Fabulous Aboriginal Qualities

Native people have always been interested in new technologies. From the stone flints and clay pots of neighbouring First Nations, to the steel pots and glass beads brought by the newcomers, we have integrated imported inventions into our cultures. (How do you think we got so good at horseriding?) But when the camera arrived on these shores, it tooks ages before we started using the technology and taking pictures of our own. Mostly, it seems, we just stood by and didn't "say Cheese".

When we finally realized that photography was a medium that we too could use to represent our ideas, our culture, and our selves, the medium, and our relationship to it, had already been defined. The same can be said about film and, for that matter, print. We were the subjects, and not the photographers, filmmakers or authors. It's kind of surprising that it took us so long, seeing as we are famous for being such good story tellers, and that is precisely what these mediums are about. Only now are we getting the hang of using new technologies to tell stories about and for ourselves.

But that trend seems to be changing. The World Wide Web, the latest story-telling medium to arrive on the scene, is as enticing to us Indians as it is to everyone with (and even some without) a modem. The number of web pages by and about First Nations, Aboriginals, Native Americans, Indigenous peoples, and Indians is staggering, and very satisfying. There are pages for band councils and tribal councils, Native languages and Native organizations. For the first time, Native people are in on the ground floor of a new technology, and are helping to define the way it will be used to describe our cultures.

[World Wide Wal-mart?]  [CPW: FAQ]  [Moccasin Telegraph]

A Nation to Nation event in collaboration with Oboro and Circle Vision Arts Corporation