Sajda Qureshi and Teresa Trumbly-Lamsam investigated how information and communication technology is communicated in Native American communities. This study uses a framing analysis of tribal newspapers and develops key concepts and relationships that explain how the digital divides take place.

The methodology of this research is interpretive and follows a framing analysis to arrive at insight into the ways in which Native American communities perceive and use ICTs to develop the concepts and generalize these to a theoretical model. Framing analysis can be an appropriate first step in cases in which very little is known about a phenomenon.

Key Findings
• Tribes have become empowered through ICT to take their destiny in their own hands.
• Tribes are using ICTs and media to create and foster shared meanings and understandings but also to perpetuate those so that their ways and values can continue to grow.
• Mashantucket Pequot (Connecticut) Tribal Nation’s newspaper contained the majority (20%) of IT news in comparison to the other 10 papers.
• The Sault Tribe of Chippewa (Michigan) was second with 14% and the Char-Koosta News of the Flathead Indian Nation (Montana) accounted for 13% of the IT news in the sample.
• The two nations accounting for the lowest occurrence of IT news in the 5-year sample were the Red Lake Chippewa Nation (Minnesota) (3%) and the White Mountain Apache (1%).

Conclusion/Implications on Practice
This research investigated how ICTs and Media are communicated in Native American communities through tribal newspapers. The frames discovered as a result of this analysis can expand knowledge of the perceptions of ICT use in Indian Country and underserved communities in general. The framing analysis model used suggests that in order to address the digital divides separating Native American Communities from the rest of the US, the effects of ICTs and new media should be focused on empowering tribal members to develop their shared norms and values.

Location: This paper can be found online for purchase, here.

Qureshi, S., & Trumbly-Lamsam, T. (2008). Transcending the Digital Divide: A Framing Analysis of Information and Communication Technologies News in Native American Tribal Newspapers. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008). doi:10.1109/hicss.2008.473

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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