FLAGSTAFF, AZ – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will welcome 60 Fellows representing 50 countries at the 60th ICANN Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates October 28 through November 3, 2017.
Among them are Native Public Media (NPM) Board of Directors Chairman Geoffrey C. Blackwell and Treasurer Matthew R. Rantanen who were selected as Fellows in the Global Indigenous Ambassadors Program and the ICANN Fellowship Program. Both Blackwell and Rantanen are veteran Tribal telecommunications experts.
The Global Indigenous Ambassadors Program is new and designed to foster greater representation from indigenous communities in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder Internet governance so that a diverse knowledge base, particularly those from underrepresented communities, will help to advance the vision of a cohesive and inclusive Internet.
Blackwell, the first Global Indigenous Ambassador representing U.S. Tribes, states, “I am deeply honored to be selected as a Global Indigenous Ambassador for ICANN60, in the first year of the visionary new global aspect of the program. I am excited to again be involved in the international forum of Internet governance and Indigenous peoples. I look forward to bringing my experience working with Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities worldwide, with the communications and information technology industries, and with government regulators, to engage fully and involve myself as a tribal ambassador. I will bring all that I can to ICANN’s important endeavors. At the outset, I consider this unique opportunity to be the continuation of humble service to underrepresented Indigenous communities in the study, coordination, and advancement of a robust and unified global Internet.”
The longstanding ICANN Fellowship program represents various sectors including academia, business, government, civic and nonprofits.
Rantanen on his selection as an ICANN fellow responded by saying, “I am excited to once again bring my practical communications experience and all of my policy work experience to ICANN to ensure that Tribal/Indigenous communities are represented at the world planning level for the architecture and management of the global Internet.”
Native Public Media is a national organization devoted to encouraging healthy, independent and engaged tribal communities through media access, control, and ownership. Currently, 60 Native owned and operated radio stations and a handful of television stations and projects serve Indian Country. For more information about Native Public Media, visit our website at http://www.nativepublicmedia.org/.