According to the Canadian Institute of Health Aboriginal Youth are five to six times more likely to commit suicide then non-aboriginal peers. So the Maclean’s article on Bella Bella titled, “The Town that Solved Suicide” is attention getting. Bella Bella was able to give everyone, including the youth of the community, hope. Hope that the future would be brighter and there would be ways individuals could contribute to the community and economically to their families. Lot’s of research has been done on suicide rates in Indigenous Communities, is there research on what communities can do to stop this? Are stories of these successful communities shared online with other communities?
Getting remote Indigenous communities online
Most remote Australian Indigenous communities have little or no access to digital technology. Last year, three internet-enabled terminals were installed as a trial in the remote communities of Burraluba Yuru Ngurra (Halls Creek WA), Binjari Top Camp (NT) and Bana Yarralji Bubu (Shiptons Flat QLD).
The terminals are robust, free standing units with vandal-resistant screens, keyboards and touchpads, designed to run 24/7 in the harshest conditions. Each has three screens and keyboards so several people can use them simultaneously. Educational games, books, and a child-friendly copy of Wikipedia were included as part of the content.
Internet access in Aboriginal communities
The Internet is yet to make a difference in remote Aboriginal communities. Very few people there own a computer and even fewer are connected.
Home Internet for Remote Indigenous Communities
Only one household out of 30 in the Kwale Kwale, Mungalawuru, and Imangara communities in Central Australia is connected to the internet.
The Home Internet for Remote Indigenous Communities provides a baseline study of communication use in these three remote communities. It includes an overview of existing policies, demonstrating the significance of the intersection between communications and social policy for indigenous consumers living in remote communities.
Social media and digital technology use among Indigenous young people in Australia: a literature review
The use of social media and digital technologies has grown rapidly in Australia and around the world, including among Indigenous young people who face social disadvantage. Given the potential to use social media for communication, providing information and as part of creating and responding to social change, this paper explores published literature to understand how Indigenous Australian youth use digital technologies and social media, and its positive and negative impacts.
Is the Internet A Useful Resource For Indigenous Women Living In Remote Communities In Canada, Australia and New Zealand To Access Health Resources?
In the emerging Information economy, the internet is a very powerful resource. Yet for most Indigenous people, access to this resource is very limited. This report examines the digital divide in our society and how it affects Indigenous peoples in remote communities in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Also explored is the issue of whether or not the internet is a viable resource for Indigenous women to access health resources, and other valuable information that promotes a holistic approach to health and well-being.
Fisher, J. (2013, November 25). Getting remote Indigenous communities online. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from http://theconversation.com/getting-remote-indigenous-communities-online-19549
Rennie, E, Crouch, A, Wright, A & Thomas, J 2011, Home Internet for Remote Indigenous Communities, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Sydney. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from http://accan.org.au/files/SWIN-CLC-CATHomeInternet.pdf
Rice, E. S., Haynes, E., Royce, P., & Thompson, S. C. (2016, May 25). Social media and digital technology use among Indigenous young people in Australia: a literature review. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-016-0366-0
Smillie – Adjarkwa , C. (2005). Is the Internet A Useful Resource For Indigenous Women Living In Remote Communities In Canada, Australia and New Zealand To Access Health Resources? [PDF]. National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from http://www.yorku.ca/anthna/DigitalDivide.pdf
Spirits, J. K. (n.d.). Internet access in Aboriginal communities. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/economy/internet-access-in-aboriginal-communities
This is an excellent talk given by Chris Garner, who has taught in indigenous communities in both Australia and South Africa. He echoes the fact that “voice” and “context” are the most important things in education. He uses statistics to show the gap in education completion rates and also statistics showing dramatic changes when context applies. He argues for something that we all know is needed: A change in teaching dependent upon the needs of the student.
I would highly recommend this video and Mr. Garner’s research to anyone who is studying the educational reform in indigenous communities.
The ABC Indigenous Portal is a fantastic site that collects and distributes Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander stories from around Australia. In conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Channel, this site offers stories and news features in a variety of formats from radio, news, tv, and more. The reporters are Aboriginal and the stories and reports are all on Aboriginal issues, news, stories, ect.
Module 1, Post 4
Based on this suggested reading article by Kowalsky, Verhoef, Thurston, & Rutherford, I wanted to explore more into resources that exist for non-Aboriginal peoples who wish to enter into an Aboriginal community (for research or otherwise).
I went on an endeavour to find other resources to work in conjunction with the article provided in our course, and while I was able to find a small collection of sites or documents – I questioned their authorship. They were either Canadian Government sponsored, related to a consumer product, or the authors did not appear to be of Aboriginal ancestry in any way. Perhaps my bias is too strict, but one of my goals has been to find resources that are authored by Indigenous peoples themselves, rather than by outsiders to the communities. So far I was able to find the article linked below:
While the author states that she is not an Aboriginal in the title, I appreciate that the article is written from a perspective similar to my own but is non-governmental or company-connected.
I will endeavour to find further material related to this topic, but of course if anybody reading this has any suggestions I’m wide open to receiving them!
Kowalsky, Laura O., Verhoef Marja J., Thurston, Wilfreda E. and Rutherford, Gayle E., “Guidelines for Entry into an Aboriginal Community“, The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 16 (2), 1996, 267-282.
Vinkle, Erin. (2012). Cultural Competency – Working with Aboriginal Peoples: A non-Native Perspective. Native Social Work Journal, 8(August), pp. 129-142.