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Nurturing Cultural Identity in the Digital Age: The Role of Pasifika and Maori in Shaping the Future of Technology

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, preserving cultural identity and heritage is more important than ever.

by Joey Nanai  I     20 March 2023


As Maori and Pasifika people, we have a unique opportunity to not only participate in the development of new technologies but also to influence their impact on our communities and ensure that they align with our values and traditions.


The digital world is constantly changing, and as it does, our traditional ways of life may be challenged. For example, language preservation is a critical issue for many indigenous communities, including Maori and Pasifika. The internet and social media platforms have the potential to help preserve and even revitalize these languages by providing new avenues for people to learn and engage with them.


One example of this is the growing number of language apps and online resources available for learning Te Reo Maori and other Pacific languages. By promoting and supporting these digital resources, we can help ensure that future generations have access to our languages and the rich cultural heritage they represent.


Another area in which Maori and Pasifika people can make a significant impact is in the development of AI technologies. By participating in the creation and design of AI, we can work to ensure that these technologies incorporate our cultural values, worldviews, and perspectives. This can lead to more inclusive and diverse AI systems that better serve our communities and reflect our unique cultural identities.


Additionally, as we navigate the digital age, it's essential to consider the role of indigenous knowledge and wisdom in shaping the future of technology. For instance, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) can offer valuable insights into sustainable living and environmental stewardship, which could inform the development of new technologies and practices aimed at combating climate change and preserving our planet.


In the same way that our ancestors were expert navigators, we too can navigate the digital world with skill and understanding. By actively participating in the development of new technologies, we can ensure that they respect and honor our cultural heritage, while also adapting to the needs of our communities in the modern world.


Ultimately, the future of technology is in our hands. As Maori and Pasifika people, we have the power to shape the digital landscape in a way that reflects our values, preserves our cultural identity, and benefits our communities. By working together, we can create a digital world that embraces the richness and diversity of our cultures and ensures that the legacy of our ancestors lives on for generations to come.


In conclusion, Maori and Pasifika people have a unique opportunity to influence the future of technology and ensure that it aligns with our cultural values and traditions. By participating in the development of new technologies, supporting digital resources for language preservation, and incorporating indigenous knowledge and wisdom, we can create a more inclusive and diverse digital landscape that benefits our communities and preserves our cultural identity.

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