Protocols Alignment Project

About the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials

"On August 13, 2018, the SAA [Society of American Archivists] Council endorsed Protocols for Native American Archival Materials as an external standard of the organization. These Protocols establish a foundation for archival practice in caring for culturally sensitive records, and center Native American communities in the discussions of preservation and access to these materials. They call on the profession to 'recognize that the conditions under which knowledge can be ethically and legally acquired, archived, preserved, accessed, published, or otherwise used, change through time.'" - Statement by the Society of American Archivists Council, 2018.

Special Collections and University Archives strives for best practices as informed by our professional standards. In 2018, the Society of American Archivists, our professional society, formally endorsed the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials which provides guidance on culturally responsive care of Native American materials held by non-tribal archives.

The department is undertaking a project to align itself with these protocols. We are currently working to identify tribal affiliations and potentially culturally sensitive materials in all of the archival collections.

About the image above: Participants at the reception for the 2015-2016 exhibit “Whose Land is It? The Dann Sisters and the Western Shoshone Defense Project” are identifying unnamed people in photographs from the Western Shoshone Defense Project collection.

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