Why does Australia need NDIGI LAB?
Indigenous Australians are the world’s first scientists and inventors. They have passed on this knowledge for over 1500 generations and counting. It’s about time that these sciences are recognised, respected and maintained.
Indigenous peoples have been amazingly adaptive and creative with new media technologies, applying them to their own life ways and maintaining cultural boundaries rather than simply assimilating into the dominant social order. Communities that survived the cataclysmic forces of colonization are now telling their stories and constructing new forms of cultural power in the digital age.
Traditional culture cannot be maintained in isolation from an entirely interconnected global condition. In recent years, these communities and their allies have used the Internet and digital media to disclose conditions of oppression and the ecological damage being done to their lands by corporations.
There are concerns about the level of cultural safety to ensuring Scared Traditional Knowledge will not be exploited, which has been held with family groups for over 1500 generations. Traditional knowledge has had great economic advancement for First Nation Peoples in industries that range from tourism, agricultural entertainment, arts, media, and communications through to the biotechnology industry.
Access to the Internet and Information Communications and Technologies is important to ensuring quality of life within the 21st Century. Some suggest that the Internet and other information
Communications and Technologies are somehow transforming society, improving our mutual understanding, eliminating power differentials, realizing a truly free and democratic world society, and other benefits.
Our framework and principles to researching and project planning will be guided by the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and The Seventh Generation Principle. We believe that these frameworks support real sustainable approaches to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advancement in sciences and technology.
A snapshot of statistics to support why a focus on Indigenous science, technology and digital innovation is important:
• Australia’s First Peoples have 40,000 years of adapting to cultural and environmental
changes and are most likely to adapt to a digital age.
• Australia’s First Peoples are one of the fastest growing populations to uptake mobiles.
• 95% of the world population have access to the internet.
• Australia’s First Peoples have embraced developing technology with a focus on the surrounding environments and cultural needs.
• Australia’s First Peoples are the most likely communities to adapt to cultural changes of the digital age as they have survived traumatic experiences and lived through catastrophic environmental events.
Moreover, key findings from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
(NATSISS) survey reflect the following from Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged 15 years and over:
• 62% identified with a clan, tribal or language group;
• 40% spoke, or spoke some words of, an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language with
11% mainly speaking an Indigenous language at home.
Key findings for Indigenous children aged 4-14 years include:
• 31% spent at least one day a week with an Indigenous leader or elder;
• 62% were taught about Indigenous culture at school.3
With the above statistics and the incredible support Indigi Lab has received in a relatively short time period on its Facebook page, we know there is a need in the community to establish Indigi Lab and will work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and key stakeholders towards an overall goal to create a future where Indigenous Australians are leading in science, technology and digital innovation.
Innovative National and International Case Studies which demonstrate the aspirational initiatives/projects of INDIGI LAB
Mabo Star Dedication
The dedication is part of a Dreamtime Astronomy program developed in partnership with the Nura Gili Indigenous Unit of the University of New South Wales, which promotes research into Indigenous astrology, which goes back some 40,000 years.
“Star constellations are prominent landmarks in the Aboriginal skies of pre-contact Australia,” says Matt Poll, Indigenous Curator at the University of Sydney’s Macleay Museum.
“They exist in so many of the amazing stories that were passed through the oral histories of thousands of generations of people up until the present day.
“This should signal the start of a lot more recognition of the value of the contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made to science, history and culture.”
Ushahidi and the BRCK project
BRCK has mobility in mind, insert a 3G data enabled SIM card in over 140 countries and broadcast a WiFi signal that you can share. If you don’t have a SIM card, BRCK still has you covered, as we have a BRCK vMNO for global connectivity without SIM cards. We also included an external GSM antenna port for those times that you’re at the edge of the signal range an need to attach an antenna to reach the distance. BRCKs internal enterprise-level 802.11 b/g/n router with a 10/100Mbps WAN/LAN Port gives you plenty of speed that you can share with up to 20 devices.
Community Controlled Broadband
K-Net is a unique First Nations owned & operated ICT Service Provider leading the way for rural and remote First Nations of Ontario into the ever growing world of information communication technologies. Based out of Sioux Lookout Ontario, K-Net materializes a wide range of capacity building services visualized by First Nations; such as cellular service, broadband connectivity, and online applications.
K-Net Internet High School
The Ned Program provides online supplementary courses to grade 7 and 8 students in First Nation elementary schools and education programs across Ontario. This free program is designed to enrich – not replace – classroom teaching by offering courses in Math, Science and English Literacy. Students work online to complete short assignments written especially for First Nation schools.
K-Net Health Services
KO Telemedicine (KOTM) delivers clinical, educational and administrative services via videoconferencing and advanced information communication technologies to First Nation communities in Ontario.
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.