Haudenosaunee Art Website

Who are the Haudenosaunee People?

How might we create a website showcasing contemporary Haudenosaunee Art with respect to indigenous culture?  

Artist Page from Haudenosaunee Art Website
Artist Page on Haudenosaunee Art Website

Research Focus

  • “Extending the rafters” to a digital space of contemporary Haudenosaunee art
  • Digital survey of contemporary Haudenosaunee that emulates metaphorical longhouse does not currently exist
  • Addressing harmful stereotypes about Indigenous peoples as primitive or people of the past
  • Addressing systemic digital divide and data organization issues


Individual artist page on Haudenosaunee Art Website
Individual artist page on Haudenosaunee Art Website

Why a Website?

  • Transcends geographical and temporal limits for accessibilitMore frequently update to reflect contemporaneity than printed
  • Inherent permanence
  • Need for more videos and photos of contemporary artists online to assert Haudenosaunee presence in the present and future
  • Work to close digital divide and language divide


Technology and the Systemic Digital Divide

  • Beneficial opportunities for intergenerational exchange of knowledge

     ○ Languages through recordings or dubbed movies

     ○ Social media videos of drumming, dancing, and instructional videos about traditional practices

  • Information and communications technologies can be used to assert Indigneous sovereignty and self-determination by assisting with sharing information
  • Some incompatibilites with Indigenous traditions to be aware of

     ○ Elders may not have adequate access to Internet on the nation territories where they live

     ○ Disproportionate lack of digital infrastructure in Indian Country compared to other communities across settler spaces like the US

  • Nation territories in regions with destructive weather patterns or topography difficult for installing digital infrastructure
  • Systemic marginalization and impoverishment make expensive infrastructure more challenging

     ○ Digital divide is tool of settler colonialism to disconnect communities and weaken movements to assert sovereignty


Language Divide: Terminology and Algorithmic Organization

  • Google recognizes 30 European languages and one African language and no Indigneous American of Pacific languages

     ○ Perpetuates inequality in information that is shared and learned through disproportionately English space

  • Search terms are complicated by dated, Europeanized terms (e.g. “Iroquois” for the Haudenosaunee people) and the use of diacritics for words like Gayogo̱ hó:nǫʔ (Cayuga)

     ○ Use of outdated terms still very prevalent in information organization

  • For example, all subject matter in libraries pertaining to Indigneous peoples is found under “Indians of North America” with E call numbers
  • A contemporary Haudenosaunee art exhibition catalog is found under an E99 call number rather than around N6490 with all other contemporary art materials
  • System isolates Indigneous materials and encourages hegemonic understanding of Indigeneity
  • Current Google Images search for “Haudenosaunee” yields images anchored in the past


The Website

  • Banner images convey three main levels of the world in Haudenosaunee cosmology: the sky, the earth, and the water
  • Landing page mixes photos of the artists and a variety of bold artworks in a diverse range of media to influence the user’s perception of Haudenosaunee art
  • Font “Red Hat Text” is sans-serif which suggests modernity and sophistication
  • Coded from scratch using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for most amount of control possible
  • Considers how each artist wants to be represented in a public, digital space


Milstein Students