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Indigenous Tech and Media News Roundup: Yuendumu Edition

PAW Toyota

Cheers from Yuendumu, home of the Bush Mechanics! Yuendumu is a small Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory of Australia. I am here volunteering with PAW (formerly Warlpiri) Media until I return to the United States in August.  PAW Media is one of the oldest Aboriginal media organizations in the country; some of you may know it from the work of late anthropologist Eric Michaels.

There was quite a bit of talk about indigenous tech/media in the news since my last post. Highlights below:


  • The BBC profiles virtual activism for the indigenous tribes of Brazil, particularly powerful in light of injustices such as the violent confrontation between protestors and police last week in Mato Grosso. Violence against indigenous peoples of Brazil has been on the rise in recent years.
  • The Paiter Surui people, whom I worked with in Brazil, were recently accredited under VCS criteria to produced carbon credits (via EcoSystem Marketplace).
  • PolicyMic profiles the Ottawa-based indigenous hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Red, who recently released a new album Nation II Nation (via PolicyMic).
  • The host of the online indigenous radio show Native Trailblazers explains why he is hosting a special show to highlight independent native musicians (via Indian Country).
  • Jetson Green has a cool article profiling green efficient building design that takes its cue from traditional indigenous practices. Indian Country also profiled Indian Lands in the United States which are pursuing efficient building practices.
  • The Yucutan Times profiles a community radio station based in Mexico that hopes to unite Peninsular Mayas.
  • Cultural Survival always seems to have new info about their community radio program in Guatemala. Here they cover a recent workshop on how radio can be used to strengthen indigenous rights. Here they cover a meeting between Guatemala’s community radio representative and UN Special Rapporteur  James Anaya.


  • The Australian Indigenous Communications Association (AICA) published a news release warning that the 2013-2014 budget has overlooked the needs of the Indigenous community media sector. They report that funding for indigenous community radio fell by 21% from 2007 to 2011.  The Wire also has an interview with AICA on the issue.
  • Sandra Levy, chief executive of the Australian Film Television and Radio School, discusses the rise in Aboriginal directors and actors in Australian cinema, arguing their voices have made the landscape all the richer. The piece is a great overview of contemporary (mainstream) Aboriginal film-making (via the Sydney Morning Herald).
  • On that note, Mystery Road premiered at the Sydney Film Festival last week. Review here at the Guardian.
  • The lead singer of the legendary Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi has died. Yunupingu was 56 years old (via ABC Radio).
  • Here’s an ABC interview with Dr. Lawrence Bamblett, a Reseach Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, whose book Our stories are our survival discusses sports and oral story telling in Aboriginal communities.
  • ABC Darwin recently broadcast stories from Bagot, an indigenous community in the heart of Darwin.
  • The LATimes reviews the new indie film, “Lesser Blessed,” whose story centers on a Canadian First Nations Teen. They write, “Pensively shot, painfully and poetically told, this is a story about a First Nations teen trying to recover from the unimaginable, respect his tribal roots and maybe fall in love.”
  • Macquarie University announced a newly-signed agreement with SBS and NITV to introduce a mentoring program to train Indigenous students in media production.
  • Traditional owners in southwestern Victoria are using tablets to create interactive maps of the region in order to connect stories with place (via ABC).
  • The Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art recently opened what it is calling the largest exhibition ever of contemporary indigenous art (via ABC Brisbane). The exhibition, “My Country, I Still Call Australia Home” will be on display until 7 October 2013.


  • May was “Proud to be Indigenous” month. The movement, begun by First Peoples Worldwide, culminated in the UNPFII meeting in New York. Indigenous peoples around the world showed their pride via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (via Latina Lista).
  • Okay this is just cool… the BBC broke the story about the nation’s first all-digital public library to be opened in Texas (home sweet home!).

Have a wonderful week!

4 thoughts on “Indigenous Tech and Media News Roundup: Yuendumu Edition

  1. Fantastic blog. I can’t imagine all the research you did for this. I could never learn
    the language in a llifetime. You are so good at learning all the different
    languages. Cannot wait till you get home to see all your pictures. Granma

  2. Pingback: Indigenous Tech and Media News Roundup: Aboriginal Day Edition | Global Native Networks

    • Hi Matt, of course! PAW Media has thousands of hours of video in language (mostly Warlpiri). However, only a small portion of those videos are made public due to local customs around knowledge management and protection. You can browse our public videos here: Our “Animating Yimi” are great little films; our feature length films Coniston and Aboriginal Rules also are shot partly in Warlpiri language.

      I have not worked as much on the other language groups. PY Media may have some public content in Pitjantjatjara.

      I encourage you browse around IndigiTUBE (indigenous YouTUBE) as there may be content available there. might be useful as well.

      Good luck!

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