Social Media in Remote First Nation Communities

Authors

  • Heather Molyneaux University of New Brunswick
  • Susan O'Donnell University of New Brunswick
  • Crystal Kakekaspan Keewaytinook Okimakanak and University of New Brunswick
  • Brian Walmark Keewaytinook Okimakanak
  • Philipp Budka University of Vienna
  • Kerri Gibson University of New Brunswick

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2014v39n2a2619

Keywords:

First Nations, Indigenous, Social media, Social networking, Remote communities, Rural, Community resilience, Internet

Abstract

Community resilience in First Nations includes ties to people both inside and outside the community, intergenerational communication, the sharing of stories, and family and community connectedness. This study, based on a survey of Internet users in the Sioux Lookout region of Northwestern Ontario, explores the link between social networking sites and community resilience. The region is home to some of the most isolated First Nation (indigenous)communities in Canada. Cultural and familial links between these communities are strong, yet until recent use of the Internet, maintaining regular communications to strengthen cultural ties was challenging. This study examines the links between travel and communication online, the ways in which social media are used to preserve culture and maintain communication, and the implications of social networking for community resilience.

La résilience communautaire chez les Premières Nations se base sur les rapports à autrui tant au sein de la communauté qu’au-delà de celle-ci, la communication intergénérationnelle, le partage d’histoires et la solidarité familiale et communautaire. Cet article se fonde sur un sondage d’utilisateurs d’Internet dans la région Sioux Lookout du Nord-ouest de l’Ontario pour explorer les rapports entre les sites de réseautage social et la résilience communautaire. La région Sioux Lookout compte certaines des communautés autochtones les plus isolées au Canada. Les affinités culturelles et familiales entre ces communautés sont fortes, et pourtant, avant l’utilisation récente d’Internet, le maintien de communications régulières pour resserrer les liens culturels n’était pas facile. Cette étude examine les rapports entre voyages et communication en ligne, les manières dont on utilise les médias sociaux pour préserver la culture et assurer les communications, et l’impact du réseautage social sur la résilience communautaire.

Author Biographies

Heather Molyneaux, University of New Brunswick

Dr. Heather Molyneaux is a lecturer at the University of New Brunswick and an analyst in the Human Computer Interaction research team at the National Research Council in Fredericton.

Susan O'Donnell, University of New Brunswick

Susan O'Donnell is a Researcher and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

Crystal Kakekaspan, Keewaytinook Okimakanak and University of New Brunswick

Crystal Kakekaspan is a former Community Research Assistant with the University of New Brunswick and Intern at Keewaytinook Okimakanak in Sioux Lookout, Ontario.

Brian Walmark, Keewaytinook Okimakanak

Brian Walmark is the Research Director of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Philipp Budka, University of Vienna

Philipp Budka is part-time lecturer and PhD candidate in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna.

Kerri Gibson, University of New Brunswick

Kerri Gibson is a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

Published

2014-06-24