Indigenous Artists and Wikidata

Explorations and Consultations Report

Authors: Brit Johnston, Frédéric Julien, and Anju Singh

This report explores how descriptive information about Indigenous artists can be accurately and respectfully represented as linked open data in Wikidata, an open knowledge base.

The report describes the user experiences of Indigenous artists vis-a-vis Wikidata, as documented over the course of multiple consultation processes. The report identifies good practices for populating information about Indigenous artists, their practices and their works in Wikidata. It also offers a series of recommendations for the Wikimedia community.

This report was published as part of the Linked Digital Future Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Table of Contents




Research Questions




     Pre-Consultation Process


     Consultation Process

Key Findings

     Indigenous Identification


     Artistic & Cultural Practices

     Denoting Indigeneity of Works

     Indigenous Organizations

Summary of Findings

     “Nothing About Us Without Us”

     Colonial Structures are a Shared Concern for Indigenous Artists

     “Ethnic group” is a problematic term for denoting Indigenous identities

     Summary of Recommendations for the Wikidata Community

Report cover featuring a representation of an eagle.

Original work of art on report cover: Mike Alexander, Animiiki, 2022, oil on canvas.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 International License.

Report cover images are available in different version under the same license via Wikimedia Commons.