via mukurtu.org

This is a student-made, instructional website resource for the content management system, Mukurtu. Borne out of research with the Warumungu group of Australia, Mukurtu represents a collaborative effort between indigenous groups, cultural heritage institutions, and academic researchers to design a content management system that more accurately represents the cultural legacy of groups that historically have been misrepresented.

Among the innovations to come out of developing Mukurtu has been the introduction of Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels into the indigenous cataloging lexicon. Created by researchers Dr. Kim Christen of Washington State University and Jane Anderson of New York University, TK Labels empower users to assign a level of access to non-community users through a metadata field called Protocol. Giving the access settings back to the original creator empowers them to share their cultural on their terms. TK Labels provide a framework for equitable participation for both the indigenous users, and the the institutional cataloger.

Despite its developments to bring users and researchers closer together, however, Mukurtu has encountered problems with usability. Its user base of indigenous groups sometimes lack access to frequent, reliable, and fast Internet connections, which has exposed a digital literacy gap among users. Researchers currently are addressing this gap in the current grant award cycle, which finishes later this year. Called the Hubs and Spokes model, this current grant award cycle has built-in digital literacy training modules into its framework. The intended outcome is to educate, inform, and empower its users to use Mukurtu .

This website will also include detail from current practitioners as well as Mukurtu’s various iterations narrated through a framework of published research, news stories, and project proposals.

This website is designed as an educational resource for researchers and students who are interested in potentially implementing Mukurtu in their own institutions or for their own cultural heritage. This site, however, certainly isn’t an exhaustive resource on all things Mukurtu, and this writer has no affiliation with the CMS.

More information on Mukurtu can be found here.