Intercultural Education with Indigenous Peoples and the Potential of Digital Technologies to make it Happen

Intercultural Education with Indigenous Peoples and the Potential of Digital Technologies to make it Happen

Evaristo Ovide (University of Salamanca, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2101-5.ch005


Internet and the technologies linked to it (ICTs) have greatly expanded the linguistic and cultural domains of the most widely spoken languages in our global world. At the same time, endangered languages that were already excluded from the traditional media have an even smaller presence in this larger world. However, the Web also offers a great opportunity for these languages to have a voice and a presence, as it would have not been possible before, though it is normally rather difficult for numerous reasons. This chapter seeks to create a theoretical and practical framework consisting of five steps: Documentation, Dissemination, Community, Education, and Monetization. Each of these steps considers traditional methods and tries to improve their efficiency and effectiveness by using ICTs in an interdisciplinary and holistic approach.
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Importance Of Preserving Indigenous Cultures

A very extended opinion among non-academic population is that indigenous peoples, their language, and their knowledge have no value nowadays. We are referring to non-academic population in the same place where indigenous peoples live, as outside that area it is common that they are kept invisible by the media, even local media. With immigrant cultures from other countries, the question of whether governments should make an effort to help them keep their language, traditions, etc. is not so fundamental (though as tax payers they should also be taken into account in the society where they live) because that culture will continue intact in their home places as the dominant one. However, with indigenous peoples, this question is of paramount importance, as they do not have a land of their own where they are the dominant culture. They are not immigrants bringing a sample of a culture; they are the last representatives of the ancestral owners of the land. Therefore, if measures are not taken to protect their way of living, the result can be the total disappearance of civilizations with thousands of years of history and knowledge.

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