Yesterday, when Omar, Lotus, and I met for our weekly update meeting, we dug deep into Mukurtu. It was great! As a team, we experimented and figured out how to do things that we were unclear about. Omar took the lead as the administrator of the site, changing the status of our dopplegangers, deleting mistakes, and finding instructions we needed to accomplish our experimental tasks, while Lotus and I switched between my log-in and hers, testing the limits of what each could and could not do on the site. Though we had gone through the webinar series to-date, without a complete hands-on experience, some of Mukurtu’s functions were a bit fuzzy. I think yesterday’s excursion through Mukurtu cleared up a bit of the fuzziness.
We were able to understand the workings of the “Cultural Protocols” function. Mukurtu has a wonderful layering system that allows for private groups. A “Community” can be created as an open community, a community where only the members of the community can view digital heritage items in that community (without additional restrictions within the community), or a community can have restrictions both outside and inside the community. For instance, if a community protocol only allows for tribal members of a certain group to be able to view an item, this protocol can be created and then within that group, the members limits can be set to allow only the people who fit that criteria to view certain items. Say Omar has a document that should only be viewed by him and another person, possibly do to the sensitive nature of the item, a protocol could be created with the title “Omar and ? only”. If the item is then created with this cultural protocol selected, then in order for the item to even show up, the member would need to have this protocol listed in their profile. So, in order for Omar and the other person to be able to view the object, they would both need to have this protocol listed in their profile.
This was a little confusing when we first started our journey into the Mukurtu world, but we were able to have that “Aha!” moment, which was AWESOME! The more we work with this incredible resource, the more of these moments we will have. Thank you Mukurtu team for creating this incredible resource! It is an invaluable innovation for tribal communities!