The Ojibwe Netflix – great idea but viewers need broadband

MPR reports

The new “Ojibway TV” app is the first ever video streaming service for indigenous Ojibwe speakers. (The app uses an alternative spelling of Ojibwe.) It’s available now on Apple TV and Apple’s app store.

To keep an indigenous language vital, it has to be passed on to young people, Baxter said, and right now, that requires streaming video.

“Young people want to consume that content,” he said. “My 13-year-old son is more likely to recognize someone from Netflix, let’s say ‘Stranger Things,’ than a regular TV star.”

I love this idea. I’m a fan of keeping languages alive. (So much so I used to take Irish language lessons.) A language is so integral to a culture.

The MPR article goes on to talk about the need for more content. I might also mention the need for broadband access to download the videos. A federal report last year details the discrepancy between access in tribal areas and the rest of the US…

Until recently, data on tribal broadband deployment had been scarce. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have begun to collect and compile data on tribal broadband deployment. The most recent data show that, as of December 31, 2014, approximately 41% of Americans living on tribal lands lacked access to broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload. This compares unfavorably to 10% of all Americans lacking access to broadband at those speeds. Tribal areas that are the most lacking in broadband service are rural Alaskan villages and rural tribal lands in the lower 48 states.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, education by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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