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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Naming, claiming, and (re)creating : Indigenous knowledge organization at the cultural interface Doyle, Ann Mary


This design/research study is located at the disciplinary interstices of Indigenous education and information science. It is motivated by the weaknesses of the dominant library knowledge organization systems (KOS) in representing and organizing documents with Indigenous content. The study first examines the nature of the problem and then explores ways in which Indigenous conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches can generate new directions for KOS design. It thereby addresses the central research question, “How can Indigenous approaches to knowledge inform principles of design of library knowledge organization systems to serve Indigenous purposes?” An Indigenous theoretical lens, @ Cultural Interface, is assembled for the study composed of Martin Nakata’s (2007b) Cultural Interface, and Dwayne Donald’s (2009b) Indigenous Métissage. It is integrated with domain analysis in information science (Hjørland & Albrechtsen, 1995) to produce a methodology, domain analysis @ Cultural Interface, used to study the domain of Indigenous knowledge within post-secondary education. Information was gathered through expert interviews with nine Indigenous designers of Indigenous KOS from four countries; a user study with nine First Nations, Aboriginal, and Métis graduate students; and theoretical analyses. The study produced a theoretical framework for Indigenous knowledge organization based on four main findings: (1) knowledge organization is integral to educational infrastructure and is consequential for Indigenous learners and all learners; (2) a definition of the domain of Indigenous knowledge in post-secondary education, its boundaries and the boundary marker of Indigeneity; (3) an articulation of Indigenous knowledge organization as a field of study including a (partial) history, typology of design practice, objectives, and evaluation framework; and (4) a design workspace for conceptual enquiry. These findings are synthesized in a theoretical framework, Indigenous knowledge organization @ Cultural Interface, which can be applied in the design, study, and critique of knowledge organization for Indigenous purposes. It is noted that this study and its theoretical framework have been constructed incrementally based on selected theorists, particular participants, experiences, and literatures and offer only one of many possible interpretations.

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