Submissions/Challenges supporting indigenous peoples' participation in Wikipedia in the Asia Pacific

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After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 7005
Title of the submission

Challenges supporting indigenous peoples' participation in Wikipedia in the Asia Pacific

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)

Panel discussion

Author of the submission

Cobi, with Dipta Chakma and Khun Aung who are coordinators of the Indigenous Voices in Asia Network.

E-mail address



Country of origin and residence

Australia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Indigenous Voices in Asia Network

Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Article 16 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) says that indigenous peoples access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination, and that states should take measures to ensure all media adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity. However this ideal is far from reality for many of the estimated 270 million indigenous peoples living in Asia. The Indigenous Voices in Asia (IVA) project was created by several indigenous organizations in Asia to address this, building on research by the United Nations Development Programme.

During the first year of the IVA project in 2013, workshops in Thailand and Cambodia discussed Wikipedia as a media platform indigenous peoples can access. The majority of people participating in workshops were familiar with Wikipedia but most were not aware how to contribute to it. Barriers to participation for indigenous peoples in Asia to participate in diverse forms of media have been identified through the IVA project so far. These barriers include lack of skills among indigenous peoples interested in media, lack of awareness among civil society organisations and policymakers of indigenous peoples’ issues, limited ICT initiatives in indigenous communities, geographical isolation, language barriers, stereotyping of indigenous peoples and media censorship.

Transparency principles within Wikimedia projects mean some of these barriers are inherently addressed, such as the challenges of censorship in commercial media. Other barriers could be addressed by the Wikimedia Foundation and communities, by proactively including indigenous peoples in Asia, a process that we hope this panel could initiate.

It is anticipated this panel would include indigenous peoples from Asia as well as established Wikipedia editors who have been working with the Indigenous Voices in Asia project so far. Participants in the session at Wikimania would be encouraged to join the Indigenous Voices in Asia Network, however the focus of the session would be an active discussion in which all involved, both panelists and other Wikimania participants, discuss possibilities and strategies to more actively involve indigenous peoples in Asia in Wikimedia projects.

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
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