"Across the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Austronesian speaking people have voyaged for centuries making a network of communication within this linguistic family to be the most extensive in the world prior to the European colonial days. Launched from the Western Pacific, in the neighborhood of the South China Sea (yet undetermined), the early Austronesian speakers reached islands of further distance apart traveling in canoes lashed and pegged together to Micronesia, the Lesser Sunda, and the Society Islands to Easter Island and Hawaii. In the westerly direction, voyagers made it to Madagascar. It set the stage for pan- Pacific/Indian Ocean long distance navigation (Sneider and Kyselka 1986).
As this tracing of oceans happened from 5500 years ago to the ethnographic present, the network process of these cultures is now only becoming to be understood as vast sophisticated complex (Bellwood 1998). For Westerners, this was observed by Captain Cook, a British explorer of the oceans and terra incognito in the 1700s his discovered that Austronesian speakers had advance information on his visits before his arrival to islands across the Pacific.
The earliest evidence of the Austronesian linguistic family points to Taiwan (yet unconfirmed as such), and the surrounding islands. Presently there are just under a dozen distinct groups in this family inhabiting the plain such as the Kavalan and Amis, the mountain areas, and the offshore isle of Lanyu where the Daowu (or Yami) live. These people have different cultures proving them with specialized means of co-existing with the natural environment."
(David Blundell, Jieh Hsiang)
[D. Blundell & J. Hsiang, 'Taiwan Austronesian Electronic Cultural Atlas of the Pacific' Proceedings of the 1999 EBTI, ECAI, SEER and PNC Joint Meeting, pp.525-540, January 1999.]
"In the Philippines, the term 'indigenous peoples' is legally defined by Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. IPRA defined 'indigenous peoples' (IPs) or 'indigenous cultural communities' (ICCs) as:
A group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by others, who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory, and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial, occupied, possessed and utilized such territories, sharing common bonds of language, customs, traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, nonindigenous regions and cultures, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos. ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country at the time of conquest or colonization, or at the time of inroads of non-indigenous religions and cultures, or the establishment if present state boundaries, who retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions, but who may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may have resettled outside their ancestral domains (IPRA, Section 3h)."
(Nestor T. Castro)
"NativeWeb is a project of many people. Our vision touches ancient teachings and modern technology. Our purpose: to provide a cyber-place for Earth's indigenous peoples.
As access to the Web grows and indigenous peoples reach out through cyber-space, NativeWeb will grow also. Through NativeWeb, indigenous people (and peoples) become visible to each other and themselves and organize actions in a multitude of local, national, and international institutions. The shape of indigenous social action changes as wider audiences are created and especially as the means of creating audiences become the means by which audiences become actors. From Chiapas to Nunavut and from Samiland to Thailand, indigenous communities widen, coalesce, and interact as they work, communicate, and organize via the Internet.
Indigenous Peoples have much in common amidst great diversity: spiritual practices celebrating inter-relatedness of all Life on Earth; and historical suffering at the hands of industrialized nations and corporate entities. NativeWeb is concerned with all this: indigenous literature and art, legal and economic issues, land claims and new ventures in self-determination.
Our purpose is not to 'preserve,' in museum fashion, some vestige of the past, but to foster communication among peoples engaged in the present and looking toward a sustainable future for those yet unborn."
Fig.1 Sami people from Finland (http://www.flickr.com/photos/helga_ni/)
"The largest virtual heritage project completed in NZ is the 20 minute 3D film 'The Guns of Motutapu'. It is a story about Motutapu Island and NZ's most important WWII gun battery at the time of an anticipated Japanese attack. As one of the largest 3D heritage projects of its type in the world, it features an intensely detailed simulation of a 6' MK21 counter bombardment battery firing into the Hauraki Gulf. One lucky aspect of the project is that Major Derek Thorburn, who came to Motutapu in 1942 and rose to become commander of the guns, acted as a technical advisor to the project. As an actual eye witness to the history, he worked with the 3D artists to achieve a level of visual accuracy that was in danger of being lost forever. The film has proven hugely effective as a fund raising tool for the Motutapu Restoration Trust and its efforts to restore the island. As a result of this success the trust again contracted with 4D Canvas and a second Motutapu film has just been released."
(Chris Keenan , 12.5.2006)
"The Bologna Process, whereby a significant number of European countries are working towards greater consistency and portability across their higher education systems, is likely to influence developments in higher education in many parts of the world including our region. It will have important implications for Australian higher education providers as we work to enhance our existing success and reputation as a provider of world-class education to both domestic and international students.
The Bologna Process involves 45 European countries undertaking a series of reforms intended to create an integrated European higher education area by 2010. Signatories to the agreement have agreed to work towards greater consistency in areas such as degree structures, credit transfer and quality assurance systems."
(Julie Bishop, Australian Minister for Education, Science and Training, April 2006)