Position Statement on the Right of Reply to Indigenous Knowledges and Information held in archives released

We are delighted to announce the publication of the Indigenous Archives Collective Statement on the Right of Reply to Indigenous Knowledges and Information held in Archives.

The statement supports the work of the Indigenous Archives Collective to assert the rights of Indigenous peoples to challenge and respond to their information and knowledges contained in archival records held in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum (GLAM) institutions through a Right of Reply.

In late 2019, the Indigenous Archives Collective held a Symposium on the importance of Indigenous rights in data and collections and the significance of the Right of Reply in relation to Indigenous self-determination and national truth-telling efforts. One of the main outcomes of the day was the gathering of ideas and feedback from participants, speakers, and organisers to guide progressive action for enabling Indigenous responses to archives.

The statement includes a number of principles:

  • THE RIGHT TO KNOWWithout an authoritative source to identify where relevant material is to be found, further rights, such as the right of reply, cannot be activated.
  • CULTURAL SAFETY – All initiatives to activate Indigenous people‚Äôs rights in data, information and records about them should be undertaken to ensure the cultural safety of participants and knowledge.
  • CONSENT – Every opportunity for engagement with Indigenous peoples should be taken to support Indigenous peoples control of their information, knowledges and representations.
  • INSTITUTIONS AS FACILITATORS, NOT OWNERS Prioritise institutional support of Indigenous rights to manage Indigenous material according to culturally appropriate means.
  • ADVOCACY – Continual advocacy is required to prioritise the rights of Indigenous peoples in the management of cultural material.

The statement also includes a list of key priority areas for action. Read the full statement here.

Right of Reply Symposium, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, 2019
Indigenous Archive Collective members, Right of Reply Symposium, 2019

We thank the participants who contributed to the conversations on the day for their valuable input in developing the statement.

Featured image: Photo by Johan Mouchet on Unsplash