The Media and Indigenous Rights
The UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples have stressed the vital role that the media can play in promoting repsect and protection of indigenous peoples' rights. The right of indigenous peoples to establish their own media in their own languages is a key element in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (art. 16). Indigenous media can be a crucial tool in preserving indigenous languages for future generations, and can play a key role in dispelling the myths and misunderstandings that arise from the misinterpretation of indigenous voices within the broader societies in which they live. Indigenous peoples are now increasingly using the media and social networks to spread the word about threats posed to their rights by a variety of activities. Most notable are extractive industries operating near or within indigenous territories, which have posed some of the most dangerous threats to indigenous cultures and ways of life.