In April 2006 a group of nineteen Native American and non-Native American archivists, librarians, museum curators, historians, and anthropologists gathered at Northern Arizona University Cline Library in Flagstaff, Arizona. The participants included representatives from fifteen Native American, First Nation, and Aboriginal communities. The group met to identify best professional practices for culturally responsive care and use of American Indian archival material held by non-tribal organizations.
The resulting Protocols build upon numerous professional ethical codes; a number of significant international declarations recognizing Indigenous rights, including several now issued by the United Nations; and the ground-breaking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols for Libraries, Archives, and Information Services.
Digital humanities librarians creating projects related to indigenous cultural heritage, archivists, and those who work with metadata are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the protocols when working with indigenous collections, whether in analog or digital form. Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels are another important resource for community-produced metadata for digital archival material.