Posted to the Ethnos Project by on March 4th, 2011

How is the web impacting aboriginal communities?

Phillip Djwa’s work focuses on the key components of social responsibility through technology. He’s worked for a wide variety of technology companies in senior positions for many years. Now, through Agentic Communications, which is a web development company that works with progressive organizations having a social mission, he serves people who want to reach their communities more effectively using technology. Phillip does a lot of consulting and community engagement, especially in First Nations in BC.

More about Phillip here:

FirstVoices Language Archive

FirstVoices is a suite of web-based tools and services designed to support Aboriginal people engaged in language archiving, language teaching and cultural revitalization. FirstVoices allows Aboriginal communities to use the latest technology to accurately document their language data and manage their own language resources to keep their languages and cultures vibrant and accessible for future generations.


LCS – Talking Object Prototype – Andean Scarf

This clip presents a demonstration of a traditional Quechua scarf or chalina, woven in the Peruvian Andes which is tagged with a barcode that connects it to a website with a story by an old shepherd woman, the maker of the scarf, about her close encounter with a condor in 3 languages. This is the first prototype of the LCS Talking Object Project, done by the LCS Lab working closely with indigenous community of Ccatcca, Cusco Region, Peru.

Our recent innovation enables any traditional craftwork or cultural object to be digitally tagged with barcodes (e.g. QR barcode), which can be read by the camera in most new mobile phones, using a QR reader application to load a corresponding webpage into the phone. The destination webpage contains streamed audio, video or images containing a song, poem or a story about the object, explain its cultural significance or tell of its creators life. Moreover, the web page can contain email or telephone addresses to facilitate dialogue between producer and the viewer/purchaser. In this way, the tangible heritage is brought to life by linking it with intangible heritage represented through an associated multimedia, substantially increasing the value of the craftwork. There is a very wide potential for increasing the economic return to local and indigenous artisans from the sale of souvenirs or art objects, or for enabling insiders to connect in their own language around culturally significant artifacts.

Language Technologies

A “Northwest Indian News” story about using “Technology to perpetuate Indigenous Language”.

Mentioned: [link removed – project discontinued]

Learn Cherokee Tsalagi Language App for iPhone / iPod Touch

Learn more:

RezWorld Full immersion Video game teach endangered languages

RezWorld™ 3D Video Game is a fully immersive Native video game that teaches langauge and culture. The technology’s been 3rd party tested on over 25,000 users (learning Arabic) produced Novice- High speakers in one week (40 hours).

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