Cross-posted from Digital Democracy’s blog.
We are very pleased to announce that we have received a $50,000 grant from The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) to support the mapping of Dakota traditional knowledge and oral histories by the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) of the Lake Traverse Reservation using the app Terrastories.
Community members will use Terrastories to collect places and stories about their ancestral lands and will be able to determine and control who has access to this information. The partnership between Digital Democracy and SWO will help expand the Terrastories software, create practical guides for other tribal communities to use Terrastories, and conduct outreach.
“COVID-19 hit Tribal communities particularly hard. The pandemic is not only responsible for the loss of culture keepers, Native language speakers, elders, and government leaders, but also the closure of cultural institutions, furloughed staff, and reduced programming,” said ATALM President Susan Feller. “This opportunity will provide much-needed financial support and create humanities-based programs that bring cultural practitioners and the public together in a dialogue that embraces the civic and cultural life of Native communities.”
“Like many Indigenous communities across the world, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate are in need of tools to safeguard and teach their cultural knowledge in a responsible way, and Terrastories will enable them to create a cultural mapping and knowledge repository that will directly serve the community. Thanks to this generous grant from the ATALM, we are honored to receive dedicated funding for supporting a community in the United States, and the tech development of Terrastories, both for the first time,” said Emily Jacobi, Executive Director of Digital Democracy.
* This grant was received through the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Native Institutions. This grant opportunity is intended to help Native Cultural Institutions to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and provide humanities programming to their communities. Funds were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed by the U.S. Congress.