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Indigenous Digital Media and the History of the Internet on the Columbia Plateau

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2011
JournalJournal of Northwest Anthropology
Journal number1
Volume45
Number of pages24
Pages91-114
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Native American communities historically indigenous to the Columbia Plateau in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho use the internet in acts of historical representation. The internet provides to tribal people a medium through which to accurately represent issues of place, time, and performance. The internet, however, is changing, challenging some tribal representational practices. Participation with the internet is divided into two historical, technical, and cultural phases: Web 1.0 (1994–2004) and Web 2.0 (2005–today). The Web 1.0 sites discussed in this article include the Lifelong Learning modules of the Schitsu’umsh (Coeur d’Alene), the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation (CTUIR), and the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce Tribe). Explored are ways Web 1.0 features gave tribal people control over their official historiography, while new forms of collective or Web 2.0 internet authorship may be endangering officially sanctioned tribal histories. An example of Web 2.0, the Colville tribal social media site One Heart for the People is briefly mobilized to illustrate how Web 1.0 tribal historiography opposes theories of culture.