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Powering cultural preservation: 2 new grants expand archiving of indigenous treasures

Kim Christen
Kim Christen

Just thinking about the box of fragile cassette tapes gives Kim Christen chills. Recorded on the thin ribbons was the last-known speaker of the Kiksht language, yet another vanishing treasure of Native American culture.

“I was so afraid the tapes would be accidentally damaged before they could be more safely archived,” said Christen, associate professor of English and associate director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program. Her intense drive to help tribal people protect their heritage materials and increase their accessibility and use – while respecting the communities’ limits in terms of resources and cultural sensitivities – has led to two new, federally funded grants totaling almost $1 million.

Read more about cultural preservation