Indigenous Peoples in museum catalogs


The terminology used to designate Indigenous Peoples in museum catalogs must reflect the principle of self-determination, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In contrast to the names imposed by the colonists, ethnonyms chosen by First Peoples should be used in metadatas. For example, instead of “Eskimo”, Inuit should be used or “Iroquois”, Haudenosaunee. And this is the case for a lot of ethnic groups. With this challenge, we would like to improve this by linking the ethnic groups with other sources (especially wikidata / wikipedia).

With the participation of Docip, the Indigenous peoples’ centre for documentation, research and information, the aim of this challenge is to familiarize participants with the tools available online. For example, by linking the museum catalog with wikidata, the name of the ethnic group coming from wikidata could be used. That would allow the Indigenous Peoples to define themselves what name should appear in museum online catalogs.



  • No single source of Truth for Ethnic groups
  • In the museum catalogs, Ethnic groups are defined in very multiple ways (different languages, different names, ...)
  • Ethnic groups are not often clearly defined (parent group, subgroup, ...)


For example, this object


mentions the Iroquois ethnic group. But they prefer to be referred as Haudenosaunee. Maybe wikidata could help for this process ?

As another example : this object


mentions three ethnic groups : Amhara, Oromo, Tigréens. They could be linked to wikidata

By linking museums "ethnic group" entries with wikidata, it could give an opportunity for indigeneous people to define in wikidata the label they would like.

Possible steps

  • check what would be good sources for ethnic groups (wikidata, others...)
  • compare the content of MEG Metadata with this external sources
  • check if it possible to link both sources
  • suggest improvements for MEG Metadata

Event finished

30.09.2023 15:30

Joined the team

29.09.2023 12:00 ~ EmmaRoberjot

Event started

29.09.2023 09:00

Edited content version 12

28.09.2023 15:35 ~ gaston


19.09.2023 13:50

Joined the team

19.09.2023 13:50 ~ timtom

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13.09.2023 06:05 ~ SaraPetrella

Joined the team

12.09.2023 15:31 ~ RmiO

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05.09.2023 08:25 ~ liowalter

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22.08.2023 14:11 ~ liowalter

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22.08.2023 14:07 ~ liowalter

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22.08.2023 13:58 ~ liowalter

Edited content version 1

22.08.2023 10:00 ~ liowalter

Joined the team

22.08.2023 09:43 ~ liowalter

Challenge posted

22.08.2023 09:43 ~ liowalter
Contributed 3 months ago by liowalter for GLAMhack 2023
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