microsoft vs indigenous communities

I would like to express my gratitude that the Mapuche nation has taken a stand against Microsoft. I hope that their case is heard in court. It does not surprise me that they have taken this action, as they are a very strong people in a country that is still overcoming the wounds of the incredible oppression of the Pinochet dictatorship (which was supported by the USA) and 400 years of colonization. I hope that their voice in this matter will give strength to other indigenous communities around the world that are also faced with the oppression of colonization (economic globalization in its most current and devastating form). My opinion is that it is not right for Microsoft to make software in Mapudungun (there are many ways to spell the language of the Mapuche: I have simply chosen this one) to sell to the Mapuche people for profit without their approval. The bottom line here is APPROVAL. It’s not that difficult to ask for approval before publishing anything regarding indigenous languages/communities (if one is not a member of the community being studied). It is a simple way to show a community that their opinion and wishes are valued, and that they will not be taken advantage of. This is a lesson for all of us that work with indigenous languages. Microsoft should be made an example of to the world.

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