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by Linda

Stop Talking and Start Talking

March 6, 2015 in General

Hi Everyone:

The 2015 AkLA Conference last week as a success especially the Pre-Conference session about
“Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher
Education” written by Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff and Libby Roderick. They provided
a great discussion about communications with indigenous people. The book is available
online in PDF or individual chapters. Also, they published another book with a similar
title: “Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education” in
PDF or individual chapters. Here is the web link:

A Defense of Native American’s Rights Over Their Traditional Cultural Expressions

April 30, 2014 in General

I’ve been thinking about Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) a lot since the Alaska Native Issues Round Table meeting this year at AkLA. In my musings I recently encountered a paper by Kay Mathiesen, a professor in the School of Information Resources & Library Science at the University of Arizona. She makes a strong ethical case for the recognition of TCE and support for the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials.

The paper was originally published in The American Archivist, Volume 75, Number 2 / Fall-Winter 2012, p.456-481. I think it’s well worth reading. A link to a draft of the paper is below:


The Alaska Native Studies Conference will be held in Juneau on the UAS Campus March 14-16, 2014

March 14, 2014 in General


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by Sue S

Alaska Library Association Conference in February

December 29, 2013 in Announcement, General, Libraries

Since most of the members of this group are in Alaska and there haven’t been any postings lately, I thought it might be good to remind everyone to be on the lookout for Alaska Library Association registration information, which should be up after the first of the New Year. Thanks to many of you, the conference program will contain many sessions that will be of interest to the Alaska Native Issues Roundtable.  Valarie Kingsland has organized several sessions.  Sandy Tharp-Thee (Cherokee), a  White House Champion of Change and honored for  Library Institutional Excellence Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, & Museums, and all-around library innovator and mentor in her home state of Oklahoma, will be attending our conference.  Author Tom Tingle (Choctaw), also from Oklahoma and honored by the American Indian Library Association for his books Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom and Saltypie, will be the Authors Luncheon speaker.   Our friends from the Alaska Native Language Archive in Fairbanks will be down for the conference in Anchorage, February 27-March 2, too.

Take a look at the program and you’ll see that Zachary Jone’s, excellent presentation on contrived images of Alaska Natives, has been re-scheduled from last year’s conferernce when Zach was one of the unlucky speakers who was snowed out of Valdez.  Some of us saw the program when Zach presented at the Tulsa ATALM conference two years ago and learned so much from our colleague from Sealaska Heritage Institute.

There will be other sessions as well, so check out the AkLA registration site when it goes live soon.  Happy 2014!

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by ilams

About Slideshare

October 20, 2013 in

Here is a short Slideshare presentation that explains what is and who it’s for, based on the mission statement and goals as stated in the About page.  Discussion and feedback are always welcome!

ATALM Presentation; What we Learned

June 24, 2013 in General

The Alaska Native Language Archive staff participated in the annual meeting of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums at Tamaya (Santa Ana Pueblo). This year there was a strong emphasis on digital preservation and access–an issue which resonates strongly with ANLA. We presented a workshop entitled No longer gather dust: The role of digital repatriation in supporting traditional language and culture. The goal of the presentation was to show some of the ways that Alaskan organizations are transforming ANLA materials to create online and mobile materials for language learning. You can download a pdf version of the presentation here.

We discovered throughout the presentation that many of the people in the audience saw our work to allow access as something groundbreaking; our archive is significantly more open than many other tribal archives. With efforts to revitalize Native languages, develop culture camps, and support a growing interest in non-linguistic research, ANLA has become keenly aware of how important it is to make our materials accessible to the communities we serve.

In an effort to share our materials, ANLA developed its first electronic catalog in 1999 and since that time has worked closely with the digital archiving community to develop standards for digital language archiving, serving as a founding member of institutions such as OLAC and DELAMAN. We have over 17,000 digital items available for free download on our database. We function under a Creative Commons license in an effort to maximize our ability to share our materials. We feel that our policy to not charge for access to digital materials helps increase archive usage, support learning and creative projects, and encourages perspective depositors to consider our archive when they are looking to donate materials. We received valuable input from our colleagues at ATALM, and look forward to attending next year’s conference in Palm Springs, California. We hope that we can start a conversation about information sharing and free use.

For more information about the Alaska Native Language Archive, please contact:

Gary Holton, Director,

Stacey Baldridge, Collection Manager,

Wendy Camber, Assistant Archivist,


The Software Behind the Website

May 31, 2013 in General

I worked with Valarie to set up and would like to share with you about how the website was created.  Full disclosure–Valarie did most of the heavy lifting to get this site up and running, I just helped with a few tweaks here and there.

So let’s say you want to get a website like up and running.  What are the steps involved?

Purchase Web Hosting & Domain Name

There are a number of companies that sell web hosting services that provide you with the ability to run a website or multiple websites.  Most of them cost about $5-$10 per month. is currently located on my personal web hosting account along with several other websites that I host for other non profit groups .  If at some point needs to move to another host, that’s easy to do.

There are several free alternatives for creating a website such as Google Sites, or Blogger, or, or even Facebook.  But web hosting provides the ability to install a variety of software applications and more control over your website.

You will need to purchase a domain name for your website.  This is the  web address people will use to access your site.    Purchasing a domain name is easy and indexpensive ($5-$10 per year) and you can usually buy it from the same company as your web hosting.   But figuring out a good name can be tricky.  You want the name to represent the group or activity;  it should be short and memorable; and it can not be a name some else has already bought.  Valarie eventually came up with, which met all three criteria.

Selecting and Installing the Software

As mentioned before,  web hosting services typically offer a number of software applications  that can be installed for different types of websites such as a photo album, a blog, an online shop, etc.  For, there were two primary goals for deciding what application to install to run the website:

  1. it must allow individual authors to share their stories
  2. it needs to let people share ideas and discussion around areas of common interest

These are two somewhat divergent goals–one emphasizes the individual voice, the other the group activity.  For authorship, an obvious choice is WordPress, a well known blogging platform that can support multiple authors.  WordPress can be used on their website ( or installed as a local application on your web hosting.

For group collaboration, there are a couple of types of websites to consider–traditional discussion forums, wikis, or a social networking site. A number of different applications are available for installation on the web hosting service for each type of website.  In addition, WordPress itself can be extended through plugins to offer these types of websites.  After a good bit of research into the options, Valarie chose WordPress combined with BuddyPress, a plugin that allows you to create a social network where people can participate in group activities.

Installing WordPress took 5 minutes using the one-click installation button in the web hosting service.  The BuddyPress plugin  took another 5 minutes to install through the WordPress administrative dashboard.

Customizing the Software

While installation was quick and easy, the process of learning and customizing all the features was time consuming.  While the default version of WordPress is easy to set up and use, it is very powerful software can be extended and customized by those who have the time and are willing to learn.  The customizations to the website fell into three inter-related categories:

  • Theme for the overall look and feel
  • Plugins for additional functionality
  • Configuration of options

WordPress offers thousands of themes, however only a handful of them are compatible with BuddyPress.  After trying several themes Valarie settled into working with a responsive theme and installing additional plugins.  After a number of months working on this theme in her spare time, she decided to change to a simpler theme that focused more on blog authorship but still supported the collaborative aspects of BuddyPress.  She also chose to reduce the number of features initially available on the website in order to make it easier to use.

Building Community

This is the most challenging part of the project but the most rewarding–getting people to use the website as resource to help them in their workplace and profession.  We’ve tried our best to create a website that is powerful enough to house a community but is still ease to use.  Now its time to build a community by sharing our experience and our stories with our colleagues and peers.


Culturally Relevant Libraries Workshop

May 9, 2013 in Announcement, Education, LAM

Culturally Relevant Libraries Workshop 5.2013

Culturally Relevant Libraries Workshop

Sponsored by the Alaska State Library, funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

In 2001, a group of public library directors met under the instigation of David Ongley of the Tuzzy Consortium Library in Barrow and with the guidance and leadership of Dr. Lotsee Patterson of the University of Oklahoma. They worked together to produce “Culturally Responsive Guidelines for Public Libraries.” Over more than a decade, these guidelines have been reprinted, discussed, and adapted all over the country. Now it is time to review how they apply to Alaska libraries of all types.

This workshop is a follow-up to the 2011 Alaska Native Libraries, Archives, and Museums Summit for library staff and will feature Alaska leaders including Linda Wynne, Past President of the Alaska Library Association, and David Ongley of Ilisagvik College and a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker.” Our keynote speaker will be Bernice M. Joseph, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Also presenting will be Esther Ilutsik, instructor of Alaska Native Children’s Literature, and Sorrel Goodwin of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections, whose career spans museums, libraries, and archives. Sandy Littletree, former program manager of the University of Arizona Knowledge Rivers program, past president of the American Indian Library Association, and current doctoral candidate at the University of Washington iSchool will join us from Seattle. Representatives of culturally active Alaska school and public libraries will provide practical knowledge from the field. Interactive sessions will allow participants to share common library concerns and to think about the environment in which our libraries exist. Materials from historical collections, digital collections, and Alaska Native language resources will be spotlighted.

A limited number of seats are available for this small workshop, so please reserve yours by requesting a registration form. Registrations must be received by May 14, 2013. We will maintain a wait-list in case of cancellations.

Questions? Call Sue Sherif at the Alaska State Library Anchorage office: 269-6569 or toll-free in Alaska 800-776-6566 OR email to Jacque Peterson at

(posted on behalf of Sue Sherif)

Welcome to!

May 4, 2013 in General, GLAM,, LAM

Welcome to!

This site is dedicated to anyone involved in galleries, libraries, archives or museums that serve indigenous populations.

iLAMs was inspired by a desire to extend meaningful connections beyond conferences and training events in order to continue to support each other in our efforts to serve our communities.

This site provides a space to share our stories, ideas, resources, to collaborate, and to celebrate our accomplishments.  Yet, it is not limited to specific content about indigenous information issues. It is up to the members to determine how best to use this site and feedback is always welcome!

The home page is a community blog and all members are invited to post content and comments. It is visible to the public. Members may also create and join groups to connect and discuss relevant topics. Group visibility and membership are customizable.

Hover over the “How To” top menu tab to visit pages to find out how to Join iLAMs, Manage Profiles, Post to Blog, Create a Group, or Join a Group. Start with the tutorial about how to join iLAMs today!

If you have any problems with this site, please email @ Include your name and the issue.

This site is sponsored by the Alaska Native Issues Roundtable (ANIR) of the Alaska Library Association (AkLA). We thank Mike Robinson of UAA for providing server space and technical help for this site.


Valarie Kingsland
iLAMs Administrator & Architect

What Does iLAMs Mean?

June 1, 2012 in General,, LAM

Choosing a name for this website was not easy.  It needed to meet specific criteria:

  1. Simple
  2. Meaningful
  3. Memorable
  4. Inclusive
  5. Matching Domain Name

iLAMs met all criteria.

The “i” stands for “indigenous,” because this website is devoted to libraries, archives and museums who have some sort of relationship with Indigenous people.  This may be through the people they serve, and/or collections they manage, as well as the people who work in them.

“LAM” stands for “Libraries, Archives and Museums,” and the “s” emphasizes the growing number of these indigenous institutions.  The inclusion of people from all of these institutions reflects the growing relationships between information professions and institutions.

Words like “tribal” and other similar words were deliberately left out because tribal membership and cultural identity can be complex and we want all to feel welcome to join and participate in this community. …because, TOGETHER, we are stronger!