Learning about Native Americans ... on-Line

Image Credit: mapuche-nation.org

The other day I was reading a Spanish edition of selected works from Edward Sheriff Curtis, namely extracts from his works and books: "The North American Indian". The Spanish book shows amazing ancient photographs of members from different groups (two centuries back) , something in those faces brought forth images and live friendly memories from the Southern hemisphere. I wonder if there may be some connections...

In any case reading about the cosmovisions of Cheyennes, Pigan and Arapahos, as informed by this US amazing explorer, who lived amongst the tribal communities for extended periods of time, guided me to explore more about E.S. Curtis on-line...

My knowledge on histories about original inhabitants of America, be it South, North, East, West, Central or other... was highly biased from reading a few children’s books plus limited and skewed information during junior school classroom assignments in Buenos Aires courses of the 70’s,... so reading this interview with expert Leonor Stavisky , posted on Educ.ar.com, was sheer delight and also guided me to go explore more on-line.

Leonor Stavisky on-going research "with" South American native communities, now in combination with a Canadian Institute fostering on-line Connectivity (Instituto de Conectividad de las Américas), informs us through the words of natives (I don’t quite like the word "indigenous") and descendants from different tribal community groups what is going on now using digital tools on-line to communicate amongst themselves and with others, and to bring forth their communal and personal creativity integrating info-communication environments from past, present ... and future?

I particularly enjoyed the story about an 11 year old girl, helping the teacher understand his connection status with the rest of the students (very different ages, children and adults)..."If she knew what I was talking about...that was a good sign that I could continue line...". The girl was well informed about Creative Commons, for instance ... since she had read about it in the newspaper.

Leonor underscores the importance of opening our minds to the different communication ways and tools available: the Internet is helping us integrate those skills from our not so distant past...with the potential of bringing forth some great ancient and current voices...and works...in their own terms. Indeed, a “Lof Digital” web portal is under construction with contents by the Mapuche (Wikipedia Link for now...their own "lof coming soon" (“lof” in mapudungvn-mapuche language means community).

My brief exploration brought another interesting site promoting native-languages from other American people on-line.

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