Indigenous Position Paper for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

The Indigenous Position Paper for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was the draft version submitted for the World Summit on the information Society (WSIS). This was a two summit UN conference and the WSIS is now in its implementation phase. It has now been followed up by the Internet Governance Forum.

The Indigenous position paper is interesting to read and consists of a number of statements and recommendations about being part of the global Information Society that focus on Indigenous Rights in the Information Society in the specific fields of:

  • Traditional Knowledge
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications
  • Education and Language
  • Health
  • Youth
  • Environment
  • E-business
  • Media

I have copied the general principles here as I think they underline the importance of technology for indigenous people as we have begun to read in module 1.

  1. We, the Indigenous Peoples, affirm our right to be part of the global Information Society on our own terms.
  2. We note that the Information Society, as it is currently evolving, has become another instrument for colonizing, assimilating and marginalizing Indigenous Peoples in a new and subtle way.
  3. We therefore emphasize that our participation in building and implementing the Information Society must be based on our right to self-determination and the recognition of our cultural diversity and distinctiveness as Indigenous Peoples.
  4. Moreover, our full and effective participation in the evolution of the Information Society must take place in equal partnership with its non-Indigenous actors.
  5. We therefore demand to be represented with our own visions, philosophies and concepts in the conceptual framework of the Information Society and its action plan for implementation.
  6. Furthermore, we strongly request the worth of our cultures and the value of our traditional knowledge to be fully acknowledged for past, present and future positive contributions to global human progress and sustainable development.  We particularly call for recognition of our historic contributions to human development.
  7. We stress that the Information Society and its core elements – knowledge, information, communication and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) – are cultural concepts and expressions. We therefore demand that our own culturally defined approaches, protocols, proceedings and obligations are respected by non-Indigenous actors when implementing the Information Society.
  8. We recall that our peoples, no matter where they live, are affected by the digital divide. We assert our right of access to ICT applications and strongly call for recognition of our right to bridge the digital divide on our own terms.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.