Prof Alfred Hermida presented our research into the use of social media by the Idle No More movement at the conference at the University of Amsterdam on Social Media and the Transformation of Public Space.

The keynote on Thursday 19 June, 2014, generated considerable discussion on Twitter as the topic wheel for the day reveals. And Prof Axel Bruns of the Queensland University of Technology wrote up the talk for his blog.

Topic wheel

Topic wheel of the #ASMC tweets on day of the keynote

The talk explained how the Idle No More movement used social media to articulate and evolve their message via multi-vocal grassroots indigenous voices, opening up public discourse around colonialism, shared history and environmental issues.

Idle No More emerged in late 2012 following government changes to environmental policy and indigenous governance. It quickly grew to become an indigenous-led Canada-wide political movement that coalesced around the #Idlenomore hashtag to articulate a counter narrative, and challenge selective or dismissive framing by mainstream media.

In his keynote, Prof Hermida outlined how social media, and Twitter in particular, affords a contested middle ground for relevance, meaning and interpretation.