CMST 1a03: Introduction to Communication
Dr. Terry Flynn (Winter 2012)
UHC – Valerie Alia “Technology and the Circumpolar Village”
UHC – Marie Gillespie: “Cool Bodies: TV Ad Talk”
Valerie Alia “Technology and the Circumpolar Village”
Northern communities are using new telecommunications technologies
• Aboriginals use the tech to transmit messages from community to
community and to the Outside. “The road to Nunavut was along the
• In Nunavut, modern communications systems help maintain the Inuit way
of governing with power broadly distributed and structures decentralized.
• The people of the North have always been up to date with technology. The
CBC has made considerable investments in Northern broadcasting.
• Project Inukshuk
The story of TVNC (Television Northern Canada)
• The primary First Nations broadcasting distribution system of the North.
TVNC delivers programming in indigenous languages and English. It is
sponsored by the governments of the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut.
• Press reaction to the beginning of TVNC.
• TVNC's particular problems: scarcity of aboriginal programming and
journalists • 1999: TVNC gets permission from the CRTC to become APTN
(Aboriginal Peoples Television Network).
Is there a panArctic vision?
• The goal of TVNC was to counter the cultural genocide/cultural suicide
vision formulated in the 1980's
• The prominence of Aboriginallanguage programming will counter these
• The Alaskan counterexample
Success, failure ... recovery?
• Budget Cuts and their effects
o The privatization of news media
o Forced into volunteerism
o Underfunding of radio
o Advertising: pros and cons
The Circumpolar Village: Strengths and Weaknesses
• Internet and Satellite have taken over where the town hall meeting left off.
• Often there is romance with the possibilities and we forget that the
machinery is actually there to serve human beings.
• The example of the National Film Board's and CBC's misspromoting of
the content that they produce.
The North on the Net.
• The Internet is an excellent means for NorthNorth communication and NorthSouth communication.
• A variety of opinions from Aboriginal Elders of the benefits and perils of
o Is the Internet an assimilationist medium like TV was?
o The lure of the Outside: CAP (Community Access Programme)
Aboriginal Internet Resources:
• The First Perspective OnLine
• Aboriginal Voices
• Spirit of Aboriginal Enterprise
• Apple and Microsoft now offer Aboriginal fonts.
There is a gap between potential and actual use of new techs.
“Canada's thinly populated North is turning into a
telecommunications slum... [with] a few centres of relative privilege:
Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Whitehorse.”
Marie Gillespie, “Cool Bodies: TV Ad Talk”
Cultural theorists and anthropologists say:
• Social identities, differences and inequality are legitimated through
our cultural consumption. • Bourdieu says that distinctions in social class are a function of taste.
This article investigates how young Pun