Posted to the Ethnos Project by on June 24th, 2013

Why is it important to look at issues which surround Indigenous peoples, globalization, and
autonomy? What is an Indigenous perspective on globalization? Can Indigenous communities create local and mass media which promotes their autonomy and self-determination? And if so, what are the implications that this media creation holds in a globalized world? How is Indigenous media creation any different from mainstream media creation? These are important questions for understanding globalization and autonomy because within the current global reality it is a Western worldview, largely transmitted through local and mass media, which dominates and has some unsettling consequences for the entire planet.

Media creation today is more powerful than ever before because of the far-reaching influence of new technologies intricately connected to the forces of globalization. There have been astronomical advances in the area of satellite technology and telecommunications making the world seem smaller by enabling the citizens of the globe to communicate through various media on a level never before known. While these technological advances present new opportunities for Indigenous communities to build platforms for autonomous media representation, the realities of accessing significant telecommunications technology and airtime is the challenge.

For too long, Indigenous ways of knowing have been silenced, but today Indigenous peoples are making their views heard through autonomous media creation and sharing it with the world. The irruption of Indigenous knowledges in local and mass media creation deepens and enriches the ways in which we understand the world and also constitutes a form of resistance to this imbalance by reclaiming space for multiple forms of knowing. In the case of globalization and autonomy, Indigenous peoples can share a lot of insight since they have been resisting the forces of globalization while also asserting their autonomy and right to self-determination for over five hundred years.

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