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Monday, November 9 • 5:00pm - 5:25pm
#HonouringIndigenousWriters: Engaging Communities in Transforming Wikipedia

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In December 2015 Daniel Heath Justice began a Twitter campaign to share the names of Indigenous writers. The reason for his efforts was to: "...push back against the frequent assumptions that our literary history is any less complex, robust, or diverse than that of other peoples" (Daniel Heath Justice, Why Indigenous Literatures Matter?, p.298).
In solidarity with his efforts, in 2018 a group of interested individuals from the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program, UBC Library, and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology at the University of British Columbia came together to develop the first #HonouringIndigenousWriters Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon.

Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia based on a model of open community-generated knowledge. The community-driven nature of Wikipedia is meant to support Wikipedia’s goal of providing “…every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge” (Wikipedia, Prime Objective, para 1). However, well documented systematic bias including information gaps, exclusions, diversity of articles and editors, and assumptions about neutrality and notability, greatly impacts the information that can be found in an information source with millions of views per day.

The #HonouringIndigenousWriters Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was seeking to:
  • build a partnership that would increase the visibility of Indigenous writers in Wikipedia;
  • engage the community in open practices using Wikipedia;
  • improve the quality of Indigenous writers Wikipedia pages;
  • ensure the planning processes and practices work in good faith with the Indigenous writers identified for article editing.

In 2019, the edit-a thon expanded to include satellite events in other post secondary institutions, educational organizations, and a public library. We are currently adapting an online version of the event for 2021.

This session will detail the process of developing an experience for participants that aligned with the social justice principles of open pedagogy- that of the collaborative, transparent, and open creation of knowledge for the improvement of an openly accessible information source. The session will outline the process of creating the event, how the design of the event focused on principles of good faith, and the ways that participation from diverse communities highlighted complimentary but unique interests in engaging with open knowledge creation.

Learning Outcomes:
  1. Describe the value and importance of engaging diverse communities in open practices.
  2. Describe the value and importance of improving and diversifying open information systems.
  3. Find and apply resources for planning an #HonouringIndigenousWriters Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at your own institution.

avatar for Erin Fields

Erin Fields

Open Education and Scholarly Communications Librar, UBC
avatar for Donna Langille

Donna Langille

Community Engagement and Open Education Librarian, University of British Columbia

Monday November 9, 2020 5:00pm - 5:25pm EST
Concurrent 5
  Social Justice, Presentation