Indigenous Connectivity in Peru

What are the implications of cellular and Internet connectivity, provided through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), for Indigenous communities? In what ways do Indigenous engagements with ICTs enable forms of political empowerment, or produce new forms of colonial relationships? Access to ICTs has the power to create great change for many Indigenous peoples. This project, a collaboration between Jason Young (UW TASCHA), Kurtis Heimerl (UW CSE), and Michael Gilmore (George Mason University), explores how ICT infrastructure and platforms can be designed to enable Indigenous communities to control how those changes affect them, so that they are more in line with community needs and desires. It does so in the context of several Maijuna Indigenous communities in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. The goal of the project is to work with the Maijuna to understand how digital connectivity might best support them in their own lives, scientific collaborations, and political goals.