Wikimedia Cascadia is a proposed organization which will serve as the Wikimedia chapter for the Cascadia region of North America, including British Columbia, the Northwestern United States (Pacific Northwest) and Northern California. The mission of the organization is to support Cascadian Wikipedians in their Wikipedia-related endeavors and to collaborate with Wikimedia chapters to create a world in which the sum of all human knowledge is available for free to everyone. We will also work with neighbors, supporting friends in Wikimedia Canada living in British Columbia, and also Wikimedian groups in Southern California.
- 1 Cascadia
- 2 What does this chapter do that independent volunteers cannot?
- 3 Events and meetups
- 4 Supported WikiProjects
- 5 Organization outreach
- 6 Wikipedia Education Program
- 7 Wilderness recreation, Wikivoyage, and OpenStreetMaps
- 8 Regional indigenous languages
- 9 Press about Wikipedia activity in Cascadia
- 10 Supporters!
"Cascadia" is a term describing the bioregion surrounding the Cascade Range. The region politically centers on the cities Vancouver, Seattle and Portland, which are geographically proximate and each have city populations of about 600,000 and metropolitan area populations of more than two million. Cascadia also refers to the social movement to promote cultural independence for people in the region. Wikimedia Cascadia is not affiliated with the independence movement but does share the common goal of promoting local culture.
What does this chapter do that independent volunteers cannot?
Independent volunteers can handle most Wikimedia projects, including the coordination of many events and outreach efforts. However, at the point when projects become so complicated that participants in them begin to consider a long-term, invested effort to make the project successful, the participants expect the professionalism and stability that comes with an organization rather than with only unaffiliated, independent volunteers. In such cases, Wikimedia Cascadia accepts proposals for collaboration so that Wikimedia users can have the backing and support of an organization when they conduct their Wikimedia outreach efforts. This makes the local Wikimedia community participants feel supported, the outreach audience feel more confident, and gives the international network of Wikimedia project participants a communication channel with the region so that they can have stake in the major projects there.
Events and meetups
Do you want to learn about Wikipedia? Certainly you can learn by visiting the website, but perhaps you would like to meet a Wikipedian and get an in-person tour of the site! Are you a Wikipedian who wants a collaboration partner? Why not meet other Wikipedians near you and start working together? Wikimedia Cascadia organizes and promotes meetups so that Wikipedians can have conversations with each other in person. There are many different kinds of meetups: backstage passess, conferences, edit-athons, social events, talks, unconferences, etc.
Following are the Wikipedia meetups pages for active cities in the Cascadia region:
With hundreds of thousands of contributors and millions of readers around the world, Wikipedia offers plenty to discuss and do. In addition to organizing meetups, multiple campaigns are organized by Wikipedians in the United States each year, providing many opportunities for local interaction. Examples include Wikipedia Day, the Great American Wiknic, Wikipedia Takes America and Wikipedia Loves Libraries. Visit Wikimedia Cascadia's Events page for additional information about these campaigns.
- Wikipedia:WikiProject British Columbia
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Washington
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Montana
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Oregon
- Wikipedia:WikiProject California
- WikiProject Beer – Cascadia has a large concentration of breweries
- WikiProject Cannabis – California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia comprise the world's largest region where farmers may legally produce and distribute cannabis
- Coffee and Tea task force of WikiProject Food and drink – coffee culture has a strong presence throughout Cascadia; major brands and retailers based in the region include Blenz Coffee, Caffé Vita Coffee Roasting Company, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Salt Spring Coffee Co., Seattle's Best Coffee, Starbucks, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Tully's Coffee
- Communicate OER – funded by an initiative of the San Francisco Bay Area's William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Communicate OER is an effort to encourage anyone to produce any kind of open educational resources
- WikiProject Globalization – relevant to this region are subjects such as global communications, global education, global health, global philanthropy, global trade, and global transportation. Related projects include the Maritime transport task force, WikiProject Aviation, WikiProject Education, WikiProject International Development, WikiProject International relations, and WikiProject Medicine
- WikiProject Medicine – Cascadia hosts a large number of medical research facilities which focus on promoting global health.
- WikiProject Open Access – Cascadia is known as a region where people and organizations have a commitment to promoting open access, especially in computing, biotechnology, global health, public education, and academic publishing. Such organizations as the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Linux Mark Institute, OCLC, Public Library of Science, Sage Bionetworks, and the Wikimedia Foundation all are resident here.
- WikiProject Wine – many wineries are in Cascadia
A Wikipedian may want to request that an organization in Cascadia assist in the development of Wikipedia by sharing information, applying a Wikimedia-compatible license to its media content, or otherwise collaborating with the Wikipedia community in developing Wikipedia articles within its field of expertise. In such cases, Wikimedia Cascadia assists Wikipedians in making requests to organizations within the region by giving a forum for keeping records of the request, providing community review of the request, and potentially endorsing the request as a communication of the chapter.
How to do organization outreach
- Identify an organization in the geographical jurisdiction of Cascadia
- Write a draft of a request to that organization and post it here for chapter review
- Get feedback from Wikimedia Cascadia participants and the general Wikipedia community
- If the community consensus is that the request is aligned with the goal of advancing the development of Wikipedia, then the chapter will endorse it
- Send the request with chapter backing!
Examples of requests to make from organizations
When you draft your proposal, consider adding any of the following requests:
Would you please send me…
- general sources of information on the field of your organization’s expertise, regardless of whether these sources have anything to do with your organization specifically?
- links to online copies or citations for print-published third-party, externally published media describing your organization and its projects?
- images or other media describing your organization’s work, licensed with a Wikimedia-compatible free license
- an appointment to meet with any of your staff to talk about developing Wikipedia articles on your organizations' field of expertise?
- your thoughts about having one of your expert staff be the guest at an edit-a-thon in which people develop Wikimedia content in your field?
GLAM is an international Wikipedia project to support Wikipedians’ outreach efforts to galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. Wikimedia Cascadia encourages interested Wikipedians to contact local cultural institutions to explore options for collaborating with them to advance the shared goals they might have with the Wikipedia project. For example, local museums may want that Wikipedians visit their collections, photograph them, then share the images in Wikimedia Commons and link those images to the Wikipedia article on the museum. Visit Wikimedia Cascadia's GLAM page for additional information.
Health organization outreach
Cascadia hosts a large number of major health organizations, including these which invest at least one billion dollars yearly in international health projects: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, PATH, Seattle BioMed, University of California, San Francisco, University of Washington, and World Vision.
All of these organizations do public educational outreach of their work, and all of them have a stake in community education in their field of expertise. Since Wikipedia is the leading or at least a very popular source of information for general information in their fields, these organizations should recognize that to achieve their outreach mission they ought to consider the quality of information which their outreach audience is getting from Wikipedia.
Wikimedia Cascadia reviews any proposals anyone has to collaborate with these organizations to advance Wikimedia projects. Examples of proposals might be contacting these organizations for help finding published sources of information in their field or doing an edit-a-thon with them.
There is no real interest in partnering with typical commercial entities, but Cascadia hosts some commercial entities which hold critical data, publications, and media which are fundamental to understanding the region and global culture. If anyone has any proposal to contact the following organizations to request their assistance in collecting information on their fields of research then please share. No one wants any WP:Conflict of interest controversy or commercial promotion but each of these companies are billion-dollar entities and have had a cultural impact even beyond their economic impact, so understanding their fields is a part of understanding the unique influence each has had on the region.
- Amazon.com is the world's largest online retailer and the most successful pioneer of the concept that people can buy things online. The company has expertise in web architecture and other Internet technologies.
- Boeing is one of the world's largest aerospace manufacturers and the company's history is a timeline of the cultural heritage of aviation.
- Lions Gate Entertainment is a major producer of movies.
- Microsoft is the company which set as its goal "a computer on every desktop" at a time when owning a computer was a strange thing. They hold unique media about the societal adoption of personal computing technology.
- Nike, Inc. holds information about footwear, athleticism, international manufacture, and advertising.
- Starbucks is World's largest coffee processor. After oil, coffee is the world's most traded commodity. Starbucks funds and maintains the world's most thorough research on all aspects of coffee production, including its impact on economies both local and international, biochemical explanations of coffee variation by production technique, and its cultural influence.
- Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest producers of paper and one of the leading funders of forestry research in Cascadia and internationally.
People contribute to Wikimedia projects because they are fun but contributing is also an act of altruistic activism to increase free public access to the world's information. The following organizations are notable as major regional activist organizations. All of these organizations do educational outreach and if anyone has any ideas to collaborate them in a way in accord with Wikipedia community policy on adhering to Wikipedia:Neutral point of view then these organizations definitely have notable perspectives to share.
- Adbusters is the name of both a magazine and an organization which promote consumer consciousness and advance the consumer movement. The organization ignited the Occupy Wall Street movement among other things.
- Creative Commons developed the alternative to traditional copyright licensing which Wikipedia authors and many other content creators use.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation advocates for civil awareness of personal rights issues relating to the Internet.
- Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funds projects expected to radically improve the lives of future generations.
- Greenpeace was founded to encourage environmental protection.
- Linux Foundation seeks to grant everyone access to free general purpose computing software.
- Sierra Club is an environmental protection organization.
Wikipedia Education Program
The Canada Education Program and United States Education Program, projects within the Wikimedia Education Program, are efforts to connect university classes with Wikipedians who assist the students in learning about Wikipedia and creating article content. Wikimedia Cascadia provides "campus ambassadors" to classes. Campus ambassadors are Wikipedians who give presentations to the classes about Wikipedia and arrange for the classes to have support in editing. Campuses in the Cascadia region with ambassadors include San Francisco State University and the University of Washington.
Wilderness recreation, Wikivoyage, and OpenStreetMaps
OpenStreetMaps is a project to map the world. It works by having individuals track their travel with a GPS device, such as the smartphone they carry, and then upload their location data to the project under a free license. In this way, everyone who uploads data improves the integrity of the map. As of 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation began to support the OpenStreetMaps in various ways so that it could integrate its maps into Wikimedia projects - see OpenStreetMap on Meta Wikimedia and Collaboration with Wikipedia on the OpenStreetMap project page.
Cascadia attracts some of the best hiking, river sports, and mountaineering opportunities in the world, and no one can map these wilderness trails except the volunteers who actually travel them for fun. Wikimedia Cascadia seeks to facilitate the mapping of all regional wilderness travel routes in an effort to encourage people to appreciate its natural places. Along with the mapping data, region would benefit from its explorers noting the outdoor recreation opportunities in Wikivoyage, the Wikimedia tourism project. In that project, people can contribute trail guides, advice on wilderness exploring, and educational information which would help people understand the significance of the bioregion.
Wikipedia articles and Wikimedia Commons media files already exist for many hiking trails in the region, but these also need expansion.
- en:Category:Hiking trails in British Columbia
- en:Category:Hiking trails in Washington (state)
- en:Category:Hiking trails in Oregon
Here are some potential partners in the region who might support a project to map wilderness paths:
- The Mountaineers
- Sierra Club
- Washington Trails Association, who already maintain an extensive hiking wiki
Regional indigenous languages
Wikimedia Indigenous Languages is the primary organizing body for incorporating media and text related to indigenous languages. In the Pacific Northwest there are many native communities and organizations which already work to promote appreciation of native languages. Wikimedia Cascadia offers Wikimedia support to cultural institutions who would have their volunteers incorporate their local-language content into their own language Wikipedia projects. Here are some local organizations which host indigenous language researchers, writers, translators, and educators:
- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
- Museum of Anthropology at UBC
- Tamástslikt Cultural Institute
- First Voices
- Salish Kootenai College
- Salish School of Spokane
- The Northwest Indian Language Institute
- Piegan Institute
- University of Montana Native American Center
- College of the Rockies
- en:Category:First Nations in British Columbia
- en:Category:Native American tribes in Washington (state)
- en:Category:Native American tribes in Oregon
- en:Category:Native American tribes in California
- Wiki for Indigenous Languages (WIL), UCLA
Press about Wikipedia activity in Cascadia
- Hallett, Alison, "Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon Aims to Improve Crowd-Sourced Local Arts Coverage", The Portland Mercury, October 11, 2013.
- Hallett, Alison, "Oregon Arts Project: A Wiki-Based Approach to Local Arts Coverage", The Portland Mercury, October 16, 2013.
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