NDN-Created Internet: Staying Connected this Native American Heritage Month

Ada Claire

Columbus Day has passed and Native American Heritage Month is upon us, serving as an external reminder that we have a distinct voice among the cacophony of the mainstream. It’s a time of the year when the rest of the country is more likely to pay attention to its first people and recognize that we’re still here, but where are we exactly? If you’re reading this, you’re obviously online.

Outside of our own communities, indigenous circles can be really small. The global village can be both too close to home inside of our own social media space and a lonely place where it’s easy to get disconnected from where you come from. However, community, tradition, and modernity aren’t mutually exclusive choices: Technology can be a bridge connecting all three.

At Reddit, a user-created content site that brands itself as “the Front Page of the Internet,” Native Americans, First Nations, and other indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere created a political, cultural, and community and space of our own at /r/IndianCountry.

We started-out as a handful of Native American redditors who wanted more than another barebones Native American subpage. We wanted tribal flair (to rep our nations), moderation to ensure quality and civility, cosmetic improvements and functionality, a hub of links to Native American resources, and user engagement. Within days, we provided all five. A year later, we outperform the competition despite being one-fifth the size. In March, ICTMN highlighted our online language preservation efforts and they are ongoing.

Ada Claire is the host of the Digital Powwow podcast.

We will not be idle for Native American Heritage Month. We invite you to attend our hosted AMAs (Ask Me Anything), where the guest will be available to chat and answer your questions in real-time:

November 4 at noon: Joey Montoya: Founder of Urban Native Era, Indig. Clothing Company

November 7 at noon: Jackie Malstrom: Indigenous Radio Host

November 11 at noon: Nataanii Means: Activist, Rapper, Son of Russell Means

November 12 at 1 p.m.: Greg Grey Cloud: Indigenous Activist

November 14 at noon: Mosiah Salazar Bluecloud: Kickapoo Language Instructor

November 18 at noon: Ryan Red Corn: Satirist/Comedian of the 1491s

November 25 at noon: Rashaun Nez: Dreamstarter Grant Winner, Founder of Warrior Progressions Fitness

November 28 at noon: Layha Spoonhunter: LGBTQ/Two Spirit Activist

The following ongoing community discussions are also scheduled:

November 8: Native Civilization: Society, Culture, and Tech

November 15: Native Genocide: The War Continues

November 22: Native Language Revitalization: Saving Our Culture

November 29: Native Art: From Traditional to Modern

With peer contributions we intend to empower users and visitors to engage their communities and provide them with the tools to make the offline world what they want it to be. We hope to help keep community connections strong and make the Native American/First Nations online presence stronger. You don’t have to go alone, and you know where to find us. Thank you.

/u/ Opechan (Kiros Auld), /u/ snorecalypse (Donovan Pete), /u/ La_Diabla (Laura Molina), /u/ Snapshot52, /u/ whiskeydeltatango, /u/ ladyeesti (Ada Claire), moderation team at /r/IndianCountry.

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boujoie's picture
Submitted by boujoie on
Thank you, Ada, for this very informative article. What a great calendar for our Native American Heritage Month AND I learned about Reddit's existence. What a fun site! I also love your banner AND your logo. Thank US for ALL that WE ARE. With Great Gratitude and Blessings to US ALL. Joie Bourisseau, Anishinaabe~Ojibwe, enrolled in the Mackinac Band(s) of Chippewa & Ottawa Indians.

ahalenia's picture
Submitted by ahalenia on
Thanks Opechan, Snorecalypse, La Diabla, Snapshot52, Whiskeydeltango, and Ladyeest for organizing these discussions. I'm looking forward to discussing Native Art on November, but "traditional" is not a time period and "modern" art ended around the 1970s. We'll be discussing precontact, historical, and contemporary Native art.