Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society

ⓒ The Indigenous Caucus at the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis

Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society: Emerging uses of ICTs.
A paper prepared for the First WSIS+10 Review Event. 

Roberto Mukaro Borrero

During the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Indigenous Peoples called for their full and effective participation in the Information Age on their own terms. While implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action has been limited, there are examples of Indigenous Peoples creatively engaging with information and communications technologies (ICTs) independently, or in partnership with NGOs, private sector, governments, intergovernmental organizations, and other Indigenous Peoples. A broad range of innovative software, hardware, and existing technologies are being employed to, among other things: defend Indigenous Peoples’ human rights; and preserve, manage, and promote their unique cultural heritage.

This report summarizes Indigenous Peoples’ engagement with the Information Society and provides an overview of their participation during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Particular attention is given to the relevance to “knowledge societies” and Action Line C8 of the WSIS Plan of Action on “Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content.” Drawing on Indigenous Peoples’ declarations, statements, and interviews with key experts and activists, as well as intergovernmental and academic reports, this review also showcases innovations, examples of good practice and emerging trends, with recommendations to guide strategies, projects, and policy-making, in the post-WSIS environment.

Full paper in pdf

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