Kenneth Deer – Mohawk Nation, Canada

Linked with our presentation of Mohawks pass into another millennium.

Linked also with our presentation of an Indigenous Approach on Bridging the Digital Divide.

Kenneth Deer – Mohawk Nation, Canada. His Mohawk’s name is Atsenhaienton, which means “The fire still burns”.

On the Preparatory Committee of the World Summit he writes: We the Indigenous Peoples affirm our right to be part of the global information society on our own terms. However, the information society that is currently evolving has become another instrument for colonizing, assimilating and marginalizing Indigenous Peoples in a new and subtle way. We therefore emphasize that our participation in the building and implementing of the information society must be based on our right to self-determination and the recognition of our cultural diversity and distinctiveness as Indigenous Peoples.

We need to be represented with our own visions, philosophies and concepts on the conceptual framework of the information society and any action plan for its implementation. Moreover, our full and effective participation in the evolution of the information society must take place in equal partnership with its non-indigenous actors. We stress that we have the right to shape our future without the risk of losing our cultural identity. The information society and its four elements; knowledge, information, communications and ICTs, are cultural concept and expressions. Accordingly, our own culturally defined approaches, protocols, proceedings and obligations have to be respected by non-indigenous actors when implementing the information society. (KENNETH DEER, Mohawk).

Moreover, we need to develop our own culturally appropriate ICT applications and content and also reflect our modes of communication. But this can only work if we have access to the information society. Many indigenous people still don’t have electricity, or phone lines, much less high speed internet.

He is a member of the Bear Clan From the Mohawk community of Kahnawake. And Kenneth Deer is the editor of The Eastern Door, an award winning, independent newspaper serving the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, just across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, Quebec.

He has been active at the community level for many years in the area of education, recreation and
Indigenous rights. He has been involved for 16 years in education as an education counselor, high school principal and co-chairman of the National Indian Education Council in Canada. For the last 13 years he has worked as a political activist and now a newspaper publisher while at the same time being heavily involved in the Indigenous international movement at the United Nations in Geneva. Deer was the Chairman/Rapporteur of the UN Workshop on Indigenous Media in New York in December of 2000. His report can be found on the UN website under the activities of the Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. (Read on this site).

He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Quebec Community Newspapers Association from 1999-2001.

He was also active representing the Indigenous Media Network during the preparations for the World Summit on the Information Society which had taken place in Tunis in November 2005.

links:

Indigenous Rights in the Commonwealth Caribbean and Americas Meeting;

Eastern Door, Vol 7 / 7-16;

Eastern Door, Vol 4 / 43;

Dialog between Nations;

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