Molyneaux, H., O’Donnell, S., Kakekaspan, C., Walmark, B., Budka, P., Gibson, K. 2012. Community resilience and social media: Remote and rural First Nations communities, social isolation and cultural preservation. Paper for the “2012 International Rural Network Forum”, Whyalla and Upper Spencer Gulf, Australia, 24-28 September.
Community resilience in First Nations includes ties to people both inside and outside the community, intergenerational communication, sharing of stories, and family and community connectedness. This study, based on a survey of internet users in the Sioux Lookout region of Northwestern Ontario, explores the link between social networking sites (SNS) and community resilience. The region is home to some of the most isolated and rural First Nations (indigenous) communities in Canada. Cultural and familial links between these communities are strong, yet until the fairly recent widespread use of the internet, maintaining regular communications to strengthen cultural ties was challenging. This study examines the links between travel and communication online, how social media is used to preserve culture and maintain communication, and the implications of social networking for community resilience.