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Grants:IdeaLab/Engaging Native American Communities and Organizations

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Engaging Native American Communities and Organizations
Events to both 1) recruit participants from Native American communities through engagements with tribal museums and libraries and 2) work with Native American institutions/organizations to use sources to improve Wikipedia content.
idea creator
MaunusI JethroBT (WMF)
project manager
I JethroBT (WMF)
this project needs...
community organizer
project manager
created on06:07, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

  1. Native American editors are under-represented on Wikipedia.
  2. As a result of this under-representation content related to Native American peoples, their culture history, tribes and other related topics are poorly covered. This gap was well demonstrated at the 2016 gathering of WikiConference North America (see also related edit-a-thon).
  3. Wikipedia tends to require high standards of sourcing that makes it hard for editors without appropriate training to identify adequate sources, and sometimes access to those sources is difficult as many are not online.
  4. Sources considered adequate by Wikipedia standards may be scarce for many topics related to Native America, and sources considered reliable by Wikipedia may be written by Anglo-American perspectives and may not adequately represent Native American knowledge of their own communities. Hence Native American editors may not be able to contribute information about topics concerning their own people.

What is your solution?[edit]

A campaign of information and editor recruitment working in cooperation with tribal authorities and tribal museums, libraries and educational institutions. Project leaders could work to contact and develop plans with their local Native American community or organization on how best to improve a Wikipedia project (English or otherwise). Volunteers would help run information sessions, editing workshops, and help improve articles at events that will be organized and scheduled in collaboration with tribal authorities, museum directors, and librarians. With each community or organization, we would need to ask:

  • What article topics are pertinent to the community/organization that can be improved or added?
  • What resources or article sources does the community/organization have available to improve article content?
  • How does the particular Native American community / organization want to collaborate with editors to improve article content?

Who will you be doing outreach with?[edit]


Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]

  • I'm I JethroBT (WMF), a community organizer for the Wikimedia Foundation. I'm interested in advising on this project and can also help do some outreach in my capacity as a volunteer.
  • I am user:Maunus, a linguistic anthropologist specializing in language revitalization and cultural heritage management, with experience working with indigenous communities in Mexico and the US. I am interested in taking an organizing and working role in this project.


  • Project manager To be better in projects Bukti.khan (talk) 18:55, 31 January 2017 (UTC)


  • Looking at how pathetic Portal:Indigenous peoples of North America looks compared to a portal of any U.S. state, you can't help but think, WTF? Calexit (talk) 02:13, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
  • This is an excellent idea! The best way to ensure more diversity is to reach out to the underrepresented groups! Tokyogirl79 (talk) 07:16, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I think this is a great idea. I recently moved from the U.S. to Canada and have learned from local social welfare non-profits that the indigenous communities here are having a tough time. I think it would be great to add them to this project, though I don't know if it is beyond scope. Two possible organizations from a web search are: https://indigenousworks.ca/en/about and https://www.nwac.ca/ Miriya52 (talk) 21:03, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Not my first priority but sounds like a realistic and well thought-out project, that could also become a good example for similar projects in other countries and for other cultures. X:: black ::X (talk) 18:28, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree that members of this under-represented group and the knowledge they possess should better represented on Wikipedia. Jtmorgan (talk) 22:11, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Go for it. America for Americans. Help to conserve vanishing cultures, we need to understand, that polycultures on the planet are more sustainable than monocultures. Scoid d (talk) 22:23, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

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No funding needed?[edit]

Does your idea not require funding, but you're not sure about what to do next? Not sure how to start a proposal on your local project that needs consensus? Contact Chris Schilling on-wiki at I JethroBT (WMF) (talk · contribs) or via e-mail at cschilling(_AT_)wikimedia.org for help!