Idle No More is taking the wrong approach to Social Media, despite what the press is saying. In a recent Toronto Star article titled, Social Media helps drive Idle No More movement, Karissa Donkin writes:
Idle No More and its rise have been driven by social media, a place where anyone — no matter how physically isolated they are — can participate in discussion and follow news if they have an Internet connection or smartphone.Yep, similar to the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement, Idle No More (INM) has used the convenience, simplicity and ubiquity of Social Media to connect, grow and speak out. And with good reason. Facebook and Twitter are free to use and available in the palm of your hand and in a vast country such as Canada, these platforms get the word out fast and to all corners.
But, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram need to be used by INM as tools to educate, not simply to rant and collect people together around drum circles and public squares. And they'd do well to hire some expert Instructional Designers to help create their Social Media strategy.
Currently, there are significant gaps between what the 'average Canadian' knows and believes about Aboriginal Canadians and what the latter would have us understand and accept. This obviously limits any support they hope to gain from Canadian taxpayers and the voting public. As instructional designer Connie Malamed states in her post, 'What is instructional design':
Instructional design involves the process of identifying the skills, knowledge, information and attitude gaps of a targeted audience and creating, selecting or suggesting learning experiences that close this gap, based on instructional theory and best practices from the field.Therefore, hand in hand with skilled instructional designers, INM must design an approach to closing the knowledge, information and attitude gaps that exist between themselves and the rest of Canada. And the tools to educate, connect and engage should include, at the very least, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Here's what I briefly worked out on my whiteboard that I will expand upon more after the image (please click on photo for enlarged version):
- Host Idle No More Twitter chats that broaden the discussion and involve more citizens.
- Educate Canadians on the Idle No More issues via succinct tweets and links to documents that explain what INM is demanding.
- Tweet links that illustrate the history of Native Canadians and why current demands exist.
- Engage followers AND detractors on the Twitter stream like many corporations do effectively.
- Pin recipes and photos of unique Aboriginal cuisine.
- Pin photos of Native Canadian clothing, styles and fashions from all Aboriginal nations.
- Focus on individual chiefs by giving them a pinboard spotlight.
- Show the 'rest of Canada' who you are = photos of reserves, paintings, sculpture, textiles, etc.
- Demonstrate daily life through photos = Native Canadian portraits, customs, events, etc.
- Encourage Aboriginal photographers to submit and participate.
- Include documents, posts and videos that educate and illustrate what it is you're wanting from the rest of Canada and the government.
- Announce activities that Canadians can attend and experience, giving opportunities to rub shoulders with members of INM and create meaningful connections.