March 04, 2008

The Colville MySpace

Colville members have 'One Heart for the People'The Colville Reservation now has a social Internet system in place that is probably unique in Indian country. Designed much like MySpace, this system--called "One Heart for the People"--is intended to inform and organize Colville members in a grass-roots effort to unify the tribal membership.

The system was originated and designed by Ben-Alex Dupris, a tribal member who left the reservation when he was 19 to pursue a career in Hollywood as a professional actor and dancer. He eventually left, but says he returned to Los Angeles whenever he needed to recharge. Now in his early 30s and knowledgeable about such things as open source software, cloud computing and social networking, he has returned to the reservation.

"I wanted to do something for the tribe. I was looking at all the problems our tribes are facing today, particularly in this technological gap. Indian people are already so far behind in a lot of different areas and I thought a social network would be a good way to start, not to just say hi to friends, but to organize people and inform them about everything from funerals to political events to local basketball games." In so doing it would also broaden computer knowledge among many who are still unfamiliar or uncomfortable with computers.


Bendigenous said...

Hey Rob, thanks for putting the ICT article in your blog. I hope other Natives check it out, and consider building a social network for their own Tribes. It's not that hard when you use the NING.COM network. Buy a domain name, sign up for a Ning account, do some basic graphic work with Gimpshop freeware... and invite your friends. I'm excited to see what people will create with all this great new technology. =Ben-Alex=

Rob said...

I hope other Natives check it out too.

To create such a network, it sounds as though you have to be fairly skilled with computers. Perhaps you could write a procedure for people, or make yourself available to help them.