One of our assignments in develop a personal project in Digital Media Entrepreneurship Class is to collect data about similar projects that have been established already. The idea is to analyze and identify some good tips that can improve our own project. So, one of the most interesting of my findings was a project calls New Technology and Indigenous People develop by a partnership between Google and Surui Indigenous People from Amazon region in Brazil. That finding was very meaningful for me, because besides of my work with indigenous people in Brazil, my focus in my personal project is related to new technology and the involvement of indigenous people in that new “tech world”. So this was just awesome to find it!
The Surui People have been suffering a lot of pressure in their land mainly because of illegal logger activities. In order to combat this problem, they start to map their land in order to monitoring all the threats that they have been facing, also to map important sacred sites for their culture. When the first time that the Chief Surui Almir Naramayoga saw the Google Earth, he was amazed with the possibility to do their mapping digitally through that new tool. To get support to that project the Chief Almir, decided to go to Silicon Valley to visit the Google headquarter and propose a partnership, which is going to be the first partnership of the giant of the internet with indigenous people. The ACT-Brazil, a environment non-profit organization, helped the intermediation and finally in 2008, the partnership between Google and Surui Indigenous People were established.
As a result of 3 years of partnership, the Surui People have already mapped their whole area, and all the information is at Google Earth. They also got from Google, new computers, GPS, and training in how to operate everything. That experience just shows that is possible to established a partnership between big digital company like Google and indigenous people causes. I also really admire the perseverance of the Chief Almir in goes to giant and sensitize them to support their idea. He is really a entrepreneur!
To see more about that partnership, go to Google Oficial Blog: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/ragogmakan-google-goes-to-amazon.html