The Application of OAIS Model as a Framework for Digital Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge Systems: The Roles of Educational Managers

The Application of OAIS Model as a Framework for Digital Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge Systems: The Roles of Educational Managers

Godian Patrick Okenjom, Michael Ekpenyong Asuquo
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7024-4.ch017
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In a world faced with increased and emerging technology, indigenous knowledge systems seem to be en route to extinction. This is resulting from lack of preservation practices by knowledge experts. This kindled the interest of the researchers to discuss how the OAIS model can be applied in the preservation of indigenous knowledge system and the roles educational managers can also play. The chapter vividly discussed the concept of digital preservation, approaches to digital preservation, components constituting framework for digital preservation and application of the OAIS model as framework for digital preservation of indigenous knowledge systems. The model used as framework for digital preservation of indigenous knowledge system discussed in this chapter is the open archival information system (OAIS) reference model. This model discusses the basis for preserving indigenous knowledge system for a long time and providing necessary access to knowledge holders without restrictions. Appropriate conclusion was made for the study.
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The focus of this chapter is hinged on applying the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model for long term digital preservation of documented indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) and the roles of educational managers. Extinction of indigenous knowledge systems resulting from inability of preservation practices adversely affects indigenous knowledge transfer from one generation to another. indigenous knowledge systems aforetime have always been relegated, owing to the fact that indigenous knowledge is seen to be local, primitive, uncivilized and inimical to development. It is also believed that indigenous knowledge hinders technological advancement and hence, continues to suffer devaluation overtime. The idea for erosion of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) have been observable in many African societies a long time ago (Mdhluli, Mokgoatšana, Kugara & Vuma, 2021). The major essence of relegation and erosion of indigenous knowledge systems credited to high extent of secrecy by holders which makes the hope of such knowledge termed indigenous being circulated to everyone and utilized for common benefit become almost a mirage. Mdhluli, et al (2021) averred that this act of secrecy has negatively contributed immensely with respect to indigenous peoples’ way of preserving, managing and disseminating knowledge being threatened with extinction. From ample study of literature, it is observed that, there is little or no evidence indicating indigenous knowledge holder’s readiness to warmly accept open debate or discussions on indigenous knowledge preservation as it is seen as cultural heritage reserved to be passed orally from one generation to another (Dlamini & Nokwanda, 2021; Harry & Kanehe, 2006). The essence according to the authors is owed to the constant threat from exploitation, theft, misrepresentation, misuse, and commodification faced by dissemination of indigenous knowledge system. Research interest into indigenous knowledge systems is fairly new. The term “indigenous knowledge” was coined in 1980 by Warren, Brokensha, Werner and Chambers. Warren et al, developed a huge interest into the study of local knowledge or traditional knowledge. This interest made them to sought for a more appropriate terminology to describe traditional or local knowledge. Before their coinage, the term indigenous knowledge was usually referred to as “traditional knowledge” or “local knowledge”. It was their interest on how they could describe local people knowledge in a more encompassing way that brought about the idea of the term “indigenous knowledge”. Historically, indigenous knowledge system has been seen as one of the essential possessions rural people own and utilize for developing communities (Kugara, 2017). As noted by Gupta (2010), the main obstacle since the initiation of the term “indigenous knowledge” has been the fact that there is no standard process to capturing and documenting indigenous knowledge systems. It is resulting from the claim of Gupta that this chapter advocates for digital preservation of indigenous knowledge system for development and research.

Indigenous knowledge systems have numerous scopes; and these scopes are linguistics, medicine, clinical psychology, botany, zoology, ethology, ecology, climate, agriculture, animal husbandry, and craft skills (Langtone, 2016). Indigenous knowledge is simply a type of knowledge that expresses itself in practice and stems from natural life and belief system. It creates an environment where rural dwellers derive solutions to their problems by applying practical knowledge which is indigenous. Since indigenous people believe so much in deities and spirituality, indigenous knowledge forms the basis for faith and belief system. It provides ample direction for their existence culturally, spiritually and socio-economically. Ihekwoaba, Okwor, Nnadi, Jidere and Obim (2022) added that indigenous knowledge (IK) is advancement and activities of local populations around the world which has grown over a period and which has adjusted to local culture and background. This information is communicated through oration and traditional rites, bonds, beliefs, proverbs from one generation to another, and has overtime time formed the basis for farming activities and a wide diversity of other actions that support societal development.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Indigenous Knowledge: Indigenous knowledge is a native group of activities that cover a wider range of aspects like language, norms, behaviors, farming and healthcare systems held by indigents for survival which is passed from generation to generation.

Intellectual Framework: Intellectual framework explains the intellectual capability of researchers in converting indigenous knowledge systems into digital data made accessible to all over a long period of time.

Strategic Framework: Strategic framework is the tact involved in coordinating all relevant resources required for smooth transmission of indigenous knowledge systems to enable successful preservation of information and material digitally.

Policy Framework: Policy framework are guiding principles which gives the process of digital preservation necessary information required for harvesting indigenous knowledge from indigenous people within extant laws.

Digital Preservation: Digital preservation is an innovative activity that consists of varied levels of actions involving technical approaches with the help of computer and its accessories like the hardware and software components of the computer for ensuring that analogue resources are easily converted to digital resources for a long period of time for researchers and general purpose.

Emotional Framework: Emotional framework takes into consideration the well-being and personality of indigenous people as it relates to how they develop and succeed in their pattern of living and behaviour as indigenous people.

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