Kenneth Deer, Ambassador Janis Karklin

Kenneth Deer
Mohawk Nation, Kahnawake
Ambassador Janis Karklin, Latvia
President of the Preparatory Committee
of the World Summit


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.

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.