Here is a website attempting to marry up the disparity between the affordances of the web with the indigenous connection to the land. Using traditional knowledge and the Geographical Information System, hunting areas, fishing areas, ceremonial grounds etc. are being plotted and connected to the history and current practices they represent. The site also provides scholarly information on the cultural importance of the land for the various First Nations cultures. One contributor to the site sees the project as connecting people with the land and connecting the past with the present.
Miromaa: Aboriginal Language and Technology Center
Every two weeks, an aboriginal language is lost somewhere in the world (Miromaa, 2011, May 22, 2011). With this startling statistic, The Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Center hopes to “reclaim, preserve, and maintain our traditional languages” through the use of software groups to record aboriginal languages in their oral and written form in one area. It also provides information about training opportunities for users of the software. People interested in this software would be language specialists of a given language (fluent speakers), language centers and academic linguists and researchers.
Claiming to be “modern technology for ancient times”, Miromaa may be an over exaggeration of the importance of this type of software in the quest to maintain aboriginal culture. According to Howe (2000), “tribalism must be practiced. It must be lived and experienced” (24). Used to revitalize a language, and as a resource for speakers wishing to brush up or look things up, it is a necessary tool in today’s shrinking world, however, the language must still be used to stay alive. It needs to be on street signs, spoken in homes, used in meetings and at ceremonies. A website as an archive will do only that—archive the language so it isn’t completely erased from cultural memory.