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Whitehorse (Yukon), Apr 30 (Canadian-Media): A group of Whitehorse (Yukon) volunteers learned to create Wikipedia pages about Yukon First Nations people, events and culture and to customize these to ensure more Indigenous content was available on one of the most visited websites in the world, media reports said.
The Indigenize Wikipedia meetup at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre this weekend was the first of its kind in the North, according to organizer Heather Steinhagen.
"The world is in need of this information. It exists elsewhere but the first thing we do is go to Google and search up a name and if that name doesn't show up on Google, we're probably going to toss that idea out the window and research someone else," said Steinhagen.
Heather Steinhagen. Image credit: Facebook page
For this project no Wikipedia experience was required.
The event included everything from how to make a Wikipedia account to what information to include.
The Indigenize Wikipedia meetup page has a list of topics suggestions for Wikipedia pages, like late Yukon trapper Alex Van Bibber, the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, and the document Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow.
Most are highlighted red, which means there isn't an article currently on Wikipedia.
"Our mission is to turn all the red topics into blue, which indicates there is an article," said Jacqui Usiskin, a participant.
Usiskin worked on a page about Adeline Webber, the Teslin Tlingit woman who was responsible for creating the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle and raised awareness about Indigenous women's rights.
"I think it's a minimum that we can do," said participant Sara Andrade, about creating pages featuring Indigenous people and issues in Yukon.
Sara Andrade, another participant worked on a page about the Umbrella Final Agreement, the overall Yukon First Nations land claims agreement.
"Wikipedia is huge and every time you look for something, it's always one of the first pages that comes up on your phone or computer," said Andrade.
"[There are/were] some really awesome people who live up here and everybody should know about them."
Wikipedia users were not permitted to write whatever they liked on the site.
Information reportedly should be cited from reliable sources and must be verifiable, according to the site's guidelines.
Saturday's meetup included research resources like books from the Whitehorse library, online resources and scholarly articles.
But the meetup was faced with an obstacle that might make it difficult to fully Indigenize Wikipedia — elder knowledge.
More research was required, said Steinhagen, to make elder knowledge a valid resource.