Esther Belin is a multimedia artist who won a Pushcart award for her work. But she doesn’t have any articles about her work on Wikipedia which is the first online stop for many researchers. Wikipedia has a small amount of content about indigenous people. The encyclopedia is calling upon people to assist in improving its coverage.
Every October, Wiki-conference participants hold an annual conference for Wikipedia enthusiasts. In this meeting, they flesh out articles about other indigenous people and Native Americans. It is a tactic adopted by individuals who are interested in expanding Wikipedia’s coverage of forgotten groups. After a survey in 2011 concerning Wikipedia editors, it revealed that only 8% of writers are female.
How can one of the biggest web based project that has over 5.3 million articles in English and over 29 million account holders have so much little content about indigenous people? It’s because of its geographical access. In 2015, Oxford University researchers did a study on how authors represent cultures and places around the world. They discovered that Americans or people living in first world countries rarely take on articles that represent their cultures. Also In 2015, a report by FCC revealed that 63% of tribal land residents do not have broadband access.
Lack of internet access means fewer people contribute to Wikipedia’s growth, but also Wikipedia’s policies hinder Wikipedia page creation associated with indigenous populations. In 2013, an English professor at the University of New Hampshire together with his Native American students worked to update and add Wikipedia articles that talked about Native American authors. However, most of the Wikipedia pages which they posted were either contested because of their lack of notability or deleted.
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