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Jordan Clark on Applying Decolonization Practices to the Library and AI Tools
Recorded on 10/20/2023
Posted in TIE Podcasts
In the second episode of this two-part series, Jordan Clark, Assistant Director of the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) and an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah, discusses the urgency and practicalities of applying a decolonial mindset to the library. Interviewed by TIE’s Editor-in-Chief Alexia Hudson-Ward, Jordan underscores that diversifying an institution’s collection is only a starting point. He advocates for library personnel to educate themselves—personally and professionally—on decolonization and DEIA practices, and recommends incorporating Native zines, newsletters, and engaging materials into library resources. Jordan also surfaces examples from his time working in high school, highlighting how librarians can make the library an interactive space with Native art, quotations, and perspectives.
Next, Jordan examines challenges to opening up Native American research, and urges institutions to hire Native staff and faculty to foreground their perspectives and better connect with Native communities. Last, Jordan and Alexia chat about incorporating Native American history into AI tools. Because large language models (LLMs) mine resources that already exist, Jordan cautions that AI-sourced materials will often be problematic or rooted in a colonized mindset. He closes with the value of creating reciprocal partnerships with Native communities that form at the start of new projects and continue through development.
About the guest:
Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP)
Jordan Clark is an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah, located on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Prior to joining HUNAP, Jordan was the Director of Community Programs for Equity and Inclusion at The Cambridge School of Weston, MA. In that role, he managed student affinity and alliance groups, organized community programming, created and managed a four-year service-learning program, and executed leadership training and professional development for students and adults. Jordan was also faculty in the History Department at CSW, focusing on Native American Studies, African American History, the History of Mass Incarceration, and the development of Race in America.
Watch the video recording of the interview:
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