Kept invisible for centuries, Native Americans in the United States are increasingly using blogs and online citizen media to promote and preserve their rights and traditional ways of life. With the election of President Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuuxshish (Barack Obama’s adopted Crow Tribe name) indigenous peoples see new reasons to be optimistic.
Reznet – Reporting from Native America
One project that gives voice to indigenous worldviews is Reznet, a Native American news, information and entertainment website of the University of Montana School of Journalism that also trains and mentors American Indian college students around the country as they prepare for journalism careers.
Reznet features both articles, blogs, and multimedia. Pointing to modern-day applications of indigenous belief systems, particularly in respect of the Earth, one article says that “a Native owned and operated solar energy company” will be producing clean energy products for the U.S. government.
Another post, in the blog section triBaLOG, explains how popular media misrepresentations of Native peoples in Westerns are being challenged by a new wave of animated films like ‘Stories From the Seventh Fire‘ created by Native Americans directors who tell contemporary and traditional tribal stories more accurately.
Rezkast - A native music sharing and video site
Rezkast is a smaller website, created by the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Technology Center that seeks to spread Native American multimedia messages, as an alternative to YouTube. Many of the videos exchanged here are about activism, culture, language and inspiration.
One video that appears on the site takes the popular song by will.i.am based on the words of an Obama speech, and remixes it to show old and new photographs of Native American lives. The video lists the challenges facing America’s indigenous peoples – such as protecting sacred sites and preserving ancient cultures – and concludes, “Yes we can return to tribal greatness.”