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International Day Shines Spotlight on Indigenous Media
UNITED NATIONS: This year's International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (9 August) will shine a spotlight on indigenous media - television, radio, film, and social
media - and its role in helping to preserve indigenous peoples' cultures, challenge stereotypes, and influence the social and political agenda.
An event at UN Headquarters in New York on the theme of “Indigenous media, empowering
indigenous voices” will feature remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Grand Chief Edward John, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and others. It will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives of indigenous media organizations from across the world and video clips produced by indigenous peoples.
The panel, moderated by Amy Stretten, will include Kenneth Deer, founder of the newspaper 'The Eastern Door'; Nils Johan Heatta, Chairman of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network; J. Kehaulani Kauanui, a professor at Wesleyan University and radio producer; and Angel Tibán Guala, Director of the television of Movimiento Indígena Campesino de Cotopaxi (TV MICC).
“From community radio and television to feature films and documentaries, from video art and
newspapers to the internet and social media, indigenous peoples are using these powerful tools to
challenge mainstream narratives, bring human rights violations to international attention and forge global solidarity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the day. “They are also developing their own media to reflect indigenous values and fight against myths and misconceptions.”
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 70 countries around the world.
Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Spread across the world from the Arctic to the Amazon, indigenous peoples reflect the world's cultural diversity and are the custodians of its bio-diversity.
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