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Use of Internet Communication Among the Sami People

The Saemieh, hereafter referred as to as Sami, are the indigenous population of the Scandinavian Peninsula in Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. Although Samis are best known for their reindeer husbandry, a large number of Samis lived in a hunter-gather economy until the 16th century. The Samis are still considered one people even after the diversification of their languages and the…

The Internet and Indigenous Groups

One of the most enduring myths about indigenous peoples is that they wish to isolate themselves from the rest of the world in order to cling to archaic ways of life. This stereotype portrays them as misfits who cannot adjust to modern life and suits those who wish to see indigenous cultures vanish. If that were true, then the best thing for indigenous peoples would be to abandon their traditional…

Standing Stones in Cyberspace: The Oneida Indian Nation's Territory on the Web

Nestled among the old green hills of central New York lies a tiny sovereign nation. Most cars simply speed by it, but if you slow down, you'll hear the noisy Canadian geese overhead, flapping their way back south for the winter. There's a smell of woodsmoke and sweetgrass as you walk up the wide plank steps of the cultural center, named Shako:Wi: or `He Gives.' If one enters the structure, built…

Return of the Indian: Conquest and Revival in the Americas

From first contact with indigenous Americans, Europeans did not agree how to treat them. As early as 1550, Bartolomé de las Casas used his ecclesiastical power to plead for the natives' natural rights to freedom and self-government. Though las Casas managed to persuade the King, the distant monarch was not able to implement the enlightened policies. After five centuries of the colonial legacy,…

Plants and Animals in the Life of the Kuna

The Kuna of eastern Panama are renowned for successfully combating external threats that plague indigenous groups throughout the humid neotropics. For decades they have been stewards of their own semiautonomous homeland, Kuna Yala. Most live on the San Blas Islands that dot the waters of the Caribbean, traveling by canoe to farm, hunt, and harvest plant products in the rain forests that blanket…

NOTES from the FIELD: Resurrecting African Music and Dance

Each time a Griot, Jaly, or Ayan (keepers of African oral traditions) dies, they literally take libraries of African music and dance to the grave where it is entombed and lost to the world forever. Since the music and dance of Africa is largely an oral tradition that is verbally passed down from one generation to the next, sheet music is not available. Younger generations of Africans no longer…

Latin America: The Internet and Indigenous Texts

In an age of global communication and computer technology, indigenous peoples have slowly gained access to electronic communication. With all of the hype surrounding cyberspace and hyperspaces as we enter a new millennium, we need to examine how indigenous peoples use and are impacted by this technology. Is there still a possibility that marginalized indigenous territories within Latin America…

Indigo Girls Honor the Earth

The Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, recently wound up their 1997 Honor the Earth tour. Their first stop was at the St. Regis Mohawk community of Akwesasne located on the borders of Quebec, Ontario, and New York state. The Indigo Girls performance followed talks by key Mohawk organizers Katsi Cook, Winona LaDuke, and John Trudell. Winona LaDuke addressed the native connection to the…

CS in the CLASSROOM - 21.4

Upcoming Collaborative Projects The Wagucha Folklore Group of Boston is collaborating with Cultural Survival to bring a three-day curriculum to the Pilot School and Spanish classes at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in November. This three-day orientation to Garifuna culture and presentation of Garifuna music and dance rhythms initiates our cooperative endeavor in writing a full curriculum…

Burma: Constructive Engagement in Cyberspace?

As one of the few countries in the world still lacking direct Internet access, Burma is a place where propaganda and rumors abound and hard facts remain elusive. The ruling military junta which renamed the country `Myanmar,' is bent on silencing democracy activists and subjugating autonomy-minded ethnic minority groups. With non-Burmans comprising almost half the population of Burma, ethnic…

Assyrians: "3,000 Years of History, Yet the Internet is Our Only Home"

Assyrians started their immigration to the U.S. and Europe more than 100 years ago. The Assyrians of today number more than five million and are the direct descendants of the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian empires. Immigrants from Iraq and Iran preferred to settle in the U.S. and Australia, while Assyrians from Turkey preferred to settle in Europe. The Internet is finally uniting these Assyrian…

'Olelo Hawai'i: A Rich Oral History, a Bright Digital Future

Olelo Hawai'i, the Hawaiian language, has an oral tradition as rich as any language on earth. Prior to the arrival of westerners in the late 1700s, it was the only language spoken in the Hawaiian archipelago. The language flourished in written form as well, after having been assigned Latin characters by Calvinist missionaries in the early 1800s. The Hawaiian nation was among the most literate in…