Monday, October 6, 2008

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, IITF and Indigenous Portal Project Joint Intervention

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
October 2, 2008, Geneva, Switzerland
Item #4
Topic: Right to Education

Presenter: Lei Kaupu (
Joint Intervention:
Indigenous ICT Task Force, Indigenous Portal Project

Aloha. My name is Lei Kaupu. I am a Native Hawaiian, a student at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and an editor for the Indigenous Portal Project. This is an intervention on behalf of the Indigenous ICT Task Force and the members of the Indigenous Portal Project.

The Indigenous Portal project is an outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The indigenous caucus there called for universal indigenous connectivity and the development of Indigenous specific Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs). The development of an indigenous portal was endorsed as supporting this vision.

At the 2007 UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues the indigenous portal was launched and since then we have hired indigenous peoples to fill the positions of the manager and editors for 8 regions of the world.

A portal is much more than a web interface. It is a focal point where indigenous content will be available from our peoples and other stakeholders. Our portal allows us to share, with our own voices, our traditions, values, history and language as well as our aspirations for the future. The indigenous portal is run, for, and by indigenous peoples.

From September 27-29, 2008, Indigenous ICT experts gathered to train the board members, the portal manager, and editors here in Geneva. All participants learned to upload content to the portal including video and audio content. Video cameras and audio recorders were given to each editor and trained to use them effectively.

Indigenous to indigenous training is a model that works well in educational models in indigenous communities as we’ve experienced in various projects.

Another example of this is from the Pacific that our organization called Pacific Voices has worked closely on. I come from Miloli’i, a fishing village on the island of Hawai’i. My village doesn’t have any electricity or running water. Our ‘opio and children are choosing to not continue our traditional fishing practices and would rather leave the village to do other activities. However, since 2004, Pacific Voices has partnered with elders and other community members to bring indigenous ICT trainers into the village and have worked closely with our children and elders. We have used various technology tools to document traditional knowledge and to produce how-to videos where our elders teach our youth to prepare traditional fish bait, fish nets, and other practices. Our children are now becoming more and more interested in these practices and also using technology to document these soon to be lost practices. Our indigenous youth now ask us for more and more trainings and possible cultural exchanges with other indigenous youth which they have enjoyed over the years. Since then we’ve also hosted a film and multimedia festival with 5 other fishing communities from Hawai’i. We will submit more information about our project and other trainings that have worked for your considerations of lessons learned and challenges for this study on the right to education.

The Indigenous Portal would also like to offer it’s assistance in carrying out this study and any future work by posting all information regarding this study on the portal for example a call for papers, deadline postings on our calendar, and any other information regarding this study under the education category. Each of our editors can also assist with reaching out to indigenous organizations in their

We are committed to working closely with members of the Experts Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and our indigenous brothers and sisters. We welcome all of you to visit us and share your voice at

Thank you.