Hello everyone, my name is Nicole A. Raslich and I am excited to be a CHI fellow this year. The department of Anthropology here at MSU is my home, where I am a PhD. candidate. My training is in archaeology, and my research focuses on the expression of identity and landscape through ritual in descendant fisher/hunter/gatherer communities throughout the boreal forest.
During my time as an archaeologist, I have worked with Anishnabek communities throughout the Great Lakes region and the Inari Sámi of Finland on projects revolving around the protection of sacred sites. The ways in which these communities, and others, utilize archaeology to reinvigorate and raise awareness of their own cultural heritage is what piqued my curiosity about digital heritage management avenues. Being able to share methods and case studies among communities globally is one of the ways I have witnessed various communities utilizing digital cultural heritage. Much of my fieldwork has been in cultural heritage policy and law, acting as a NAGPRA representative for tribes and as an archaeological consultant for local governments regarding national heritage protection and protocol.
My project for CHI this year is to build a digital course pertaining to cultural heritage policy and law. I have taken online course during my academic tenure but have neither taught nor designed one. Throughout this course plan, I want to design modules that are work through activities focusing on mitigation and the dissemination of decipherable language. It is my hope that these modules will be useful to communities when they are faced with heritage management policies for which they have no specialty in. Being certified by the SRI Foundation, in working with and mitigating Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, I have been through many workshops and time and again, communities send delegates who have no background of these policies. It is my experience that most communities learn about cultural heritage management laws once they have been enacted and they are mired in legal stipulations. These workshops are expensive and often cost prohibitive. I want my modules to be open access so that any community who needs it, with or without prior training or knowledge, will be able to freely access some fundamental information on what they are dealing with. I look forward to working with everyone at CHI this year and to creating something tangible in a digital format.