High speed Internet helps groups connect to preserve indigenous cultures

Indigenous dancers and drummers from Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Florida and Alaska recently performed for one another during a week long conference.

Not one of the dancers had to buy a plane ticket, stay in a hotel, or miss work.

They performed via videoconference, orchestrated by the University of Florida as part of a conference focusing on “how communications technologies have affected indigenous language and cultural identity in the Americas, with a focus on cultural continuity in a changing world.”

While indigenous performers hailed from hometowns spanning sub-Arctic to subtropic, the program fit particularly well for the group from Alaksa, says Scott Deal, the leader of the group.

As a large and geographically remote state that is not part of the contiguous 48, its citizens are literally distant from the rest of the country and the international community.

High speed Internet connections just make sense.

“We can lead the way in learning to use this tool for research and development in the sciences, humanities and the arts. In this medium you can be anywhere and you can participate on your own merits. We have the opportunity to present a unique voice from our northern environment and contribute without the obstacle of distance,” Deal said.

Indigenous cultures in digital culture

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