E-Bario Knowledge Fair: The Kelabit's Gift to Malaysia

Registration for the e-Bario Knowledge Fair, 6-8 December 2007 is now open. This is a unique event, bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers with the direct beneficiaries of their deliberations.

The e-Bario Knowledge Fair is a multi-disciplinary conference being held in the remote village of Bario, in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak, one of the states of East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Bario is the traditional home of the Kelabit People, one of Malaysia's smallest indigenous ethnic minority groups. It is also the home of the multi-award winning e-Bario telecentre project that introduced computers, telephones and the internet to this hitherto isolated community.

The Knowledge Fair is being held to showcase how this highly distinctive and resourceful community has appropriated ICTs for their own betterment, on their terms and in a way that is wholly compatible with their long-held and cherished traditions and culture.

Furthermore, the Knowledge Fair is hosting the UNDP Workshop on E-Inclusion and Media for Indigenous Peoples, as a forerunner to a further programme on e-inclusion for Asia’s Indigenous Peoples. The combined outputs of these events are intended to form an important supplement to the recent United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples insofar as it relates to the right of access to information and access to ICTs for Indigenous Peoples; especially as two thirds of the world’s Indigenous Peoples live in Asia and almost all live in relatively remote areas with meagre resources.

More on the Kelabit of Sarawak and Malaysia

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