Internationally, the internet is a critical component of many projects that aim to improve literacy and build skills in indigenous communities. It is claimed that online platforms provide flexible learning opportunities to suit individual learner schedules and needs, enabling them to learn in 'anytime, anywhere' environments. However, good intentions and a learning platform deemed suitable by non-indigenous people do not necessarily lead to successful user outcomes. There is a need to understand how Western culture influences the design and implementation of online projects with Indigenous communities and to avoid technological colonisation of the local community. Flexibility, understanding and respect must be at the forefront of projects if they are to be successful. This article suggests 11 design-based principles, derived through design-based research, which guide respectful implementation of internet technologies in indigenous communities.