Framing the Indigenous Mobile Revolution

Publication Type:
Indigenous People and Mobile Technologies, 2016, pp. 1 - 24
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In 2014, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recorded that for the first time in history there were almost as many mobile (cell) phone subscriptions as people in the world. As we approach 100% global saturation, Brahima Sanou (ITU 2013, 1), Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, describes the rise of mobile phones as the “mobile revolution … this mobile miracle”. Though much has been written about mobile communication and mobile media, one significant group—the Indigenous peoples of the world—has been largely ignored. Yet, Indigenous people are an integral part of the mobile revolution, using a variety of mobile technologies to bring their nations into the twenty-first century. The explosion of mobile devices and applications in Indigenous communities offers the potential to address issues of geographic isolation, build an environment for the learning and sharing of knowledge, provide support for cultural and language revitalization, and furnish a means for social and economic renewal. This book explores how mobile technologies are overcoming disadvantage and the tyrannies of distance, allowing benefits to flow directly to Indigenous people and bringing wide-ranging improvements to their lives.
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