Posted to the Ethnos Project by on July 27th, 2014

There is a growing need to preserve indigenous knowledge, as indigenous communities around the world face ongoing threats to the survival of their traditional languages and cultures. Although libraries have not traditionally focused on this area, libraries and information professionals can play an important role in assisting indigenous communities with the management and preservation of traditional knowledge through providing resources and expertise in collection, organization, storage and retrieval. Indigenous knowledge, however, differs greatly from Western knowledge and so it must be managed in unique and sensitive ways that may challenge conventional knowledge management tools and processes, as well as prevalent assumptions about knowledge and information. Indeed, information professionals should work with indigenous communities to develop unique solutions that meet local needs. Three indigenous knowledge management projects in Australia, Canada and the United States are examined to illustrate the different methods and tools that can be used for managing indigenous knowledge to accommodate oral traditions, holistic belief systems, security and access concerns, and technological limitations.

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