Accepted Paper:

Indigenous media technology production in Northern Ontario, Canada  

Author:

Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to review anthropological literature about indigenous media production and to discuss two case studies of First Nation media technology production in the geographical and cultural contexts of Northern Ontario, Canada. In both cases indigenous organizations have been taking initiative to produce and distribute their own media services.

Paper long abstract:

This paper aims on the one hand to review anthropological literature about indigenous media production and on the other to introduce and discuss two case studies of First Nation media technology production in the geographical and cultural contexts of Northern Ontario, Canada. In both cases indigenous organizations have been taking initiative to produce and distribute their own media services.

The Wawatay Native Communication Society, established in the 1970s, provides the First Nation communities of the region, which is called the Nishnawbe Aski by its Ojibwe, Oji-Cree and Cree speaking indigenous inhabitants, with newspapers, radio and TV programs as well as online news.

The Kuhkenah Network (K-Net), which was founded by the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council in the 1990s, is an indigenous broadband internet program offering services, such as telehealth, videoconferencing, online learning, and free personal e-mail and homepages. By concentrating on the actual situations and life worlds of First Nation people in Northern Ontario, both media producers have developed culturally and linguistically appropriate alternatives to mainstream mass media.

Through ethnographic fieldwork in the Nishnawbe Aski, this paper intends to contribute to the understanding of the history, the challenges and the possible future of indigenous media technology production in this part of the world. How are these media producers interconnected? Which similarities and which differences can be identified? What role does local/regional media technology production plays in the transnational media landscape?

Panel W071
Media, technology, and knowledge cultures: anthropological perspectives on issues of diversity, mutuality and exclusion