By Steve Haycox
The Internet--e-mail and Facebook particularly--has liberated people in those northern villages from isolation. Virtually every person interviewed used the word "connection" and described how exhilarating it was to be able to talk to relatives--family members--in sister villages hundreds of miles away, to know who was having a baby when, and how it went, who was working for the village council and who not, who was in trouble and how bad. The Internet has become the new "mukluk telegraph," and people spoke with considerable apprehension when asked how they would feel if they lost Internet access. The same is true of Alaska villagers with whom I have spoken.
For more on the subject, see Creating a Native Facebook and Amazon Indian Students on the Net.