The FirstMile is a website developed by a partnership between the University of New Brunswick and three First Nations organizations that provide broadband and digital services to communities in their respective regions. The website focuses on providing connectivity from the perspective of a community of First Nations with the underlying goal that broadband systems are established by and used deliver services to their own communities. The website offers community success stories, news, research publications, and other resources relating to matters of First Nation ownership, control, access to local broadband networks and the data flowing through them. It provides an interesting look at the way in which First Nations communities are attempting to reframe broadband development and infrastructure in First Nations and inuit communities.
Exploring the subject of First Nations sovereignty, specifically as it relates to information and communications technology, I visited First Nations Innovation. First Nations Innovation is a website directed to remote and rural First Nation communities which are using broadband networks and information and communications technologies. The website offers many publications and resources that offer interesting insight into the push for First Nation ownership, control, access and possession of ICT tools, infrastructure and capacity as well as examples of how First Nations are using technologies for community, social and economic development.
In recent months, Canada has loosened its regulations with regards to what constitutes “Canadian content” for broadcast on Canadian channels. Faye Ginsberg’s reading in the second week of this course prompted me to want to dig a little deeper into the topic of indigenous sovereignty in Canadian media. I wondered whether any part of this new definition of “Canadian content” reflected the First Nations/Native elements of Canada’s population. Interestingly, the first hit after a simple Google search was the Idle No More Movement.
Although I didn’t find any answers regarding the definition of “Canadian Content”, the movement is an interesting one insofar as First Nations/Native people used the power of social media to prompt the mobilization of people behind the cause.
It’s worth a look for anyone who might be interested in First Nations and social media. It’s also worth searching up the hashtag #idlenomore on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites.