April 06, 2008

The One Heart website

'Digital reservation' unites Colville Tribal membersOne girl who found out a college friend had died used the new Web site to get in touch with her friend's family on the remote Colville Indian Reservation.

Others are using it to discuss the upcoming tribal election, announce meetings, share poetry, or connect with other Fancy Dancers.

"One Heart for the People" includes a mix of forums and blogs, photographs and video clips, and they all relate in one way or another to members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Ben-Alex Dupris, who created the new site and launched it in December, believes it's already fulfilling its purpose: It's breaking down the barriers of the reservation's four districts of Omak, Nespelem, Keller and Inchelium.
Plans for this project:[I]f Dupris has his way, his Web site will eventually connect with other social networking sites designed for other reservations across the United States, uniting other American Indian tribes and reservations with one another.

Only right now, there aren't any other Indian reservations with a social networking site, at least none Dupris could find.

Indian Country Today, a national American Indian publication, agreed. An article published last month stated that One Heart for the People is "probably unique to Indian country."

Just four months after it was launched, One Heart already has 750 members, and has received more than 200,000 hits. "In my mind, it's the reservation, but it's in cyberspace," he said.

No comments: