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Access 3 May 2018

Call for Contributions to Northern Public Affairs: Internet Connectivity in Indigenous and Northern Communities

Mark Buell
By Mark BuellRegional Bureau Director, North America

Northern Public Affairs, in collaboration with the Internet Society, is pleased to release a call for contributions to the Fall 2018 special issue of NPA Magazine focusing on emerging developments in community networks among Indigenous peoples in North America.

Internet connectivity for Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the United States has long been difficult to implement due to many environmental and socioeconomic factors such as remoteness of communities, difficulty gaining first mile access, reliable networks, slow speeds, expensive equipment, and high data costs. Community networks are communications infrastructure deployed and operated by local people, offering Indigenous communities a way to access the Internet to meet their own needs. For many, affordable, high-quality Internet access means community sustainability. Community networks encourage policymakers and regulators to examine new ways and means to fill local digital divides, like supporting local content in the appropriate language(s).

In this special edition issue of NPA Magazine the goal is to assemble diverse voices to explore the impact of access in the areas of education, healthcare, digital literacy, cultural/language promotion and preservation, as well as any negative impacts. We will seek existing Indigenous Community Networks and developing ones, highlighting successful and promising initiatives bringing Internet connectivity throughout Alaska and Northern Canada. NPA is seeking submissions from anyone, although additional priority will be given to members of Indigenous communities, Northern network operators, policymakers, and scholars studying telecommunications and Internet infrastructure.

In October 2018, the Internet Society will host the 2nd annual Indigenous Connectivity Summit showcasing and exploring the success stories of Indigenous community networks in Canada, the United States, and around the globe to help find solutions to improve Internet access for all. This special edition of Northern Public Affairs will provide a means to facilitate dialogue at the Summit.

NPA wishes to highlight local knowledge, as well as research and policy analysis that will advance Internet connectivity to Indigenous peoples and communities. We invite personal stories, speeches, essays, commentary, and visual arts contributions.

Please direct your questions or submission proposals to Sheena Kennedy, Editor, Northern Public Affairs at sheena.kennedy@northernpublicaffairs.ca, no later than May 15, 2018. Proposals should be no more than 100-200 words in length.

The deadline for full submissions is July 6, 2018. Note: submissions should be between 1000 and 2000 words in length.

Let’s continue the conversation! Do you want to connect your Indigenous community or support Indigenous connectivity? The Indigenous Connectivity page includes ever-growing resources on topics including community networks, cultural preservation, and Indigenous-driven access. Our hope is for Indigenous communities all over the world to be connected. Join us!

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