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WAK ANT 314: Indians of North America: Primary Sources

What are primary sources?

This video created by the Minnesota Historical Society explains the difference between primary and secondary sources and how to spot them!

21st Century Skills: Expert Stakeholders Outside of Academia

Scholars aren't the only credible stakeholders contributing to the conversation around a given issue. Although scholarly research is rigorous and focused, the systems behind it are designed to privilege certain ways of knowing over others. Understanding the world around us requires considering a variety of sources. Some information can only be sourced from stakeholders whose expertise is based on cultural knowledge or personal experience.

1. Compare the Maps

At the turn of the 20th Century, the Belcher Islands--an archipelago in Hudson Bay, Canada--were unknown to Western Geographers despite 200 years of sailing expeditions in the region. Inuit people, however, were intimately familiar with this large cluster of islands.

2. Reflect

These two images are different geographic representations of the same land mass. Neither is a scholarly article, but both offer unique information that could be analyzed or interpreted in scholarly research about Sanikiluaq/The Belcher Islands.Take a few minutes to think about the different types of information each image represents, and discuss:

  • Describe the different types of expertise Wetalltok and NASA, as creators of these two sources, might bring to research about the Belcher Islands
  • Which scholarly stakeholders might use Wetalltok's hand-drawn map? How about the NASA image? How might they use it in their research?