Network Sovereignty

Building the Internet across Indian Country

Marisa Elena Duarte

  • Published: July 2017
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Science and Technology Studies; Film and Media Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 192 pp., 2 illus., 9 charts, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Indigenous Confluences
  • Contents

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly determined that affordable Internet access is a human right, critical to citizen participation in democratic governments. Given the significance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to social and political life, many U.S. tribes and Native organizations have created their own projects, from streaming radio to building networks to telecommunications advocacy. In Network Sovereignty, Marisa Duarte examines these ICT projects to explore the significance of information flows and information systems to Native sovereignty, and toward self-governance, self-determination, and decolonization.

By reframing how tribes and Native organizations harness these technologies as a means to overcome colonial disconnections, Network Sovereignty shifts the discussion of information and communication technologies in Native communities from one of exploitation to one of Indigenous possibility.
Marisa Elena Duarte is assistant professor of justice and sociotechnical change with the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University.

"The strength of Network Sovereignty is when the stories capture examples of sovereignty and technology in action."
-Mark Trahant, author of The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars: Henry M. Jackson, Forrest J. Gerard and the Campaign for the Self-Determination of America's Indian Tribes

"In Network Sovereignty, Duarte looks at the psychological and philosophical implications of the colonization of Indigenous peoples in a technological age. She provides accessible and relevant examples of American Indians searching for ways to use new technologies to address very real social, cultural, and political challenges."
-Ken Coates, author of #IdleNoMore: and the Remaking of Canada

"Duarte shows that tribal ownership and use of information and communication technologies have the potential to deepen the meaning and experience of tribal sovereignty, serving as a means to undermine colonialism."
-Andrew Needham, author of Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest

"Duarte ably illustrates how the sovereignty of Native peoples extends beyond their self-identity and governance to their use and adaptation of contemporary information communication technologies in ways that support indigenous worldviews."
-Loriene Roy, School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin

"Network Sovereignty is a lively, smart, deeply researched account of how Indigenous peoples are realizing the potential of their inherent political status and the relevance of their cultural knowledge in the rapidly changing world of social networks and information technology."
-Robert Warrior, University of Kansas

"Network Sovereignty is an elegant, clear-headed, and complex account of information and communication technologies across Indian Country."
-Kim TallBear, author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science

1. Network Thinking
2. Reframing ICTs in Indian Country
3. The Overlap between Technology and Sovereignty
4. Sociotechnical Landscapes
5. Internet for Self-Determination
6. Network Sovereignty
7. Decolonizing the Technological