Polar bear management in a digital Arctic: Inuit perspectives across the Web

Young, J. 2016. Polar bear management in a digital Arctic: Inuit perspectives across the Web. The Canadian Geographer/Le Geographe Canadien. DOI: 10.1111/cag.12284

Many geographers have recently shifted their attention to critical explorations of the politics enabled by emerging forms of digital technologies. Unfortunately, analyses of how indigenous peoples are engaging these technologies have been largely absent from the new research agenda. This paper argues that digital politics offer both opportunities for empowerment and dangers of assimilation for indigenous peoples. The contradictory potential for engaging with the internet is therefore not dissimilar from the outcomes of indigenous engagements with other Western tools and institutions. The paper builds this argument through a critical discourse analysis of Inuit and non-Inuit discussions of polar bear management in the Canadian Arctic across five different websites. Based on this analysis the paper argues that more research is needed on indigenous engagements with the web, to better understand how indigenous peoples are developing digital tactics to take advantage of the benefits, and minimize the dangers, of its political potential.

People Involved: 
Status of Research or Work: 
Completed/published