Examining the effect of new communication technologies on aboriginals in Canada's North
I am entering my first semester of my M.A. in Communication studies at McGill this Fall. My research will be focusing on the effect of new communication technologies, such as satellite and Internet, on the lives and culture of aboriginal Canadians living in isolated communities. These are communities that have went from having very little contact to the South to having 800 plus television channels over night. No other group of people in Canada have undergone such a dramatic technological change than aboriginal people.
The study will pay particular attention to youth as they are the greatest consumers of media. It will examine how these new technologies affect language, self perception and how these individuals describe themselves and their communities in relation to the outside world. I am a Metis journalist from Northwest River, Labrador. My research will be focusing on the Innu, Inuit and Metis people of Labrador. These people have literally gone from igloos to Ipods in less than 60 years. I am focusing on Labrador because I have many contacts there and understand its unique history.
Another part of my thesis is including the people involved in the research with all levels of the study. I wish for them to view the final results. Which is why I am planning on simultaneously creating a documentary about my study and releasing it online. In this way the information gathered can be easily shared and understood by the people that are being affected in the study.