Local Contexts was established to support Indigenous and traditional communities to understand their rights over their cultural heritage, knowledge, assets and futures.
Local Contexts developed Labels and Notices that successfully provided a mechanism for American First Nations peoples – the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot Nation, Sq’éwlets and Plateau Peoples - to assert cultural authority over their heritage.
In December 2019, IDIA were invited to New York and worked with Local Contexts founder Jane Anderson to engage with the New York State Museum and the American Philosophical Society as they implemented the Labels. This has led to us being engaged in conversations and advisory groups with many of the world's largest cultural institutions as they implement the Labels and Notices. Institutions include the Smithsonian, The American Library of Congress, the Natural History Museum, the Abbey Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, NASA and many more.
IDIA were brought on as design partners to research, design and deliver an MVP tool that would support Indigenous communities in the use and application of their digital IP Labels and Notices into digital infrastructures.
As an Indigenous-led agency this vision was something we instantly wanted to support, understanding that as Māori we were also a highly documented race with many of our taonga under the protection of non-māori, and out of reach for Māori today to understand their cultural history and where they come from.
We worked with the Local Contexts team to bring structure and functionality to the delivery of a robust tool that ensures Indigenous communities voice and traditional protocols are visible within digital archives where their cultural heritage is managed.
We were guided by the whakatauki Ka Mua, Ka Muri (walking backwards into the future) and our Culture Centred Design (CCD) philosophy to ensure designed outcomes are led, framed and informed by Indigenous people, knowledge and ways of being.