OTTAWA - Research by Ottawa-based consultant Anne Taylor suggests that aboriginal peoples are embracing social media in surprising numbers. Her 2011 report for Human Resources Canada found:
— The tendency for aboriginal peoples to use social media was at least as high as for the general population.
— Exact numbers are hard to come by, but networks set up to serve local communities are quickly flooded by users of all kinds, especially youth.
— They use social media to keep in touch with remote friends and family, fight addictions, sustain endangered languages and practices, promote environmental stewardship, engage in politics and promote culture.
— Some elders and leaders are concerned that intense use of social media will erode aboriginal culture and language.
— Many remote communities still lack broadband access, inhibiting their use of social media.