One of the world’s oldest living cultures is meeting the world’s newest emerging tech as Indigenous Australians begin to take part in the Metaverse.
“First movers need to be there. Indigenous Australians have a culture about dreaming. So, we need to do it.” Professor Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat, a cultural broker focused on wellbeing through Australian Indigenous traditional culture, told Cointelegraph. Lee-Ah Mat and co-founder, cultural brokers, artist and lawyer Bibi Barba and lawyers Joni Pirovich and Angelina Gomez, publicly released a discussion paper this week entitled “First Nations Culture in the Metaverse.”
The group is seeking support to set up a pilot project to achieve the aims in the discussion paper and create a First Nations Cultural Embassy in the Metaverse.
Lee-Ah Mat of the Yupungathi and Meriam Nations and Bibi Barba of the Darumbal, Biri Gubi, Gadigal and Yuin Nations are in the process of setting up an independent entity with First Nations ownership and governance to negotiate with relevant stakeholders and establish and run the operations of this pilot project.
In November 2021, Barbados launched its embassy in the Metaverse. In February, another Indigenous Australian group, the Sovereign Yidindji Government in Queensland — a first for the country — launched its own digital currency as a way to further foster self-sovereignty that it has claimed since 2014 and plan its own policy planning priorities.
“This Australian Indigenous Cultural Embassy is seen as an MVP,” said Lee-Ah mat. But, how do indigenous cultures view the Metaverse?
Indigenous culture and the Metaverse
At first, the connection seems tenuous: An ancient traditional culture deeply connected to the natural world and to the land and dreaming connected with a new virtual world built on computers with pixelated imagery, avatars and imagined places. But, the link is clear and logical.
“The virtual world does impact the physical world. The Metaverse mirrors the earth, using the earth as the mirror in the gaming realm. The…