Decolonizing Provenance: An examination of types of Provenance and their role in archiving Indigenous records in Canada

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Cowan, Leesha
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The theory of provenance is the foundation for arranging and describing records in archives. In the digital age, provenance has become even more integral and new concepts that create more complex understandings of provenance have been developed. Alongside the development of new concepts and re-evaluation of traditional theories, some new challenges and opportunities have arisen. Types of provenance have been introduced into archival theory in recent years, helping to clarify what provenance is and encompass the greatest amount of contextual knowledge possible. The theory of provenance affects many areas of archiving including but not limited to Indigenous archival practices, archival standards, and descriptive systems. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation archives hold a multitude of records that demonstrate some of these developments in provenance. This thesis examines the varying types of provenance and how they are applied to the Canadian archiving context through archival standards such as Rules for Archival Description, Records in Contexts-Conceptual Model, and the International Council of Archives suite of standards. I will explore the intersection of archival provenance and Indigenous memory keeping, as well as the application of provenancial theory to new technologies such as linked data and multi-relational descriptive systems.
Archives, Indigenous Archives