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ASU Library endorses Protocols for Native American Archival Materials

Following the direction of the Society of American Archivists and other leading organizations, the Arizona State University (ASU) Library is pleased to announce its endorsement and adoption of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials.  

A collaborative effort between archives professionals and Native American community stakeholders in North America, the Protocols were developed as part of an effort to promote best practices in the preservation and use of Native American archival materials held by non-tribal organizations. The Protocols address ten issues, including the importance of consultation with Native Nations in policy decisions regarding Native Nations cultural materials, understanding Native American values and perspectives, rethinking public accessibility and use of some materials, and providing culturally responsive context for archival collections.  

In 2018, the Society of American Archivists endorsed the Protocols as an external standard, an act that signaled to the archives profession that the Protocols should be used by institutions following SAA standards.  

“On behalf of the ASU Library and the Labriola National American Indian Data Center, I am pleased to formally acknowledge the Library’s adherence to the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials. ASU is proud to recognize and honor these Protocols,” said Joyce Martin, Curator for the Labriola Center at the ASU Library. “With this endorsement the ASU Library aims to adopt these best practices in the care and use of Native American archival materials.” 

The endorsement of these Protocols by the ASU Library will help to further ensure appropriate processes and direction for the acquisition and management of materials relating to Native Nations. This means that the ASU Library will collaborate with relevant Native American communities when appropriate, will copy and share materials with Indigenous Nations upon request, and will promote reciprocal training, among other practices outlined in the Protocols. 

In alignment with the ASU Charter, the Protocols represent a further step forward for ASU in taking greater responsibility for the communities it serves in Arizona and beyond.