Community Data Fellow for Rematriation of Inuit Knowledges

at Virginia Tech University Libraries
Published March 29, 2022
Location Remote, United States of America
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here
Education Requirements PhD must be awarded no more than three years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of two year eligibility remaining.
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency 70,000
Hourly or Salary? Salary
Twitter Handle @VTLibraries


Position Summary:

 Virginia Tech seeks a CLIR Postdoctoral Associate to collaborate between the University Libraries and Department of English to work with an Inuit-led interdisciplinary team of scholars, librarians, and Alaskan Arctic Inuit community members to create a justice-oriented, Indigenous-first digital archive. In the first year, the Postdoc will research and develop a design process that prioritizes the use cases and needs of Indigenous communities while incorporating archival practice and data standards. In the second year, the Postdoc will work with the team to create a digital home for the Pungowiyi Collection, the personal and professional papers of Caleb Lumen Pungowiyi, a noted Siberian Yupik climate and conservation leader. Pungowiyi’s materials reflect his deep dedication to prioritizing Indigenous perspectives and knowledge within major discussions on climate and conservation policy. The Postdoc must mirror this dedication to including Indigenous perspectives and use cases within the development of the archival processes and the digital library. The Postdoc should also be interested in engaging with questions around Indigenous data sovereignty and operationalizing post-custodial archives. Priority will be given to applicants who have experience working with or in Indigenous communities.

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech is committed to building a culturally diverse community and strongly encourages applications from women and minorities. We are committed to mentoring and establishing safe spaces where employees from current and historically minoritized groups can thrive. In support of this effort this position is eligible for 100% telework along with at least one on-site trip per year funded by the University Libraries.

This position is eligible for remote work and expected to begin August 2022. Following the initial two-year appointment, an extension would be based on needs of service, available funding and performance.



This position is shared between the University Libraries and the Department of English at Virginia Tech and will have an administrative reporting line to Andi Ogier, the Assistant Dean and Director of Data Services in the University Libraries at Virginia Tech.  The position is also expected to report on project-based matters to the Rematriation of Inuit Knowledges Project Leads, Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq (Virginia Tech), Corina Kramer (Aqqaluk Trust), Chris Lindgren (Virginia Tech), and Kara Long (Virginia Tech).


Job Duties:

45% Project Research

  • Year 1: Archive Planning - Lead efforts to design a digital archive process that prioritizes the use case and needs of an Alaskan Arctic Inuit community through research, interviews, collection analysis (on the digitized Pungowiyi Collection), and ethnography. Pursue professional development and skill building to accomplish this work. Deliverable: A report presented to the community summarizing findings and recommendations for a digital archive’s technical and social specifications along with tangible benefits for the community’s involvement.
  • Year 2: Rematriation - Building on the ethnographic work accomplished in year 1, begin to develop strategies that enable Indigenous-led rematriation of academic and cultural works that contain data and knowledge pertaining to NW Arctic cultures. These strategies may include identifying and gaining access to academic and cultural materials currently in non-Indigenous hands (including use of Open Access and preprint servers), low-cost and easily accessible forms of digitization for cultural materials, guidance for community development of Indigenous-first metadata practices, and protocols for communities enabling Indigenous data and research sovereignty. Deliverable: Creation of guides (physical and digital) and training curricula aimed at sharing these strategies with Indigenous communities.

25% Operations and Communication

  • Attend project meetings; support open, transparent, and timely communication between project partners, stakeholders, and communities; assist with digitization efforts; create documentation; lead relevant discussions.

10% Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Actively support University Libraries in its efforts to provide an inclusive and diverse work environment committed to the University Principles of Community
  • Incorporate university best practices on inclusion and diversity into all unit operations, projects, and programs.

20% Personal Research


Required Qualifications:

  • PhD must be awarded no more than three years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of two year eligibility remaining.
  • Effective communication and organizational skills. Able to work effectively with faculty, staff, students, and community members with a variety of technical and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to establish positive and productive collaborations with diverse teams across departments and disciplines
  • Demonstrated ability to adjust priorities, manage time wisely, and make quick, effective decisions in a fast-paced environment.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience working in Inuit, Alaska Native, Indigenous, First Nations, or Métis communities.
  • Demonstrated experience or interest in program management, project management, nonprofit management.
  • Experience with or interest in digital technologies such as archives, repositories, or other cultural collections.
  • Experience with or interest in metadata, such as describing digital collections and making collections accessible via digital libraries.