PUERTO RICO – The inaugural class of the North American School of Internet Governance included Native Public Media’s Board Member Matthew Rantanen and NPM staff Melissa Begay. Forty participants from Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States attended the three-day event March 7-9, 2018 at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The North American School of Internet Governance (NASIG) focuses on teaching the development and application of shared principles, norms, rules, policies, and decision-making procedures that shape the evolution and use of the Internet. Its goal is to empower the next generation of Internet leaders.
Rantanen explains why NASIG is important to Native Americans. “We learned how the Internet, with more than 3 billion users worldwide, is the most important infrastructure in the information age. The Internet influences policies, and global and local economics and cultures. This makes Internet issues like security and stability, freedom of expression, privacy, protection of intellectual property, network neutrality, infrastructure development, and the digital divide critically important.”
“What NASIG offers in terms of internet governance education intersects with NPM’s work on digital inclusion and our fight for our First Amendment right to speak and to be heard, to restore net neutrality protections, and in general to close the digital divide across Indian Country. It’s important for NPM board and staff members to engage in global conversations about internet governance because we are members and stakeholders of the internet community and we bring a unique perspective about indigenous communities to the table that is often not heard,” said Loris Taylor, NPM President and CEO.
NASIG faculty included international experts from leading universities and from the Internet community including the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Internet Society (ISOC), Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).