The medium of available media outlets to Aboriginal writers has increased significantly with the rise of online social media and blogging. It has allowed Aboriginal people with access to a computer/telephone to post their opinions on the issues that affect them – where in the past, these voices have gone unheard.
I am part of a collective that produces Black Nations Rising (BNR) magazine. It was established to provide a platform for Aboriginal people (and Indigenous people from around the world) to share their stories of resistance and revival. We produce content that is thought provoking and educates about issues Aboriginal people face today (politically, culturally, environmentally, legally etc). We provide and demonstrate practical ways in which Aboriginal people can resist and revive on an individual and collective level while also informing our readership about the struggles of other colonized people around the world.
For our entire existence (approximately 17 months), we have stuck to the traditional mediums of media, a hard copy magazine. We did this to ensure it was accessible by those that did not know how to use computers, did not have steady access to the internet and for those that just prefer to read hard copy content. And to cater to the ever increasing number of online readers, we made it available at Issuu: (https://issuu.com/blacknationsrising/stacks/c7d85772e839407aa10755e3ef7edd1c).
Our entire team is Aboriginal and volunteer based, giving approximately two hours a week to pull the magazine together. But notwithstanding our limited resources, we have plans to transition the magazine to a blog format over the next month. We will do this as we have established that blogging is the way forward, that the majority of the masses are turning to online media for their news stories. This will allow easier access for our international supporters and will also provide us with statistics that we have not otherwise known; what is being read and what is not.
The magazine provides a space for Aboriginal people to bring to light issues that affect us personally, to write and rewrite our own history, from our own unique perspectives, as we remember, experience and understand it. It is not through the eyes of external onlookers or historians. By Indigenous social media writers around the world sharing their opinions and perspective on events as they unfold, they too are the writers of their own history; one that the world can hear about, one that mainstream media can no longer hide.
The accessibility of online media is unlocking the want and yearning of young Aboriginal activists, reigniting the fighting spirit to challenge and question the status quo. The Indigenous Media Map will allow Indigenous online writers from across the world to connect, nothing like it currently exists. It is one central hub for Indigenous media, our own alternative sources to mainstream media. It is new, it is needed and for the likes of Black Nations Rising, it will allow us to connect, communicate and show solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters around the world.