The Special Collections team is currently embarking on a project to decolonise our collections and pay respect to Indigenous Knowledge and Culture. We encourage people from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities to exercise your Right of Reply.
What is the Right of Reply?
Released in August 2021, the Indigenous Archives Collective (IAC) published their Position Statement on the Right of Reply to Indigenous Knowledges and Information held in Archives with a call-to-action:
We call for the Australian sector to take a stand as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to prioritise the Right of Reply and support Indigenous self-determination in the GLAM sector (IAC, 2021).
The Right of Reply is a participatory archive model, where Indigenous people can directly address material related to or depicting their culture. The Right of Reply is the right to enhance, correct, update, critique or even withdraw Indigenous knowledge in collections (IAC, 2021). It is related to truth-telling, sovereignty and self-determination and recognising the weaknesses of our digital collections as Eurocentric, institutionalised and colonial containing, “issues and inherent biases associated with record making and collecting paradigms that silence and subjugate Indigenous peoples’ voices and knowledges” (IAC, 2021).