The Tribal Digital Village:  
Sovereignty, Technology and Collaboration
in Indian Southern California

Ross Frank
Department of Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Click here to go directly to project documents

On February 14, 2001, Hewlett-Packard Philanthropy awarded the Southern California Tribal Chairman's Association (SCTCA) $5 million over 3 years to build a "Digital Village", a collaborative project to bring computer technology and services to serve a vision for the future developed within this community made up of 18 Indian nations.   This project forms the research site for my current book project.   Research is ongoing, as the HP grant that ends in March 2004 has left a project that is continuing to develop within tribal hands.   I expect to complete a draft of the book manuscript in the fall of 2003.

Your participation in agreeing to be interviewed for as a part of my research will provide the most important component of the book; to let words and experiences of the tribal people who created the Tribal Digital Village tell the story.

In asking for permission of the SCTCA, the Tribal Digital Village staff, and each Tribal Chair and Council for permission to complete this research, I have promised the following:

Inform each tribal chair about the proposed research and publication, asking permission from the tribe, and offering to meet to discuss any issues involved, and to suggest members that should be interviewed;

Send a similar notice about the research and request for the permission to each Tribal representative and alternate;

Seek informed consent for an interview from TDV, PIRC, and CTC/Resource Center staff, selected tribal members, and any other interviewees;

Offer to provide a copy of the audio recording of each interview session to the person interviewed;

Invite each tribal person interviewed to contribute a written essay or statement which will be included in the final product.   Ross Frank will also offer to help with writing if desired;

Seek out Tribal members and others who have been close to the development of the projects to write a statement or essay for this book;

Share draft chapters of the book manuscript with tribal members interested in reviewing the material, or with tribal representatives appointed for this task;

Donate any proceeds due to Ross Frank from sales of any publication that results from this research to tribal educational or cultural projects that have sprung from TDV;

Provide a copy of any publication resulting from this research to each tribal resource center or library.

I will also endeavor to follow other suggestions made by Tribal officials and TDV representatives during the course of this project that will benefit community participation in the research and writing process.

Project Documents

Informed Consent document

Audio Recording Permission document

Research Subject Rill of Rights

Draft of Chapter outline

UCSD Institutional Review Board submission for TDV research

UCSD Institutional Review Board approval for TDV research