The Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab is an initiative facilitated by Dr. Jas M. Morgan at X University (more information about the ongoing name change can be found here).
An award-winning writer, art critic, curator, editor, Indigenous cultural policy expert, and decolonial and critical museology scholar, Morgan will oversee ground-breaking research Hubs advancing Indigenous sovereignties, governance, and ownership in arts, heritage, and culture.
Two goals lead the research activities of the Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab.
1) Develop ethical standards for the collection, archiving, and dissemination of Indigenous knowledge, art, and objects, in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous community leaders. The Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab develops industry-leading policy, non-hierarchal models for publishing and film and television production, and other forms of Indigenous arts, culture, and heritage governance. Our programs focus on training the next generation of critical heritage and cultural leaders alongside, and in service of, Indigenous communities, activists, and knowledge producers.
2) Mobilize the digital knowledge production of 2LGBTIA+ Indigenous peoples that has been excluded from policy, academia, art, film and television, and museums. The Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab’s innovative community-based research Hubs advance 2LGBTIA+ Indigenous governance and leadership in arts, heritage, and culture, and develop arts, culture, and heritage policy that is guided by the lived experiences of 2LGBTIA+ Indigenous peoples.
Morgan is Cree-Métis-Saulteaux and a registered member of Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation. Morgan’s Métis relatives are too numerous to name but their closest kin are the McKays from around Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and the Demerias from around Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab draws from the languages, cultures, and laws of Morgan’s communities as the basis for its research gatherings and digital fabrications. Specificity in Indigenous research is becoming increasingly important in fields such as Indigenous Studies to protect Indigenous cultures, languages, and thought from appropriation.
As per X University’s official land acknowledgement, The Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab is in the “Dish With One Spoon Territory.” The Dish With One Spoon is a “treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee.” While the Digital Wahkohtowin & Cultural Governance Lab grounds Wahkohtowin as the principle relational method for our work, our close relationship with Yellowhead Institute is of significant importance for ensuring that we are always working under the direction of, and in collaboration with, the Indigenous peoples whose territory we reside in.
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