RezKast video site a ‘YouTube’ for Native people

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The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho have launched RezKast, a Native version of the popular video-sharing site YouTube. RezKast features videos from about 200 active posters, said Valerie Fast Horse, the tribe’s director of information technology.

“RezKast: A Native video and music sharing site” is part of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s commitment to information technology, said Fast Horse. “We want to use technology to preserve our culture and language,” she said.

RezKast offers a mix of the silly and the serious, including videos of Indian religious and cultural ceremonies, comedy bits, sporting events, travelogues and music videos, all from a Native American perspective. The video sharing site has Indians from across the United States and Canada posting video to the site.

Comedy videos include a raunchy television weather report from a

forecaster named “Red Cloud,” a promo for a false television show

called “C.S.I., Regina,” and a video ad for “Indian Wal-Mart,” which

turned out to be a series of garbage trash bins. There was also a

version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” sung to the pounding of

Indian drums and featuring “six Indian tacos.”

“I really like

this site because you don’t have to wade through all the clutter,” said

Hope Mathews-Herrera (Comanche /Wichita). “There is a certain comfort

zone here. It’s the only truly interactive site out there that is

actually for Natives by Natives, an actual nation.”

RezKast is

not alone. Other specific sites for American Indians online include

MyTribalSpace.com and Native American Tube. But Mathews-Herrera says

RezKast is the best for sharing videos. “I feel that just seeing

ourselves online and interacting with other Natives, can only

strengthen our identity as Native Americans, which is important for

urban Indians,” she said.

RezKast currently has over 500

registered users and almost 300 posted videos. In addition to vidoes,

the site has photo posts, blogs, and music sharing capabilities.

Despite

the general impression that Indians are wedded to traditional things,

Fast Horse said there is no cultural resistance to technology. “We want

to use technology to preserve our culture and language,” she said.

For more info, see: www.rezkast.com