Skip to main content

Native America’s twenty-first-century right to know

Abstract

More than 30 years ago, in October of 1978, Standing Rock Sioux scholar Vine Deloria Jr. prepared a paper for The White House Pre-conference on Indian Library and Information Services On or Near Reservations titled “The Right to Know.” In his paper, Deloria establishes the United States Federal government’s treaty responsibility for Indian Country’s:

…need to know; to know the past, to know the traditional alternatives advocated by their ancestors, to know the specific experiences of their communities, and to know about the world that surrounds them (Deloria 1978, p. 13).

Deloria called for “direct funding from the federal government to tribes for library, information and archival services…[specifying that] every effort should be made in joint planning to transmit the major bulk of records dealing with tribal histories to modern and adequate facilities on reservations” (p. 13). Deloria warned us that “Authorizing the development of libraries, archives, and information centers and dividing existing federal records among these groups will require sophisticated and intelligent planning by the persons concerned” (p. 15). One decade into the twenty-first century, this paper analyzes two catalytic initiatives relating to this Indigenous “right to know” funded—at least partially—by the US Federal government:

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Grants to Indian Tribes

  • Fourth Museum of the National Museum of the American Indian.

It places these initiatives within the broader Indigenous knowledge ecology.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

 

Notes

  1. 1.

    Turtle Island is a name that many American Indian tribes use for the North American landmass.

  2. 2.

    http://www.arizonanativenet.com/language/directory.cfm?sect=lan.

  3. 3.

    http://www.doi.gov/ost/trust_reform/records.html.

  4. 4.

    Case 1:96-cv-01285-JR Document 3505 Filed 01/30/2008 Page 45 of 165 http://www.justice.gov/civil/cases/cobell/docs/pdf/01302008_fofcol.pdf.

  5. 5.

    http://tribalconference.org/history.html.

References

  1. Carter NC (2003) American Indians and law libraries: acknowledging the third sovereign. Law Libr J 94(1):7–26

    Google Scholar 

  2. Cooper KC (2008) Spirited encounters: American Indians protest museum policies and practices. AltaMira, Lanham

    Google Scholar 

  3. Deloria V (1969) Custer died for your sins: an Indian manifesto

  4. Deloria V (1970) We talk, you listen. The Macmillan Company, New York

    Google Scholar 

  5. Deloria V (1974) Behind the trail of broken treaties: an Indian declaration of independence

  6. Deloria V (1975) God is red: a native view of religion. Dell Publication Co, New York

    Google Scholar 

  7. Deloria V (1979) The metaphysics of modern existence. Harper & Row, San Francisco

    Google Scholar 

  8. Deloria V (1994) The nations within: the past and future of American Indian sovereignty

  9. Deloria V (1995) Red earth, white lies: Native Americans and the myth of scientific fact. Scribner, New York

    Google Scholar 

  10. Deloria V (2006) The world we used to live in: remembering the powers of the medicine men. Fulcrum Publication, Colo

    Google Scholar 

  11. Deloria V, DeMallie RJ (1999) Documents of American Indian diplomacy: treaties, agreements, and conventions, 1775–1979. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman

    Google Scholar 

  12. Deloria V, Lytle CM (1984) The nations within: the past and future of American Indian sovereignty. Pantheon Books, New York

    Google Scholar 

  13. Deloria V, United States and White House Pre-Conference on Indian Library and Information Services On or Near Reservations (1978) The right to know: a paper. Office of Library and Information Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington

    Google Scholar 

  14. Deloria V, Wildcat DR (2001) Power and place: Indian education in America. Fulcrum Publication, Colo

    Google Scholar 

  15. Force RW (1999) Politics and the museum of the American Indian: the Heye and the mighty. Honolulu, Mechas

    Google Scholar 

  16. Green R (2006) Indians and museums: where we were, where we are, where we are going. http://www.arizonanativenet.com/news/captcha/mediaInfo.cfm?mediaID=137

  17. Holm T, Pearson JD, Chavis B (2003) Peoplehood: a model for the extension of sovereignty in American Indian Studies. Wicazo Sa Rev 18(1):7–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. IMLS (2011) Grant recipients. Retrieved 22 Feb 2011. From http://www.imls.gov/recipients/recipients.shtm

  19. Smithsonian Institution (1991) NMAI Act Appendix G: Repatriation Policy Statement. http://americanindian.si.edu/about/files/NMAIAct.pdf

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Allison Boucher Krebs.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Krebs, A.B. Native America’s twenty-first-century right to know. Arch Sci 12, 173–190 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10502-011-9161-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Archives
  • Indigenous
  • Human rights
  • Museums
  • American Indian
  • Information policy