PUERTO RICO – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) welcomed Global Indigenous Ambassadors Lillian Ivette De Luque Bruges and Chyloe Healy representing indigenous nations and peoples at the 61st ICANN Conference in Puerto Rico, March 10 –15, 2018.
De Luque Bruges comes from the Wayuu people of Colombia and is a social communicator and journalist in the city of Bogota. Healy, is a member of the Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta, Canada The Kainai have the largest land mass within Canada and are principles of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Chyloe who resides in Calgary, is a data analyst at the Alberta First Nations Governance Centre. Former Ambassador, Geoffrey Blackwell, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Chairman of the Native Public Media Board is serving as a mentor for the two new Ambassadors.
“Hesci! (Muscogee exclamation of happy greetings) ICANN’s Global Indigenous Ambassador program is a wonderful and important way for ICANN to involve indigenous newcomers in an international forum of Internet governance. The inclusion of Indigenous peoples’ perspectives and experiences contributes a great deal to the diversity of ICANN. It is a deep honor to serve as Chyloe and Lillian’s program mentor for ICANN61. These two energetic and dedicated women are deeply involved in solving the Internet needs and issues in their communities. In Puerto Rico, we have learned that our respective hometowns and families share many internet issues in common. Among these are shared digital divide needs, common concerns of privacy and security in IT management, language preservation, and cultural and intellectual property protection,” states Blackwell.
In its third year, the Global Indigenous Ambassadors Program was launched by ICANN a program founded by Native Public Media and supported by the North American Regional At-Large Organization (NARALO), and the At-Large Advisory Committee of ICANN. The major aim of the program is to foster greater representation from global indigenous communities in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder Internet governance, so that a diverse knowledge base, particularly those from underrepresented communities, will help to advance the vision of cohesive and inclusive Internet governance in the ICANN arenas.
“It is crucial that populations that are not currently accounted for are represented at ICANN. By engaging Indigenous fellows in ICANN’s policy making forums, ICANN provides a space for indigenous end users to fully participate in Internet decision making processes that are core to the world including Tribal Nation economies, education, public safety, and general well-being,” explains Loris Taylor, President and CEO of Native Public Media.
Chyloe Healy sums it up best by stating, “I am very humbled and grateful to be chosen as a Global Indigenous Ambassador. I am so excited to gain insights and network with so many that have similar lived experiences to Canadian First Nations and the obstacles we face overcoming information poverty. Moreover, I am honored that I can share my Blackfoot worldview on a global platform.”