholars or an official academic group with membership? I can’t find a search bar or a tag/glossary page and not all of the resources provided have an annotated bibliography so its a bit challenging to know what you are looking at until you start reading the resource. I have many topics related to indigenous knowledge that I will be doing research on in the future, currently I have several plans for that research but I am unsure where this resource would fit in. Quyana for sharing it though, I see that the site is currently in flux and hopefully they get where they want to be and be a reliable resource for research on indigenous topics. Quyana!

    1. Barbara Long

      Good Evening,

      Yes, I felt the same in the beginning about the site back in 2012. It was extremely challenging to navigate my way around the site. I believe that parts of the site were restricted to Indigenous groups. I could be mistaken. Since, a majority of courses involved searching the site for information, I grew accustomed to navigating my way around it. It is slowly evolving. I know that it is being updated, especially recordings. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Please contact Richard who manages the site with others and offer suggestions or feedback. Points of views are welcomed. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Tony Thompson

    Hi Barbara, I really enjoyed your post this week, thank you for sharing! I totally understand your frustrations with the short-comings of technology and the digitization of data. It so unfortunate that museums are so understaffed and underfunded. I also suspect that it takes a specific type of person interested in doing work that some might consider mundane. Personally, I am such a perfectionist when it comes to these types of things that I would probably find working in digitization really rewarding. I love editing for errors and data entry/management.

    To answer your questions this week, I have always been interested in the medicinal properties of plants. I would love to learn more about how different Alaska Native groups use the plants in their respective areas to treat various ailments.

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