your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
David Shorter: Images of indigenous people go missing in media

Filed Under: Opinion | Technology
More on: david shorter, internet, stereotypes

Ken Scott Photography helped create images of modern indigenous people for the Wiki for Indigenous Languages website. Photo from Facebook

Where are the images of modern indigenous people on the Internet? Professor David Shorter had to create his own photo library for the Wiki for Indigenous Languages website after seeing stereotypical images online:
In 2002, I began working on my first website that would feature ethnographic and self-representations of the Yoeme people in northwest Mexico. I had worked with family members in various Yoeme pueblos since 1992 and I finished my doctoral dissertation in 2002. I received a small grant shortly after that in order to develop a website that featured Yoeme performances and politics, ideally designed in a form that reflected Yoeme aesthetics. The challenge was daunting to say the least. And while much could be said about the finished product, I start with this history to highlight that in 2002, I could find no websites on indigenous languages. In fact, most tribal nations in 2002 did not have their own websites. I was aware back then that the Internet seemed to be, comparatively, devoid of native presence.

Of course, the Internet was a different place back then. Since that time, the World Wide Web has grown from engaging 9% of the world’s population to now just under 50%. We’ve gone from having about 3 million websites to now close to 600 million. In 2002, it took about 13 minutes to download a song. Friendster had about 3 million users, compared to Facebook’s current 1.65 billion. If you wanted a fast machine to connect via a cable to the Internet, you could get the then “fast” 700MHz iBook. Based on how primitive the 2002 web space might seem to us now, we should not be surprised about the lack of Indigenous websites back then.

Imagine my surprise then, when in 2015, as I was developing the Wiki for Indigenous Languages (WIL), I was searching for stock photos of Native people using technology and found literally zero. I tried every set of search terms I could think of: “indigenous technology,” “Native technology users,” “aboriginal digital media,” “Any frickin image of an Indian using a mobile phone!” I was able to find some pretty disturbing photos; those of you who study representations of Indigenous people can probably imagine these well. I saw cavemen staring at large pc monitors, a Plains Indian listening to a phonograph, and lots of photos of South American and African tribal members, usually in feathers or face paint, holding a camera someone had clearly just handed to them. Really Interwebs?! In 2015?

Get the Story:
David Shorter: The More Things Change (Indian Country Today 5/14)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Federal court blocks attempt to condemn lands on Navajo Nation (5/26)
Bill removes blood quantum requirement for Five Civilized Tribes (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Voting is just sooo hard in the era of Donald Trump (5/26)
Ryan Benally: Bears Ears was false promise for Native Americans (5/26)
Adrian Jawort: Should non-Natives ever write about our people? (5/26)
Native turnout fails to sway closely-watched election in Montana (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee council ousts chief for only 2nd time in history (5/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe into election season with crowded field (5/26)
Lacrosse documentary 'Pride of a Nation' opens to strong reviews (5/26)
Seminole Tribe working hard to rid new casino of Trump's influence (5/26)
Lawmakers once again seek fixes to 'broken' Indian Health Service (5/25)
Secretary Zinke headed to National Congress of American Indians (5/25)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens listening sessions on reorganization (5/25)
Kevin Washburn: Indian Country feels the pain with Donald Trump (5/25)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as buy-back winds down (5/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (5/25)
Secretary Zinke plans to work with tribes on drilling push in Alaska (5/25)
Republican candidate to replace Ryan Zinke charged with assault (5/25)
Democrats drop Andrew Jackson from name of event in Arkansas (5/25)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (5/25)
Washoe Tribe celebrates 1st anniversary of unique gaming facility (5/25)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares update on casino work (5/25)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (5/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.