Thursday, April 26, 2007

Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr., addresses international UN conference on information, communication, technology

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., has renewed the Navajo Nation's commitment and leadership to help bring information,communication and technology ­ (ICT) ­ to the indigenous people of the world.

Speaking before the 7th Infopoverty World Conference 2007 at the United Nations here Thursday and Friday, he said the Navajo Nation can assist to preserve languages, cultures and ways of life while providing access to education and economic development online.

President Shirley said that in 2005 when the UN learned that the Navajo Nation had created one of the largest wireless networks in the world through satellite technology, it asked if it could share that knowledge with the rest of the world.

He said that led to the Navajo Nation joining the International Telecommunications Union and the Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication, or OCCAM, and creating plans to open an international office for indigenous nations in Window Rock later this year.

He said all 110 Navajo Nation communities have wireless internet access, and every Navajo who wants an e-mail address can have one.

"There is not another Native American tribe or organization in the world that is coming close to taking the kind of leadership position that the Navajo Nation is," said Ernest Franklin, Executive director of the Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, who attended with President Shirley.


Audio: President Shirley

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