4.5 Networking

All around the world, many Indigenous communities are working on access centers or other means of communication. They have problems in common, and they have multiple ideas and experiences for solving them. Many of them are part of networks that share information. Similarly, there are national networks that share and spread information through an organized work programme, and they also want to have an effect on the creation of a national policy favouring the development of Indigenous communication.

Network participation is the broadest stage in the development of an access center, since it connects a local community with its country or with the world. But network participation is useful only while it benefits the community; global issues make sense when they are related to local ones.

The construction of networks happens at all levels. It is necessary to start at the community, in the social network composed of the users of the access center. Those users will realize that they belong to many networks. When possible, organizers should contact the other access centers in their area, but even more important is to contact the communication centers that can broaden the scope of their communication work. Identify what is being done at a national level, both in relation to schools, and to access centers and tele-centers, and look for an international network. There are many national and regional networks, and at least one global one, to belong to. Above all, identify other Indigenous communities inside these networks.

Europe: http://www.telecentre-europe.org/
Asia: http://www.a-ptnetwork.ning.com/
Southern Africa: http://www.satnetwork.org/
America and the Caribbean: http://www.tele-centros.org
Worldwide: http://www.telecentre.org

Apart from networks in digital centers, Indigenous peoples have established a worldwide movement on Indigenous communication, into which they incorporate the access centers in different ways. This mainly involves applications and content that complete the work of other media such as radio, and in performing communication activities related to the recognition of Indigenous rights. For that reason, the networks of access centers in Indigenous communities cannot be limited only to participation in networks of tele-centres. Their place is also in the Indigenous media movement and in the movement for recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples worldwide.