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Mukurtu CMS: Empowering Indigenous communities to share and manage digital heritage


Mukurtu is a free and open source content management solution for Indigenous communities, museums, archives and libraries to share, license and curate their digital heritage. Leveraging the power of Drupal 7, Mukurtu CMS creates a custom management solution specifically designed for the cultural, ethical and legal needs of Indigenous peoples globally.

Mukurtu has reached communities around the world. The Mukurtu team has held workshops in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and there are 30+ organizations currently using Mukurtu CMS, with a list of over 250 organizations and individuals who have requested to play with our download the software. Our challenge now is how to engage the Drupal community to help with the development priorities worldwide users are requesting.

In this session, we will cover the main features of Mukurtu CMS that set it apart in the museums and archives space, including the new Mukurtu Mobile app for iOS that allows for direct uploads of Digital Heritage items to individual instances of Mukurtu. We'll give examples of how Mukurtu CMS is addressing the unique requirements for Indigenous communities, and we'll talk about ways the Drupal community could help in making Mukurtu CMS more awesome.  

Mukurtu is a grassroots project that has grown using an agile community development model. Mukurtu 1.0 was launched in August 2012 with many key features and updates including a complete new, customizable theme design, administrative dashboard for all Mukurtu functions, batch import/export and sync for content and data, and new page options, including a front page with content rotator. 

Mukurtu CMS is an interesting case study in distributed community development. Funded through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Washington State University worked with the Center for Digital Archaeology (CoDA) at UC Berkeley to put together a development team to port Mukurtu to Drupal 7. We worked with Civic Actions, Quilted Coop and independent developers to create and extend the installation profile. We use Pantheon for development and hosting. We're looking for new people with fresh ideas to keep the momentum flowing.