The Black Book

bbd_vert_logo The quote on the home page of the The Black Book site reads, “It’s taken sixty thousand years, but finally the portal to Indigenous media and the arts in Australia is here.”    This is one of many sites that features Indigenous communities in Australia using the Internet and multimedia to share their traditions, stories, and arts to inform local communities and the broader global audience.   The Black Book has two main sections: the directory and the library.  The Directory includes over 2700 listings of  Indigenous organizations that work in the arts, media and cultural areas.  The library contains over 2000 pieces of artistic work including work from the 1890s to now. The work is categorized into publications, music, screen productions, documentaries, plays, features, and albums sections. The site also serves as an up to date information portal about events in the country, jobs and training, and leading Indigenous artists.  The Black Book site was inspired by the The Brown Pages, a similar site created by the Maori community.

The Inspiration page on the site links viewers to the following “trailblazers”

Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Bob Maza
Russel Page
Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Michael Riley
Kevin Smith
Pauline McLeod

The Black Book logo [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2009, from The Black Book website.

November 21, 2009   No Comments

Module#3 Weblog#4 by Dilip Verma


Indigenous Languages and Technology

Web site:

The ILAT site is an open forum Listserv, something that I had read about, but never seen. The site is run by the University of Arizona, and is visually simple with no frills, unlike other webpages. It is similar to the forums we use on Blackboard.

It is a list of messages archived by month on topics related to Indigenous Languages and Technology. It is up to date as there are 23 threads for November 2009 alone. It is a useful site because it allows you to search the archive by keyword. This means you can find out what people in the field have said about any topic. I did a search on the Listserv for the word Wiki and got 27 matches, the most recent being from January 2009. This post took to me to a site ( where you can download Drupal, a free online program that allows for the creation of an online dictionary that can include audio, and video. The post suggests that the dictionary can be set up in a Wiki style so that users could add words.

I did another search on the word “Zapotec” and found that a researcher brought students down to Oaxaca each year to work on a Zapotec dictionary in a village not far from my house.

A real mine of information

November 8, 2009   No Comments

Module#3 Weblog#2 by Dilip Verma

Indigenous Knowledge and Resource Management in Northern Australia

Making Collective Memory with Computers

Web Site:

The IKRMNA was a project that ran from 2003 to 2006 and aimed to support and develop databases that focused on the preservation of Indigenous languages and culture in Northern Australia. It was coordinated by the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems at Charles Darwin University and received funds from the Australian Research Council. The project developed solutions for institutions, Indigenous communities, published papers and developed software. Among other activities, the project developed a prototype digital systems that allows Indigenous communities to develop a collective memory. TAMI (Text, Audio, Movies and Images) is a database and file management system for IK developed specifically to take into consideration the needs of Australian Aboriginal communities. Interestingly they propose the use of Maps and navigation interfaces since IK is place based.

Links from this site:

There is a link to an animation of TAMI

There are many interesting papers such as:

Digital Technologies and Aboriginal Knowledge Practices

& Software for Educating Aboriginal Children about Place

There are several links to other sites.

Of interest is the link to the Aboriginal Mapping Network that helps Indigenous communities to protect and develop land based resources by using mapping tools.

November 7, 2009   No Comments

Anglican Indigenous Network (DGM Module 2-4)

Created in 1991, the Anglican Indigenous Network (AIN) is an international network in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The aims of the AIN are:

Our Aims:

  • We are indigenous minority peoples living in our own lands.
  • We are committed to the Anglican tradition while affirming our traditional spirituality.
  • We have discovered that we have many things in common: a common spirituality, common concerns, common gifts, common hopes.
  • We believe that God is leading the Church to a turning point in its history and that the full partnership of indigenous peoples is essential. Therefore we pledge to work together to exercise our leadership in contributing our vision and gifts to transform the life of the Christian community.

This website provides a history of the AIN and links to other resources. It is not exclusively Indigenous, but is an expression of the struggle for Indigenous identity within the Anglican Communion. This struggle has led, recently, to the appointment of a national Indigenous Bishop whose role it is to provide episcopal ministry to First Nations Anglicans in Canada.

One of the more intriguing links on this site is the “Stories of the Night Sky” Project for First Nation, Metis and Inuit Youth aged 16 to 19 news item. A portion of the description of this project follows:

In recognition of the UNESCO International Year of Astronomy 2009, The National Association of Friendship Centres will work toward developing a website to showcase First Nation, Métis and Inuit “Stories of the Night Sky” from across Canada. Fourteen young people will be chosen to participate in this project, one from each province and territory. Status or Non-status First Nation, Métis, or Inuit are all invited to apply. Each participant will have online media training to develop their interviewing and camera skills; we don’t put you out there alone, there will always be someone available to you for guidance.

The perks: you get to keep the camera, there is a small stipend when your part of the project is completed, and your work will be on a web site dedicated to “Aboriginal Stories of the Night Sky” that will play a part in the preservation of Aboriginal languages, traditional knowledge and culture.


October 20, 2009   No Comments

Warlpiri Media Association


The Warlpiri Media Association (WMA) is a community organization managed by locally elected Indigenous  peoples in Australia.  Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, work together to produce and broadcast local media for regional and national audiences.

Incorporating new technology into their productions, WMA has produced award winning media productions.   In the 1980s, before  television was accessible to remote areas in Australia, communities started to experiment with video production.  Yuendumu, a small community 300kms from Alice Springs,  is the birthplace of WMA.  The association served as a voice of concerns of Aboriginal people in the area regarding the launch of Australian owned satellite television.

WMA projects include:

Shout it Loud – a video about sexual abuse in Aboriginal communitites

Kula-nyampuju ngaju-nyangu – Aboriginal comedy video about the role of an interpreter in the court system

Darby – One hundred years of life in a changing culture

WMA logo [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2009, from WMA website.

October 17, 2009   No Comments

Isuma TV

isumaTV_logoIsuma TV is an independent network for Inuit and Indigenous multimedia launched by Igloolik Isuma Productions. This platform enables users to upload and exchange multimedia, interact and connect with other users, to create their own channel, and to watch Indigenous videos and offer feedback.   Isuma TV 2.0 was launched in April 2009 with over 1000 films in thirty different Indigenous languages. Igloolik Isuma Productions produced “The Fast Runner Trilogy of award-winning Inuit-language films: Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, and Before Tomorrow; in association with Nunavut Independent TV Network (NITV), imagineNATIVE Film+Media Arts Festival, Vtape, Native Communications Society of the NWT and other non-profit agencies.”

Isuma TV logo [Online Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2009, from Isuma website.

October 17, 2009   No Comments