Exploring Indigenous Digital Literacy with Gwich'in Tribal Council Department of Heritage

Regions: Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, literacy

Principal Investigator: McMahon, Rob (1)
Licence Number: 16108
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: Jun 09, 2017
Project Team: Dr. Ali Shiri (Professor, Associate Chair & Graduate Coordinator, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta), Dr. Gordon Gow (Director & Associate Professor, Master of Arts in Communication and Technology, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta), Ingrid Kritsch (Research Director, GTC Department of Cultural Heritage, Gwich'in Tribal Council), Elaine Alexie (Knowledge Partnership and Community Engagement Officer, UAlberta North, University of Alberta), Hanne Pearce (Research Assistant, Master of Arts in Community and Technology, University of Alberta), Alestine Andre (Heritage Researcher, GTC Department of Cultural Heritage, Gwich'in Tribal Council), Tony Devlin (Director of Corporate Services, Gwich'in Tribal Council)

Objective(s): To develop a partnership with the Gwich'in Tribal Council's Department of Cultural Heritage that focuses on Digital Content and Connectivity in the North.

Project Description: This project supports the development of a research partnership between the University of Alberta and the Gwich'in Tribal Council's Department of Cultural Heritage (GTC) that focuses on Digital Content and Connectivity in the North. The project partners are jointly developing a workshop on this topic to be held in Inuvik in summer 2017. The workshop focuses on different aspects of Indigenous digital literacy (connectivity and content) in the context of the Gwich'in people of the NWT.

The workshop also provides opportunities for project partners to conduct research in this area. During the workshops, researchers will collect data by recording small-group discussions (focus groups), and by conducting on-site semi-structured interviews with project participants. These research activities focus on learning from community members about digital content/connectivity in the North. They will provide data to inform ongoing research in the area of Indigenous/Northern peoples and digital technologies.

The research will take place during a 1-day workshop on digital content/connectivity. The project team will organize the workshop around focus groups, which will consist of question-led discussions that will be recorded and transcribed as research data. Time permitting, the project team will also conduct semi-structured interviews with workshop participants.

Data will be analyzed for key themes regarding thoughts, ideas, attitudes and opinions of digital content and connectivity in the North, using a grounded approach informed by the Principal Investigator’s past work in this area.

Community members have an opportunity to participate in the workshop, and contribute their thoughts, ideas and concerns regarding digital content/connectivity in the North. Participants will be Gwich'in community members (youth, Elders, local leadership and technology champions).

Northwest Territories community members will be directly involved in this project through their participation in the workshop and associated research, and will receive project information (such as a workbook) through that event. The project team also includes staff from the Gwich'in Tribal Council, who will assist in disseminating project information and results across the NWT.

The team will provide copies of the workshop format and resources to the GTC.

The team will produce a final report highlighting workshop format, resources and activities. This report will be disseminated to NWT organizations (Government of the NWT; Aurora College; etc) and made available on the project partner websites (GTC, UAlberta North, University of Alberta Libraries, FirstMile.ca, Digital Library North).

The team may work with Aurora College to broadcast the workshop in webinar format (such as Abode Connect) so that remote participants can watch the activities.

Research findings that emerge through the workshop will be disseminated in blog posts on the partner websites, through conference presentations, and in journal articles and/or book chapters.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 9, 2017 to December 29, 2017.