Those that are like-minded now have the ability to gather online regardless of distance, socio-economic backgrounds, education, age or gender and mobilize forgotten knowledge through Aboriginal collective culture communities. Web 2.0 and its social media platforms enable its activist members to reach out to each other for support, guidance or to protest as a collective against the state, as is the case with the missing and murdered aboriginal women. Web 2.0 also provides individuals with an avenue of sharing their single voice within the collective through the use of their virtual words and/or personal art. It provides Aboriginal groups and individuals alike an opportunity to challenge the non-Aboriginal Canadian citizenship, the state, its institutions and humanity at large thus creating an opportunity for all to join forces and push for social change.
Research of advocacy groups showed that they “felt strongly that social media offer[ed] a variety of unique communication opportunities for facilitating civic engagement and collective action [by]: 1) helping groups to strengthen outreach efforts; 2) enable engaging feedback loops; 3) increasing the speed of communication, and 4) being cost-effective,”(Obar, 2014, p.214) which enables and facilitates the historical and contemporary sharing of Aboriginal forbidden culture and knowledge. Web 2.0 has become the vehicle of today’s Aboriginal activists’ in their demand of political social change in order to protect their young women from becoming a murdered or missing statistic.
Recently, the Aboriginal movement ‘#AMINEXT’ was spearheaded by a single individual, Holly Jarrett, who is urging people to “demand a public inquiry from Prime Minister Stephen Harper into the 1,181 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women nationwide” (Thomson, CBC News, Sept.13,2014). Today, Jarrett’s virtual news report has 237 shares; shares are Aboriginal young women posts that support Jarrett’s cause and who have displayed their photo with a hand-drawn statement billboard; additionally the site also boasts 272 comments. This demonstrates the positive impact of ‘one’ on Web 2.0 and social media versus the traditional face to face protests.
Have you ever thought about starting your own movement regarding a social issue? What activism method would you utilize and why? Do you think the use of social media can actually influence society for the betterment of all citizens?
STOP THE VIOLENCE