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Indigenous Tweets, Visible Voices and Technology

UNESCO estimates that of the 6,000 current languages spoken today, more than half will be extinct by the start of the next century, adding that "with the disappearance of unwritten and undocumented languages, humanity will lose not only a cultural wealth, but also important ancestral knowledge embedded, in particular, in indigenous languages." These languages require urgent intervention. In many remote locations, only a handful of speakers remain. There is also a growing movement where communities are recognizing the value of maintaining their native language despite internal and external pressures. Online media and web 2.0 tools hold immense possibilities for the inclusion of indigenous people in the online conversation and in democratic processes that start with the simple exercise of a person’s right to express themselves using the tools available to them. These tools have have a significant potential for cultural preservation and identity formation of young indigenous people.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What are the innovative approaches to preserving and promoting indigenous languages online?
  2. What are the challenges faced when preservering these languages?
  3. What are the specific technologies that are facilitating the preservation of these languages?
  4. What are the financial incentives that can be generated using these technologies to preserve these languages?
  5. What else needs to happen for these languages not to disappear? What other approaches do we need to adopt that are not just focused on the technology?



Kara Andrade, Co-Founder, HablaCentro, LLC., HablaCentro Informatics, NFP.

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