Tag Archives: digital collections

Repatriation, Digital Media, and Culture in the Virtual Museum – Kate Hennessy


I have not had a chance to watch the entire 40-minute video yet, however the topics that Kate Hennessy covers in her presentation is very interesting. This webcast is sponsored by Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. It states that many Canadian First Nations and Aboriginal organizations are using digital media to revitalize their languages and assert control over the representation of their cultures. At the same time, museums, academic institutions, and individuals are digitizing their ethnographic collections to make them accessible to originating communities. Hennessy discusses the digitization and return of heritage to Aboriginal communication via the virtual route. She talks about the opportunities, challenges, and critiques associated with digitization, circulation, and remix of Aboriginal cultural heritage. She also discusses some recent projects including a collaborative virtual exhibit with a community in the Western Arctic. Hennessy is a professor at SFU and her research explores the role of digital technology in the documentation and safeguarding of cultural heritage, and in the mediation of culture, history, objects, and subjects in new forms. This video would benefit anyone who is interested in exploring the digitization of Aboriginal cultural heritage. Hennessy demonstrates that while access to cultural heritage in digital collections can facilitate the articulation of intellectual property rights to digital cultural heritage, it also amplifies the difficulty of enforcing those rights.